Covanta Hempstead, Long Island, N.Y.’s largest Energy-from-Waste facility, together with local veterans groups including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) and the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency, have partnered to create a new program on Long Island to reverently dispose of old, worn American flags.
While many veterans organizations have flag collection programs in place, the quantity of retired American flags they receive can be overwhelming. Covanta Hempstead is supporting these groups’ current flag collection programs by supplying a collection bin and providing reverent disposal. Flags will be retired at Covanta Hempstead in the customary manner and in accordance with guidance from partner veteran organizations.
To unveil the program, Covanta hosted a formal flag retirement ceremony on Flag Day, in which Town of Hempstead Supervisor Lauren Gillen, VFW Post 1819 Commander John Baptisto Fiore and Nassau County Veterans Service Agency Deputy Director Paul Vista all provided brief remarks.
“I’m thrilled to partner with Covanta on a program that will help us manage the large quantity of tattered and worn American flags we continuously receive from the public,” said Fiore in a statement. “The flag represents so much for us as veterans. Knowing that the retired flags from the community will be taken care of with respect takes a large weight off our shoulders. Saying ‘thank you’ seems to fall short in expressing our gratitude for Covanta’s support and patriotism as we embark on what I think will be a very successful program.”
“Covanta is proud to partner with local veterans groups to ease the significant burden they face in providing reverent disposal for an abundant amount of flags,” said Dan Caraccio, Covanta vice president, general manager and veterans ambassador, said in a statement. “As an organization, we are committed to supporting our nation’s veterans who account for 15 percent of Covanta’s workforce.”