Industry contributes to health of community

Published 2:04 pm Friday, February 13, 2009

The Lafarge Roberta Cement Plant strives to be a good neighbor through an involvement with Calera and Montevallo schools, the communities and the environment.

During a recent visit to the plant, spokesman Travis Reed told us about some of their efforts. Reed explained that each year Lafarge awards scholarships to two students from Montevallo and Calera high schools. The company also gives tours of the plant to enhance students’ learning of employment opportunities and the relevance of their studies to finding a good job.

Lafarge gave sizeable support for the building of the new Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo and they completely furnished a room in the new Calera library. Their contribution also helped make the new park-to-park trail in Montevallo possible. Each year they also hold a golf tournament to benefit the Children’s Hospital.

“Showing the community that we care is one of the key things we do,” Reed said.

The environmental efforts of Lafarge are numerous. In May of last year, they completed the installation of a new state-of-the-art pollution reduction system. They are also certified as a wildlife habitat –– one part of the program involved having local cub scouts build and install blue bird houses, keep records and visit the plant.

Recycling is one more of Lafarge’s efforts to care for the environment. The company uses waste glass as an ingredient in their cement. On the University of Montevallo campus there is a bin available for citizens to deposit glass for this use. The company also uses waste paper and by-products from Mercedes and other manufacturers. Water from the old underground mine, which is now inactive, is going to the Calera water system.

Looking toward the future, Lafarge is participating in an Auburn study of alternative fuels. They have experimented with using forest trimmings, shredded plastics and other products.

Catherine Legg can be reached at