Pursuing a Renewable World

Abby Sanford, Reporter

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Matthew Newman has turned his passion into reality by undertaking a career in renewable energy.

Newman, a Bixby resident and an employee of Covanta Tulsa Renewable Energy, is responsible for business management, community services, media and government affair initiatives for the business.

Matthew Newman

Covanta is the nation’s largest energy-from-waste company. The company works with different companies and communities to find sustainable solutions for trash. With a global network of energy-from-waste and trash facilities, Covanta preserves natural resources and generates clean energy for client communities.

“At Covanta, we ensure that no waste is ever wasted,” Newman says.

Energy from waste is a high tech process that uses household garbage to produce clean, renewable energy.

“Garbage is readily available, giving us a renewable fuel source,” he says.

Covanta receives household waste that remains after recycling and the company burns it in specially designed boilers. The heat from the combustion generates steam. Some of the steam drives a turbine generator that delivers renewable electricity to the Public Service Co. of Oklahoma grid and helps to power West Tulsa.

“All of us working together can make Tulsa the most sustainable community, which has a double benefit of making our homes even more beautiful while also creating an inviting opportunity for for new businesses,” Newman says.

Newman graduated from Bartlesville High School in 1982 and the University of Oklahoma with distinction. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in finance, and he minored in invertebrate zoology. Newman says that the science, math and technology focus of his education helped him take the career path he always dreamed of.  

He says the favorite part about his job is volunteering on community boards communities and at community service events. He is on the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, the chamber’s small business connections advisory council and the board of Sustainable Tulsa. He is vice chairman for the chamber’s resources campaign, vice chairman for the Foundation for Tulsa Schools, and chairman of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology’s energy advisory council. He is a member of the Tulsa Rotary and guest lecturer for colleges and university.

Gov. Mary Fallin recently appointed by Newman to the Oklahoma Science and Technology Research and Development Board and reappointed him to the state’s solid waste management advisory council.

He enjoys speaking to high school and college students and business professionals about how sustainability and sustainable business practices are not only good for our environment but also good for bottom-line income. He has been a guest lecturer for Oklahoma State University’s environmental management graduate classes for years and and speaks to Oral Roberts University’s biology Department and to the University of Tulsa’s graduate program in energy.

He says that even though he is successful in his career, what matters most good works and making positive impressions for other people.

Newman is an example for others on how if you pursue a career in what you love, you will never work a day in your life.