Waste Management, Inc. is the leading provider of comprehensive waste and environmental services in North America. The company is strongly committed to a foundation of financial strength, operating excellence and professionalism.
As of December 31, 2009, the company served nearly 20 million municipal, commercial, industrial, and residential customers through a network of 367 collection operations, 355 transfer stations, 273 active landfill disposal sites, 16 waste-to-energy plants, 134 recycling plants, and 111 beneficial-use landfill gas projects
Drawing on our resources and experience, we actively pursue projects and initiatives that benefit the waste industry, the communities we serve and the environment. Waste Management works to make a positive difference for the environment in every aspect of its business.
•By using renewable energy resources in place of fossil fuels, Waste Management's landfill gas and waste-to-energy projects produce energy equivalent to 14 million barrels of oil or 4 million tons of coal annually, enough to power more than 1 million homes.
•We recover and process methane gas, naturally produced by decomposing waste in landfills, into an energy source for generating power. Altogether, Waste Management’s 111 landfill gas projects generate the equivalent of about 500 megawatts of renewable energy— enough to power about 400,000 homes and replace the equivalent of nearly 2 million tons of coal.
•In 2008, Waste Management commissioned eight new landfill gas power plants and expansions with the capacity to generate a total of 25 megawatts of power, and a liquid waste disposal facility fueled by landfill gas. In addition, we worked with industry partners to install three more projects: a facility that converts landfill gas to pipeline-quality natural gas, a direct gas sale to a paper mill, and a small power plant. Altogether, these 12 projects offset the equivalent of 30 megawatts of energy, enough to power about 24,000 homes.
•With 425 vehicles now converted from diesel fuel to clean-burning natural gas, we operate one of the nation's largest fleets of heavy-duty trucks powered exclusively by natural gas. By doing so, we have eliminated the consumption of about 3 million gallons of diesel fuel per year—reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 4,000 tons, reducing NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions by about 50 percent, and reducing particulate matter by about 80 percent for these trucks.
•In 2008, Waste Management announced a joint venture with Linde, a leading global gases and engineering company, to build the world’s largest facility to convert landfill gas into clean vehicle fuel. When the facility begins operating in 2009, it is expected to produce up to 13,000 gallons of LNG per day. This would reduce our fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30,000 tons per year while also reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
•We have taken a leadership role in promoting the recycling and reuse of materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. Waste Management, combined with its wholly owned subsidiary WM Recycle America, is North America’s largest recycler with 104 recycling facilities serving municipalities,
businesses, and households.
•Through our wholly owned subsidiary Wheelabrator Technologies, we own or operate 16 waste-to-energy plants and five independent power production facilities that convert 7 million tons of waste into steam and generate up to 836 megawatts of electricity—enough clean, renewable energy to power nearly 900,000 homes. Another benefit of waste-to-energy is that residue ash produced from burning waste takes up 90 percent less space than trash in a landfill, saving valuable airspace in landfills. This reduces the volume of the waste by 90 percent and saves space in local landfills while providing an economical alternative to the use of fossil and nuclear fuels.
•WM partners with communities, government and industries to redevelop closed landfill sites into recreational and commercial facilities such as parks, athletic fields, campgrounds and golf courses.
•Across North America, we work with environmental groups to set aside land to create and manage wetlands and wildlife habitats. Our landfills provide more than 21,000 acres of protected land for wildlife; 49 landfills are certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council.
•WM helped found the Chicago Climate Exchange, an organization established to provide a voluntary marketplace for reducing and trading greenhouse gas emissions.
Waste Management's environmental initiatives have drawn recognition numerous times from organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Wildlife Habitat Council.