Waste Management’s just-released 2014 Sustainability Report, Creating a Circular Economy, documents the company’s progress on recycling, energy production, transforming waste into valuable resources and helping businesses move toward zero waste.
“As our customers have become more focused on waste reduction, so have we,” said David Steiner, Waste Management’s president and CEO. “By finding new ways of extracting value from the materials we manage, we’re making advancements toward our long-term business strategy, and helping others do the same.”
“We believe we can reuse materials in a ‘circular economy’ that operates as a true closed-loop system, where little is wasted. There’s a lot of work ahead to make this vision a reality, but we’re committed for the long run because we see the potential to radically transform the way we all define — and interact with — waste,” continued Steiner.
In its latest Sustainability Report, Waste Management announced progress on:
- Growing recycling. Waste Management extracted more than 15 million tons of materials from the waste stream in 2013. During this time, it also launched the Recycle Often. Recycle Right SM campaign to educate consumers on the simple actions they can take to grow and improve recycling.
- Extracting value from organics. Organic materials comprise about 28 percent of the U.S. waste stream. This represents an opportunity to invest in processing facilities that create compost, as well as new technologies that produce biogas for fuel and electricity.
- Lowering emissions. By the end of 2014, Waste Management will operate over 70 natural gas fueling stations to power its growing fleet of alternative fuel trucks, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The company currently operates more than 3,500 of these vehicles, the largest fleet of its kind in North America.
- Harnessing energy at the landfill. When materials are disposed there’s still an opportunity to produce electricity using naturally occurring landfill gas. Waste Management currently uses this technology to provide enough energy for 472,000 homes annually.
The report also highlights a number of statistics on the company’s environmental performance, from fleet emissions to wildlife habitat protection to the variety of materials managed each year.