Need to Know

Waste Management Responds to Concerns in Ann Arbor

Waste Management penned a response to a concerns stemming from an emergency services recycling contract between the city of Ann Arbor and Waste Management.

Tom Horton is government affairs director of the Michigan, Ohio and Indiana area for Waste Management. He penned a response to a concerns raised in a recent MLive story  stemming from an emergency services recycling contract between the city of Ann Arbor and Waste Management.

In July, the city council terminated a contract with Resource Recovery Systems and FCR (ReCommunity), citing “safety deficiencies in ReCommunity's operations of the facilities, including fires since the beginning of the year and operating practices that have jeopardized employees' safety.”

Later that month, Resource Recovery Systems and FCR (ReCommunity) filed a complaintin federal court yesterday against the City of Ann Arbor, Mich., for damages arising from the city’s termination of its recycling contract with ReCommunity.

Ann Arbor then contracted with Waste Management, which prompted its own set of concerns.

Here is an excerpt from Horton’s response:

Unfortunately, statements reported in the article, made by Margie Teall and Mike Garfield, were inaccurate and suggested that Waste Management's ownership and profitable operation of landfills rendered the company unfit as a recycling contractor.

Teall and Garfield incorrectly refer to risk assessment statements from annual reports that also appear in 10K filings as proof that Waste Management is not committed to recycling. Public companies are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to publish risk assessments about every aspect of their business. Honest statements about revenue impacts to landfills and recycling operations protect investors and should not be misconstrued.

Teall also asserted that Waste Management takes materials it collects from the Akron, Ohio, region to a different processing facility in Pittsburgh, which is false. Waste Management's Akron facility is a state-of-the-art single stream recycling center and processes material for several Ohio municipalities, including Akron, Portage County and the surrounding regional area. Waste Management does not export material from its Akron facility to Pittsburgh.

Read the full response here.

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