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Waste Management Publishes 2018 Sustainability Report

Report focuses on greenhouse gas emissions reductions, recycling viability, technology innovations and people.

Waste Management (WM) just released its 2018 Sustainability Report, titled “Change for the Better.” The report highlights progress toward reducing Waste Management’s greenhouse gas footprint, recycling viability, technology utilization and helping employees, customers and communities to be safe, resilient and sustainable.

“The world is changing more rapidly than ever. To sustain and succeed in the face of this change requires agility, adaptability and, above all, a resilient spirit,” said Jim Fish, president and CEO of Waste Management, in a statement. “We see these qualities tested and proven countless times each day by our employees who manage the environmental needs of our customers. This year’s Sustainability Report is a testament to our continued commitment to our planet and our people.”

In addition to the published report, Waste Management also updated the interactive report microsite that invites visitors to go on a digital journey to see the many ways WM collects, processes and safely manages waste.

2018 report highlights include:

  • Waste Management continued its focus on working to keep recycling both environmentally and economically feasible for customers. Waste Management has invested more than $1 billion in processing infrastructure alone, including almost $22 million in 2017, up more than $13 million year-over-year. This leadership resulted in 15.3 million tons of recycled goods in 2017, a 91.25 percent increase in recycling tons since 2007. To adapt to recycling challenges, WM worked to increase operational efficiencies and lower operating costs at recycling facilities, and actively works with customers, communities and environmental organizations across North America to educate about contamination. One example of new recycling education efforts includes the launch of a “no plastic bags” in the bin campaign.
  • Growing a cleaner fleet. Waste Management has committed to reducing emissions associated with its fleet by 45 percent by 2038, against a 2010 baseline. From 2010 through 2017, WM has reduced fleet emissions 28 percent.
  • Harnessing energy at the landfill. Waste Management operates the largest fleet of heavy-duty natural gas trucks in North America, and nearly one-third of these run on 100 percent renewable natural gas generated from landfill gas.
  • Technology innovations. Investing in state-of-the-art routing technology to improve fleet efficiencies, Waste Management’s fleet reduced miles driven by 2 percent. This equates to approximately 8.9 million fewer miles a year since 2017. Optimizing routes not only reduces the company's environmental impact but also increases the quality of service.

To learn more about Waste Management’s direction and long-term commitment to sustainability, watch Jim Fish and other speakers on a live stream of WM’s ninth annual Sustainability Forum on January 31, 2019. One of the keynote speakers is Valerie Craig, deputy to the chief scientist and vice president, operating programs for National Geographic.

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