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Waste Management Could Spend Billions Of Dollars On Green Initiatives

Waste Management plans to spend up to $500 million per year for the next 10 years to replace its fleet with vehicles that get better fuel efficiency and that will reduce emissions by 15 percent by 2020, the Houston Chronicle reports. The move is part of a larger announcement of new initiatives.

In addition to fleet changes, the company plans to spend about $400 million to add gas-to-energy equipment to about 60 landfills by 2012. Today, Waste Management creates enough energy for the equivalent of 1 million homes each year. By 2020 it expects to double that output, producing enough energy for the equivalent of more than 2 million homes.

WM says it will also increase the volume of recyclable materials managed. Waste Management currently manages 8 million tons of recyclables; by 2020 it plans to capture enough of the increasing volumes to manage more than 20 million tons.

By 2020, WM also plans to increase by more than four times the number of facilities -? from 24 to 100 -? certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council, and increase the number of acres set aside for conservation and wildlife habitat to approximately 25,000.

While he wouldn’t talk about the exact cost or benefits, CEO David Steiner told the Houston Chronicle the initiative is expected to add to the bottom line.

“We don’t put a round dollar amount on it,” he said. “The return has to exceed our current returns or we wouldn’t make that investment. They are going to be good for our business.”

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3 thoughts on “Waste Management Could Spend Billions Of Dollars On Green Initiatives

  1. Reducing emissions by 15% seems a very modest goal. With the scale of buying power represented by Waste Management, why not ask vehicle suppliers to provide methane gas powered vehicles so that WM could produce its own fuel? WM is in a unique position to move the supply chain and to advance the concept of waste-as-food.

  2. I hope part of Waste Management’s plan includes the addition of retrofit technology for their vehicles. Retrofitting diesel vehicles can help reduce emissions anywhere from 25-90%.

  3. It is important to note that our plan is to reduce fleet emissions and increase fuel efficiency by 15 percent respectively. This is over a period of 10 years and will be accomplished by 2020.

    Achieving that result assumes up to 30 percent emissions reductions and increased fuel efficiencies at that level when our entire fleet is fully converted to a new technology. In the interim we are continuously working on route optimization to reduce our travel times and have nearly 1300 trucks fueled by natural gas or retrofitted with special pollution control equipment. We’re also experimenting with the use of biodiesel for our fleet across the country as well as evaluating a wide range of technologies and services such as converting landfill gas from our landfills into synthetic diesel for our fleet.

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