Waste Management Could Spend Billions Of Dollars On Green Initiatives

by | Oct 11, 2007

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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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