HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Waste Management (NYSE: WM) today announced it expects to invest $200 million in recycling infrastructure in 2022, bringing the company’s investment in new and upgraded recycling facilities to over $700 million since 2018. With the demand for recycled content products continuing to rise, the investment will enable WM to capture more recycled materials and increase access to recycling for its customers.
Over the past two years, WM has opened new materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in Chicago, Salt Lake City, Raleigh, N.C., and Sun Valley, Calif. These facilities include state-of-the-art recycling technologies – such as robotics, intelligent sorting, volumetric scanners, cameras on collection vehicles to further reduce contamination. By 2023, WM plans to outfit 95 percent of its residential recycling facilities with updated recycling technology, further enabling and enhancing the company’s ability to provide high-quality recycled commodities to its customers. WM’s Chicago facility was named the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) 2021 Recycling Facility of the Year and served as the pilot location for the technology.
“As consumer-packaged goods companies continue to set aggressive 2025 and 2030 goals for recycled content – in many cases approaching 50 percent – solutions need to scale, especially related to plastics, as plastic capture must grow five times to meet these targets,” said Tara Hemmer, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer, WM. “We are making great progress unlocking this supply, increasing overall recycled plastic volume by 25 percent since 2019 and this will continue to expand. These enhancements will ensure recyclables are efficiently sorted and sold to high-quality end markets, meeting the strong demand for recycled content material in new products.”
WM also expects to upgrade much of its remaining recycling facility network. MRFs in Houston, Cleveland, Woodinville, Wash., and Elkridge, Md., are being fully renovated, and 29 existing MRFs have already been or are currently being outfitted with enhanced technology as well as supplemental capacity.
These recycling investments play an important role in WM’s commitment to sustainability, contributing to WM’s support of the circular economy, while helping WM customers achieve recycling and environmental goals. Since 2019, recycling of specific types of plastic such as polypropylene (#5 PP) has increased by as much as 40 percent, including items such as shampoo and medicine bottles, yogurt cups, skin care lotions and deodorant containers.
The announcement follows the release of the WM 2021 Sustainability Report, where the company noted achievements including how WM implemented employee uniforms made of Unifi’s REPREVE fiber, woven with recycled plastic; exceeded its 2025 goal to have more than half of its compressed natural gas fleet powered by RNG; and expanded its Your Tomorrow benefit paying for education and upskilling opportunities for both employees and their dependents starting in 2022.
Visit WM’s sustainability website at https://sustainability.wm.com/ to learn more about how the company is always working for a sustainable tomorrow.
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
WM (Waste Management) is the leading provider of comprehensive environmental services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, WM provides collection, transfer, disposal services, and recycling and resource recovery. It is also a leading developer, operator, and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. To learn more information about WM, please visit wm.com.
Waste Management, from time to time, provides estimates, comments on expectations relating to future periods and makes statements of opinion, view or belief about current and future events. This press release contains such forward-looking statements, including all statements regarding the amount and timing of future investment in recycling infrastructure; results of such investments; timing and nature of enhancements to recycling facilities; future volume, demand and outlets for recycled material; and all other statements pertaining to future business performance, operations or results. You should view these statements with caution. They are based on the facts and circumstances as of the date the statements are made and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different, including but not limited to, failure to implement our optimization, growth, and cost savings initiatives and overall business strategy; competing capital allocation needs; impacts of COVID-19 and related regulations; macroeconomic pressures and market disruption resulting in labor, supply chain and transportation constraints and inflationary cost pressure; increased competition; pricing actions; commodity price fluctuations; international trade restrictions; disposal alternatives; weakness in general economic conditions; failure to develop and protect new technology; and failure of technology to perform as expected. Please also see Part I, Item 1A of Waste Management’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K, as supplemented by subsequent Form 10-Qs, available on the “Investors” page of www.wm.com, for additional information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of future events, circumstances or developments or otherwise.