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 October 12, 2007
Waste Management to Spend Billions on Green Agenda

 New York, USA -- Waste Management wants to dramatically increase the waste-based energy it produces and recyclables it collects by 2020, as well as boost its fleet's fuel efficiency and lower associated emissions.

The country's largest landfill operator announced the environmental initiatives Thursday at the World Business Forum. It will spend billions to achieve these goals, which it expects to significantly fatten its bottom line.

The initiative's reach is broad. Through the use of waste-to-energy generation, the company wants production to double by 2020. It now generates enough energy to power 1 million homes for a year.

Waste Management now handles 8 million tons of recyclables but by 2020, it wants that figure to exceed 20 million tons.

It will spend up to $500 million per year for 10 years to improve its fleet's fuel efficiency by 15 percent. It also wants emissions from its fleet to drop by 15 percent.

"Over a 10 year period, a 15 percent reduction in the fuel used by our trucks amounts to about 350 million gallons of fuel and a reduction of about 3.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions," said David Steiner, Waste Management's CEO. "This could also result in a cost savings to Waste Management of $1 billion between today and 2020 at today's diesel fuel prices."

Waste Management now has 24 facilities certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council. It plans to increase that number to 100 by 2020 and increase the number of acres put aside for conservation and wildlife habitat to about 25,000. Its landfills now offer more than 17,000 acres for wildlife protection.

The company announced in September that it would build 60 new landfill gas to energy facilities across the country. It currently operates nearly 300 landfills across the U.S.