Monday, October 15, 2007

Cleaning Up the Trash

Waste Management Inc., the nation's largest garbage hauler and landfill operator, will spend hundreds of millions of dollars over the next dozen years to make its operations more environmentally friendly, CEO David Steiner announced Thursday. They plan to increase its energy production from waste, buy more fuel-efficient vehicles and more than double the amount of recyclable material it processes, among other initiatives. Steiner said the "green" strategy will also boost Waste Management's bottom line. Primarily through burning waste and using methane gas-to-electricity technology Waste Management now creates enough energy to power roughly 1 million homes a year. By 2020, it expects to double that output. Already, the company is spending about $400 million over the next five years building facilities at 60 landfills to convert methane gas to electricity. Landfills are the largest source of methane emissions in the United States, accounting for 34%, the second largest man-made contributor to global warming behind carbon dioxide. On the recycling side, the company hopes to increase the amount of recyclable material it processes from 8 million tons a year to 20 million tons by 2020. They also have a recycling arrangement with Sony Corp. and hopesto form similar deals with other electronics companies. By 2020, the company wants to increase its fleet's fuel efficiency by 15 percent while reducing emissions by the same amount. It’s a tall order. Let’s hope they make it happen. Source: AP

No comments: