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WM drops the waste

Jim Fish, president and CEO of Houston-based Waste Management Inc., says the company is officially shortening its name to WM, commenting that the firm’s decades-long approach to sustainability has made it “much more than a waste management company.”

In a 10-minute video presentation prepared for the company’s February Sustainability Forum, Fish says, “Going forward, Waste Management will be known as WM.” Fish points to “the sustainable solutions we offer” and “the future we’re committed to” as reasons for the company’s name change.

Throughout much of the video, Fish describes “massive investments” WM has made to modify the garbage-to-landfill business model on which waste firms have traditionally relied.

“We expect to invest $200 million in recycling infrastructure in 2022,” he says. In 2021, Fish says WM recycled more than 15 million tons at its material recovery facilities (MRFs) and other plants.

“We’ve invested over $700 million since 2018 in new and improved MRFs,” he says. Fish referred to recently built or upgraded MRFs in Chicago, Salt Lake City, North Carolina and Southern California, saying major renovations are underway or coming soon to MRFs in Houston and Cleveland.

A collection of nearly 30 such projects, Fish says, has contributed to a situation where “we’ve increased plastics capture by 25 percent, just since 2019.”

Fish filmed part of the video at a 660-acre landfill site near Dallas that he says helps host the company’s “renewable energy revolution.”   

He says “massive investments” have resulted in landfill gas being collected, cleaned and distributed as “renewable natural gas (RNG) to power WM trucks and nearby communities.”

Referring to the Dallas landfill gas-to-RNG facility, Fish says, “Today we have 16 [such] plants across North America,” with some being partnerships. WM is building nine new ones by 2024 and has more “in the pipeline.”

Fish adds that RNG “powers more than 50 percent of our natural gas fleet and, by the way, that goal was for 2025.”