We have a long track record of both supporting high regulatory standards and striving to go beyond them. Our environmental management approach has led us to undertake the following actions:
- Urge the U.S. EPA in 1991 to revise regulations implementing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s Subtitle D and to establish strong and prescriptive federal standards for managing municipal solid waste (MSW). We supported specific, rigorous, government-sanctioned and publicly reviewed standards to ensure environmental protection at all MSW landfills.
- Provide consistent encouragement to the U.S. EPA to consider revisions to the RCRA hazardous waste regulations with respect to the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals, including extensive feedback on the proposed “Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule” published in the Federal Register September 25, 2015.
- Innovate beyond compliance. As part of Waste Management’s internal formal performance review, the results of regulatory inspections, internal audits, external audits, and regulatory compliance issues and their precursors are all tracked, managed and remedied as part of the company’s continuous improvement process. Members of senior management, up to and including the Board of Directors, review performance.
- Extend the company’s commitment to environmental performance related to events that are not necessarily regulatory in nature but that nonetheless are public concerns, such as noise, litter and odors. Such events are tracked, managed and remedied in real time. We also employ best management practices and conduct routine training to eliminate the dissemination of dust from our facilities.
- Test our internal systems to ensure their thoroughness and accuracy. We periodically conduct gap analyses of our Environmental Management System against the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 standards to ensure the sufficiency of our systems for landfills, transfer stations, hauling operations, waste-to-energy plants, hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities and recycling facilities. These systems continue to be evaluated and supplemented as appropriate.
- Certify all of our Waste Management Sustainability Services operations, including projects at more than 100 customer-operated locations, to the globally recognized ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 standards.
- Audit the rest of our operations through an independent environmental audit team that employs nationally recommended compliance audit practices approved by the American Standards for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the Board of Environmental, Health and Safety certification standards for professional auditors. Nearly all of Waste Management revenues come from operations subject to environmental management systems that are audited.
- Test our facilities to assure stakeholders that our operations protect human health and the environment. Our environmental experts hold a number of patents on innovative monitoring and analysis technologies, and we often provide monitoring data to outside parties to evaluate how our systems are performing.