waste reduction

Public/Private Partnerships for Disaster Relief

Government entities, nonprofits and businesses have partnered to respond to over 800,000 pounds of debris migrating from the coast of Japan to the Alaskan and Canadian shoreline over the past five years. WMSS has been handling the logistics of removing and recycling where possible more than 3,400 bags of debris – enough to fill 36 rail cars. The logistics of the cleanup are daunting. “Super sacks” of debris are helicoptered from remote areas to central locations where the bags can be barged to a sorting area. The volume of material exceeded the capacity of Alaskan landfills, and alternative disposal capacity needed to be found to secure the sensitive environment. Plastic debris, in particular, poses a threat to marine mammals and birds. We also worked with our partners to educate communities along the Alaskan coastline on how they could do their part by reducing use of disposable packaging, reusing plastic containers and recycling in the home.

Meeting the Needs of the Healthcare Industry

Two divisions of WM work with the healthcare industry to reduce infectious medical waste and to provide advice facility-wide on means to reduce waste, recycle and assure protective disposal of the diverse streams of waste coming from hospitals and other healthcare providers. WM Healthcare Solutions (WMHS) focuses on protecting the environment from potential impacts from infectious medical waste. In 2015, WMHS treated over 15 million pounds of infectious medical waste, then sent the non-infectious residue for secure disposal at secure landfill facilities. Its highest-volume treatment facility, in Vernon, California, is Silver LEED-certified and the recipient of the 2012 County of Los Angeles Green Leadership award.

WMSS – ICS (Healthcare Integrated Customer Solutions) works with healthcare customers (96 hospitals and well over 1,000 smaller locations) to manage their entire waste generation in a sustainable way. In 2015, WMSS – ICS hospitals collectively achieved a solid waste-to-recycling diversion rate of 33 percent, placing them 10 percent above the median recycling rate of sustainable hospitals as reported by Practice Green Health. In 2015, we worked with 100 hospitals on plans to optimize waste efficiencies, for example, reducing spending on solid waste by 40 percent for the year at a major healthcare campus. By introducing source separation of waste at another hospital system, we reduced waste to landfill by 33 percent.

WMSS’s Remote Services Team

For some customers, the best options for sustainable materials management involve leveraging both Waste Management’s local assets and a broader network of third-party providers to create client solutions that span in-plant, local service and more remote specialized service providers. WMSS Remote Services serves as both broker and asset provider to maximize efficiencies and meet customer goals for maximal reuse and recycling.

Remote Services offers the customers nearly unlimited accessibility to their project managers, who work remotely and are not required to travel and work from offices. Remote Services offers customized and consolidated billing, regulatory compliance support assistance, access to the WMSS network of third-party providers (already vetted and contracted), structured cost saving programs and a formal Best Practices program. The results are reflected in responses to the question, “How likely are you to recommend the services of WMSS to a friend, relative or colleague?” – 4.65 out of 5.00.