Damage to the environment, in the form of pollution, poor air and water quality, and climate change, affects everyone.
But it does not affect everyone equally. The EPA defines “environmental justice” as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.
The environmental justice movement works to draw attention to and address these disparities. For more than a decade, WM has been assessing the environmental justice impact on the communities where we have facilities, plotting income and minority population data surrounding each. We also engage with community members living near our operations to understand needs and help address the impacts of our operations.
WM’s landfill gas-to-RNG operations in Atascocita are helping support this goal. The operation has helped us grow our fleet of RNG vehicles, which can reduce NOx emissions by as much as 97%, reduce diesel particulate matter by as much as 94% and reduce CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions by as much as 80% when they replace diesel vehicles, leading to improvements in air quality.
Our growing network of RNG facilities at our landfills will benefit communities across North America. The planned investment in our RNG network
is expected to increase production of landfill gas by 600% over the next four years, generating enough renewable energy to supply the equivalent of 1 million North American homes. We have planned for one of our new sites to be located in Springdale, Arkansas, the majority of whose citizens are BIPOC or earn low-to-moderate incomes—ensuring that these environmental benefits are realized in the communities that need them most.
Explore this topic in our Disclosure Report