We report this data to inform our stakeholders of the potential GHG reduction benefits associated with our renewable energy production and the value of the recyclable and compostable materials we collect and process. We are not presuming to characterize how emerging regulatory programs will allocate credit for these avoided emissions, and we do not deduct these reductions from our carbon footprint.
Renewable Energy Generation (MMT CO2e)
Landfill gas is captured, converted and used as a renewable energy resource in the form of electricity or fuel at 146 WM landfills.
Customers purchase our renewable energy in lieu of using electricity from the grid, thereby reducing their use of fossil fuel. We record the total megawatt hours of renewable energy sold, then use the appropriate conversion using eGRID emission factors to arrive at the total emissions avoided.
Emissions represented here are avoided by our customers; they are not included in our carbon footprint.
Recycling of Materials (MMT CO2e)
The U.S. EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM) is used to calculate the life cycle GHG emission benefits from recycling. Note that instead of using the WARM “national average landfill” defaults, WM uses company-specific settings to account for our own landfill gas-to-energy capacity. Additionally, the increase in emissions reductions realized by recycling does not correspond arithmetically to the increase in total tons recycled. That is because, for example, paper recycling achieves very high emissions reductions, while the emissions reduction potential associated with glass recycling is nominal on a per ton basis. COVID-19 impacted the volume of material collected and the associated avoided emissions. Emissions represented here are avoided; they are not included in our carbon footprint.