Through this partnership of 20+ years, we transform land—primarily closed landfills and smaller buffer zones at transfer stations, recycling facilities and other facilities—into certified wildlife habitat. We currently promote sustainability, wildlife preservation, biodiversity and environmental education at 75 WHC-certified sites across North America.
Why Habitat Protection Matters
These sites are also vital educational spaces that bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to life to teach the next generation about environmental stewardship. All acres are overseen by WM employees and volunteers who dedicate their time and expertise to ongoing management and education. Through these sites, we teach the fundamentals of protecting habitat, natural ecosystems and biodiversity to neighbors and students who visit and spread the word about the importance of environmental responsibility. The programs also show visitors how landfills support their surrounding natural ecosystems. WHC recognized our corporate commitment to biodiversity and conservation education by awarding us their 2021 Corporate Conservation Leadership Award.
In addition to WHC programs, we also support the preservation of habitat for beneficial pollinators via the Highways Bettering the Economy and Environment Pollinator Protection Act (Highways BEE Act), a law to facilitate states’ efforts to use more pollinator-friendly highway landscaping practices. Today, WM has 63 programs dedicated to protecting pollinators throughout North America. This includes a program at Fairless Landfill in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, which is a WHC-certified hub for six community partners focused on pollinator protection. What began in 2013 with eight employees has grown to reach 2,093 employees, families, friends, students, teachers and community members. The program has retained certifications from the National Wildlife Federation, Monarch Watch, North American Butterfly Association and as a Pennsylvania State University pollinator garden. In addition, the program recently earned the 2021 Landscaped Project Award, Pollinator Project Award and Awareness and Engagement Award from WHC, and was named the Pennsbury School District Business Partner of the Year.
In addition to habitat conservation programs, our land serves other environmentally helpful purposes. As sections of our landfills close, the land can take on new life for a variety of beneficial purposes, such as recreation or solar farms. WM also leases more than 21,000 unused acres in the United States and Canada for productive use by farmers and ranchers.