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Contributing to Communities Community Vitality

Above and beyond providing an essential service to local neighborhoods and businesses, Waste Management is committed to making our hometowns safe, resilient and sustainable places to live by contributing to communities in a number of valuable ways.

In New York City, for example, Waste Management has built relationships with elected officials, city and state agencies, chambers of commerce, and environmental and community-based organizations. Over the course of several years, Waste Management has conducted hundreds of meetings, led transfer station tours and participated in community events. Our goal is to improve and beautify communities while educating stakeholders about Waste Management’s operations, workforce and investments in innovation and technology. Key partnerships include Newtown Creek Alliance, an environmental advocacy group dedicated to the rejuvenation of the Newtown Creek Watershed area of Brooklyn and Queens; and the NYC chapter of Riverkeeper, which liaises with regulators on all environmental matters related to Newtown Creek.

During Climate Week 2019, we hosted the region’s first Environmental Awareness Conference, featuring Waste Management leadership and representatives from the Newtown Creek Alliance, Riverkeeper and Surfrider NYC.

Safe Communities

When Waste Management drivers are on their routes, they become the trusted eyes and ears on the streets. For more than a decade, our Waste Watch® community program has trained thousands of drivers to recognize and handle situations that don’t seem right. Program participants learn to properly observe and report suspicious activities and emergencies to local public safety and law enforcement agencies.

To become a Waste Watch-certified driver, an employee must complete a formal training program, including instruction from Waste Management corporate security and local law enforcement personnel, and pass a written exam. The program is available in more than half of the U.S. communities we serve. The Waste Watch program has received national acclaim, earning recognition from local municipalities and the National Sheriffs’ Association’s Award of Excellence in Neighborhood Watch. Our drivers have been lauded for reporting suspicious activity ranging from thefts to vandalism.

Recent Waste Watch heroes include a Florida residential driver Juan Fernandez, who found an elderly woman unresponsive by her front door while servicing his route. Based on his Waste Watch training, Juan immediately called 911 and waited for emergency crews to arrive. He stayed until the woman was treated and responsive. Roger Millen, a Utah-based driver, spotted a two-year-old child wandering a neighborhood on his route. He stopped his truck, picked up the boy and went door-to-door to find his home. A neighbor opened the door and identified their neighbor’s child—leading to a happy ending, thanks to Roger’s quick action.

In addition to Waste Watch, we partner with safety-related organizations and programs, including AMBER Alert, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Community Crime Stoppers and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Employee Volunteerism

We pride ourselves on having an employee base that gives back to communities through volunteerism. In 2019, Waste Management employees reported contributing nearly 3,600 volunteer hours during paid working hours. Here are a few of the hundreds of examples of how Waste Management employees supported their communities in 2019:

  • Participated in a festival focused on water conservation for students in Rio Rancho, New Mexico
  • Fostered relationships with New England-area universities to collect and process food scraps
  • Launched a friendly competition to collect items for a holiday food drive—leading to more than 2,000 items collected at our Phoenix North facility
  • Granted the wish of a young cancer survivor in Western Canada who got to sit in a Waste Management disposal truck
  • Brightened the holidays of less fortunate neighbors in Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky by collecting canned food, warm clothing, hygiene kits and more
  • Provided pickup and disposal services for 253,000 wreaths delivered to Arlington National Cemetery

Corporate Charitable Donations

Whenever possible, Waste Management engages with local stakeholders to understand how to support specific community needs. We give back to communities throughout the U.S. and Canada through financial contributions, in-kind giving, participation on organization boards and by sharing our expertise.

Charitable Donations
In Millions

Bar chart showing Waste Management's charitable donations in millions from 2015 through 2019

*Due to the extraordinary devastation caused by hurricanes in the fall of 2017, Waste Management donated $3 million to Hurricane Harvey aid relief and $1 million to Hurricane Irma recovery efforts.

Think Green® Grants

For more than 10 years, Waste Management has distributed Think Green® Grants to encourage the development of local solutions for improving community environments. Our 2019 Think Green Grants made a $170,000 impact across North America on issues such as reducing litter and waste, reuse instead of disposal, composting, gardens for produce and pollination, and education on the importance of biodiversity. Recipients included:

  • Virginia’s Bridgewater College, which installed water bottle filling stations to encourage its 3,000 students to use fewer single-use plastics.
  • Kent and Sussex County, Delaware’s Milford Housing Development Corporation, which supported an alternative homeownership pathway program specifically targeted towards very-low-income households, and the creation of affordable home-ownership opportunities.
  • The Recycling Coalition of West Virginia, Inc., which organized a Re-Fashion show to challenge contestants to design outfits using recyclable materials. The event was attended by hundreds of people and made 475,000 online ad impressions.
  • The City of Cleveland, Missouri Board of Aldermen, which made Cleveland more environmentally friendly by installing five recycle signs in city entrance points, planting tulip trees at the City Lake, and providing pamphlets throughout the area.
  • Oklahoma’s OSU-OKC, which supported the local Recycling Education Trailer and Exhibit and educated school children year-round on the benefits of recycling through interactive exhibits, fun activities, games and videos.
  • The Solid Waste Disposal District Charter School Recycling Program in Indian River County, Florida, which established a robust program to increase recycling, decrease garbage generation and minimize contamination through education.
  • Pennsylvania’s Homer-Center School District, which received funding to upgrade their on-site produce and pollinator garden and organize a visit to a local WHC-certified site.
  • The Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario, which held exhibition days showcasing the artwork of middle-school students that illustrated the importance of biodiversity.
  • Keep Texas Beautiful, which funded Recycling Grants to expand recycling education for rural Keep Texas Beautiful affiliates and schools.
  • The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Butte County, California, which purchased a new transport van, enabling the store to pick up donations and deliver construction equipment to new building sites. This resource was especially essential after the Camp Fire destroyed the town of Paradise.

Local Economic Impact

Our day-to-day operations—from the wages and benefits we provide, to the income taxes we pay in the U.S. and Canada—boost economic growth in the communities in which we operate. Supporting small and diverse businesses through the materials and services we purchase also contributes to local and national economic growth. In 2019, we spent $264.1 million with diverse suppliers, and we have set a goal to grow our annual spend with diverse suppliers by 10% by 2038. Our Board of Directors receives an annual report on our spend with diverse suppliers, directly overseeing our progress toward this goal.

Income Taxes Paid
In Millions

Bar chart showing Waste Management's income taxes paid in millions from 2017 through 2019

Real Estate taxes Paid
In Millions

Bar chart showing Waste Management's real estate taxes paid in millions from 2017 through 2019

Charitable Donations
In Millions

*Due to the extraordinary devastation caused by hurricanes in the fall of 2017, Waste Management donated $3 million to Hurricane Harvey aid relief and $1 million to Hurricane Irma recovery efforts.

Income Taxes Paid
In Millions

2017

2018

2019

Real Estate taxes Paid
In Millions

2017

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2019