Over the years, we have observed significant changes in MSW streams. For example, between 1990 and 2018, the amount of MSW to landfills in the U.S. decreased even as the population grew. Although we are managing more waste today than we were 10 years ago, our emissions per ton have declined. In spite of this reduction, large volumes of material that could be recycled or composted are still being sent to landfills.
As North America’s leading environmental services provider, WM is committed to ensuring that all discarded material is handled in the most environmentally beneficial way, which often includes changing the behavior of industries and individuals. We are making progress by working across our supply chain to help develop new technologies and markets for post-consumer materials while educating consumers on how to dispose of all forms of waste.
Given currently available technology, many waste streams still cannot successfully or profitably be processed into new materials. To ensure that these forms of waste do not enter natural land areas or waterways, where they can cause harm as they degrade, we manage them safely and sustainably through our network of 263 active MSW landfill sites across the U.S. and Canada. Combined, these sites process over 100 million tons of waste annually.