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Environmental Justice

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The U.S. 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.” Waste Management continues to engage on this important issue as it pertains to our industry. We have utilized tools and data, including the 2010 US Census (most recent at the time of publication), U.S EPA’s Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping (EJSCREEN) tool and ESRI Business Analyst data to produce a scatter plot and complementary table showing the distribution of all of Waste Management’s operations, excluding office space, in the communities that we service.

Methodology

Our review of environmental justice as it relates to placement of Waste Management facilities began in 2010, based on reviews by environmental justice experts. Guided by these recommendations, we have updated facility numbers and types, and utilized newly available data tools, such as the U.S. EPA EJSCREEN. For our 2020 reporting, we have produced an updated map that uses the most recent data at the time of publication (June 2020) and the most up-to-date tools available.

To pull the data, we created a 5-kilometer (km) radius around each of Waste Management’s operations, excluding offices. Using ESRI Business Analyst 2019 data, we appended the population, race and income data based on the 2010 Census Block points (Census Block centroids) that fall within 5 km radius. We then appended the state data for the same demographic criteria. For the race comparison, we divided the white population by the total population, both at the 5-km level and the state level. For the income comparison, we divided the percentage of households below the poverty level at 5-km by the state percentage of households below the poverty level (using Census ACS data provided by ESRI Business Analyst). Then, we divided the 5-km percentage minority/income by the state percentage minority/income to determine the local to state ratio for the race and income metrics. Additional information and definitions of terminology including “income” and “minority” is provided by US EPA EJSCREEN.

Scatter plot showing the distribution of all of Waste Management’s operations, excluding office space, in the communities that we service.
Higher Income % Lower Minority % Higher Income % Higher Minority % Lower Income % Lower Minority % Lower Income % Higher Minority %
Autoclave Higher Income % / Lower Minority %: 0% Higher Income % / Higher Minority %: 0% Lower Minority % / Lower Minority %: 80% Lower Minority % / Higher Minority %: 20%
Organics Higher Income % / Lower Minority %: 54% Higher Income % / Higher Minority %: 2% Lower Minority % / Lower Minority %: 22% Lower Minority % / Higher Minority %: 22%
Gas-To-Energy Higher Income % / Lower Minority %: 56% Higher Income % / Higher Minority %: 13% Lower Minority % / Lower Minority %: 17% Lower Minority % / Higher Minority %: 15%
Hauling & Satellite Locations Higher Income % / Lower Minority %: 32% Higher Income % / Higher Minority %: 25% Lower Minority % / Lower Minority %: 12% Lower Minority % / Higher Minority %: 31%
Lamptracker Processing Higher Income % / Lower Minority %: 25% Higher Income % / Higher Minority %: 0% Lower Minority % / Lower Minority %: 25% Lower Minority % / Higher Minority %: 50%
Landfill Higher Income % / Lower Minority %: 49% Higher Income % / Higher Minority %: 16% Lower Minority % / Lower Minority %: 15% Lower Minority % / Higher Minority %: 20%
Material Recovery Facilities Higher Income % / Lower Minority %: 22% Higher Income % / Higher Minority %: 11% Lower Minority % / Lower Minority %: 19% Lower Minority % / Higher Minority %: 47%
Transfer Stations Higher Income % / Lower Minority %: 32% Higher Income % / Higher Minority %: 19% Lower Minority % / Lower Minority %: 15% Lower Minority % / Higher Minority %: 33%

Figures may not total 100% due to rounding.

Areas of Dense Population

Waste Management engaged with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) on consensus reporting standards for waste facilities, and using GIS-based systems to understand community concerns and potential impacts. SASB determined that the most useful measure across sectors would be mapping potential air impacts from facilities in urban areas. The below map provides the locations of active and closed landfills that Waste Management owns or operates, with urbanized areas shaded in green. Urbanized areas are defined as areas with a population of at least 50,000 people. The table shows the number of active and closed landfills within an urbanized area, within 5 kilometers (km) of an urbanized area, and outside a 5-km perimeter of an urbanized area.

Landfills in Urbanized Areas
Urbanization Status Total
Within an urbanized area 39 active, 79 closed 118
Within 5 km of an urbanized area 78 active, 59 closed 137
Outside a 5 km perimeter of an urbanized area 125 active, 58 closed 183
This map provides the locations of active and closed landfills that Waste Management owns or operates and highlights urbanized areas.

Scatter plot showing the distribution of all of Waste Management’s operations, excluding office space, in the communities that we service.