The 2019 update to our 2018 Sustainability report is available here.

The following site covers subject matter through 2018.

Better Operations


Fleet Optimization

Equipment Efficiencies

Our collection of Caterpillar D7Es is the largest
fleet of hybrid bulldozers in the industry.

While our “last generation” natural gas engine cuts smog-producing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 50 percent compared to the cleanest diesels, our 2017 near-zero-emission natural gas engine (ISL-G “NZ”) is the cleanest heavy-duty machine ever certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Waste Management helped pioneer this engine with Cummins, and it now provides a 95 percent reduction in NOx emissions compared to the current NOx standard and a 93 percent reduction in NOx compared to the latest diesel engine technology. Additionally, the new engine is already certified at 16 percent below the current GHG emission standard and is 12 percent below the 2027 standard.

We also have the largest fleet of hybrid bulldozers in the industry, operating 42 Caterpillar D7E’s at 39 different landfill locations across the country. The D7E’s rate of hourly fuel consumption is on average six gallons less than the D8 tractors it replaces, translating into annual savings of nearly one half million gallons of diesel fuel.

Volvo LX1 Electric Hybrid Wheel Loader

Wheel loaders are another electric hybrid machine we are exploring. In conjunction with Volvo Construction Equipment, we hosted two field tests for Volvo’s prototype LX1 electric hybrid wheel loader at our Redwood Landfill and Moreno Valley Transfer Station, both in California. Data was collected on the wheel loader’s fuel efficiency and GHG reduction against a conventional machine. The LX1 achieved approximately a 50 percent and 45 percent fuel efficiency improvement on average, at the Redwood and Moreno Valley sites respectively.

Driving Fewer Miles

Efficient logistics are an effective way to reduce fleet emissions. The logic is simple: a more efficient route means fewer miles traveled, and that translates into reduced fuel consumption and associated emissions. Since 2017, Waste Management’s fleet has reduced miles driven by 2 percent, which equates to an approximate 8.9 million fewer miles a year. Optimizing routes not only reduces our environmental impact, but also increases the quality of service. As we’ve driven fewer miles, we’ve improved the number of stops missed for both commercial and residential customers.

Optimizing Logistics

Waste Management’s Routing & Logistics organization was established to create route optimization and logistics capabilities within the Collection Operations. We recognize that to be a world class leader in the industry, it is very important to have a centralized organization where route optimization techniques and processes are standardized, refined and deployed. It’s proven to be a valuable and consistent method for managing the safety, efficiency and overall quality of our routes across the enterprise.

The Routing & Logistics team is made up of 12 Corporate engineers and 40 local area logistics resources. Together, the team partners to create comprehensive logistics plans that identify routing opportunities and key operational metrics. Logistics plans are reviewed regularly with the local area leadership to ensure routing efforts are addressing priority opportunities.

In 2017, we did 150 reroutes in 80 locations. Our plan is to continue to route the top 20 percent of our commercial and residential routes each year.

Overall mile reduction reduces the exposure to risk for drivers. A well-planned route reduces potentially dangerous driving behavior by elimination of U-turns and backing and reduced left turns. A well-planned route executed consistently each day provides the driver with a steady routine that keeps safety in the forefront.

Reroutes provide the opportunity to make changes to service days, allowing Waste Management to service customers on the requested service days and times. Servicing customers on the correct day at the correct time provides an improved customer experience.

Credit for much of this progress goes to our Service Delivery Optimization (SDO) initiative, which helps us streamline routes. Under a “Safety, Service, Savings” motto, 95 percent of collection vehicles are SDO certified. SDO technology includes DriveCam®, a video recorder mounted on the windshield of collection vehicles that is automatically activated by sudden movements. This helps us to coach drivers on fuel-saving driving techniques, such as proper acceleration, deceleration and efficient speeds. Similarly, an on-board computing system enables drivers to use a tablet for logistics support and route optimization. This is one of several types of software that we utilize to enhance driver safety, communication and route optimization.

Our fleet organization has also taken the next step in mobile technology by launching its first mobile app in 2017. The app provides a number of benefits that include allowing fleet managers who are responsible for multiple districts to get a real-time view of shop operations when they are not physically present; a “current labor” tab that provides a communications link to shop technicians and updates on standard repair times; a “unit availability” tab that lets users know at a glance if the district has enough assets to serve customers; and a “customer service interruption events” tab that reveals downtime opportunities.

We’ve also instituted an anti-idling program to reduce fuel consumption. Through this program we are ensuring that all collection vehicles made since 1998 can verify that idle shutdown timers are programmed to five minutes, in accordance with the American Transportation Research Institute’s Compendium of Idling Regulations.

Our Bagster® service continues to eliminate the need to send a truck to deliver an empty container to customers by offering compact containers for sale at more than 4,000 retail locations across the United States and Canada. Bagster is strong enough to hold up to 3,300 pounds of debris or waste, making it suitable for anything from home renovations to disaster cleanup. When customers are finished with their projects, Waste Management can collect up to 15 full Bagsters on a single, efficient collection route.