Waste Management expects to invest US$200 million in recycling infrastructure in 2022, bringing the company’s investment in new and upgraded recycling facilities to more than US$700 million since 2018.
Over the past two years, the company has opened new materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in Chicago; Salt Lake City; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Sun Valley, California. By 2023, Waste Management plans to outfit 95% of its residential recycling facilities with updated recycling technology.
“As consumer-packaged goods companies continue to set aggressive 2025 and 2030 goals for recycled content — in many cases approaching 50% — solutions need to scale, especially related to plastics, as plastic capture must grow five times to meet these targets,” said Tara Hemmer, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer at Waste Management. “We are making great progress unlocking this supply, increasing overall recycled plastic volume by 25% since 2019 and this will continue to expand. These enhancements will ensure recyclables are efficiently sorted and sold to high-quality end markets, meeting the strong demand for recycled content material in new products.”
Waste Management also expects to upgrade much of its remaining recycling facility network. MRFs in Houston; Cleveland; Woodinville, Washington; and Elkridge, Maryland, are being fully renovated, and 29 existing MRFs have already been or are currently being outfitted with enhanced technology as well as supplemental capacity.