MARCH 2011

Waste Management develops new organics facility in Florida

Waste Management, Inc. (WM) is developing a new organics facility in Okeechobee, Florida. The facility will process yard, food and clean wood waste to create value-added soil amendments, as well as bagged lawn and garden products.

The facility, located adjacent to WM’s existing Okeechobee Landfill operation, is the company’s first dedicated organics composting site in Florida. The eight acre site will offer organics recycling services to the South Florida region with operations expected to begin in the spring of 2011.

“We want to extract the highest value possible from the materials we manage. Recycling organics through composting and other technologies that may produce energy, transportation fuels or specialty chemicals, enables us to generate more value from this specific material stream,” said Tim Hawkins, market area vice president for WM.

“With this facility, we will be able to offer southern Florida customers dedicated organics processing capability as well as generate beneficially useful products such as nutrient-rich organic compost that can close the loop with local homes and businesses in South Florida.”

The Okeechobee facility is part of WM’s expansion of its organics recycling solutions and key to developing new, high value-added end markets for organic materials and accelerating the growth of organics recycling across North America. WM recently acquired a majority equity interest in Garick LLC, a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of organic lawn and garden products, which has served to expand WM’s organics recycling capabilities to over one million tons. The company has also invested in new and emerging technologies to convert organic energy into transportation fuels, and ultimately, petrochemicals and chemicals.

North America generates over 80 million tons of organic waste each year. In the United States, approximately a third of municipal solid waste is organic, including food, yard and wood waste. Approximately 65 percent of yard waste and 2.5 percent of food waste collected in the United States is currently diverted from disposal.