Waste Management expands organics recycling

Waste Management, Inc. has acquired a majority equity interest in Garick LLC, a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of organic lawn and garden products that will accelerate the expansion of Waste Management’s organics recycling services and development of value added organic products.

Garick’s operations will add over one million tons of processing capacity as well as commercial and consumer organic products to Waste Management’s organics recycling business, which could lead to the development of composting and bagging facilities at Waste Management facilities throughout North America. This expansion of organic recycling services and products will be beneficial to the company’s residential, commercial and industrial customers seeking to convert their organic wastes into products such as compost, mulch and organic soil amendment.

The market for composting services is growing as consumers are increasingly demanding alternatives to conventional fertilizers for lawn and garden care, and municipalities and companies are seeking to increase the recycling of organic materials for beneficial use. Organic compost is considered a part of the green retail market, which has been growing at 20 percent annually.

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.

This investment complements Waste Management’s other investments in organic recycling. In January of this year, Waste Management invested in Harvest Power to expand its organics processing facilities across North America and to develop innovative anaerobic digestion technology to accelerate the decomposition of organic materials that may produce renewable energy. In 2009, the company also invested in Terrabon to generate renewable transportation fuels from organic waste via a unique MixAlco™ technology.