Waste Management Acquires City Wide Recycling, Grows Recycling Services for Builders

Jan 08, 2010, 09:00 ET from Waste Management, Inc.

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Waste Management (NYSE: WM) has expanded the recycling services it provides to construction and demolition contractors by acquiring City Wide Recycling LLC, the companies today announced.

City Wide Recycling developed southeastern Wisconsin's largest, and only automated, processing facility for recyclable wastes collected at construction and demolition job sites, said John Kelly, Midwest group recycling director for Waste Management.

The plant, at 10700 W. Brown Deer Rd. in Milwaukee, receives mixed loads of waste from job sites, sorting the materials by type and preparing them for shipment to manufacturers that can use the reclaimed plaster, wood, masonry, plumbing, wiring, soil, rock, cardboard, plastics and other materials. It began operating in October 2006.

"Wisconsin contractors are committed to recycling, and Waste Management is committed to helping our state build green," Kelly said. "Promoting building site recycling is a natural extension of the services we provide to other transporters and our own customers."

The companies closed a transaction on Dec. 31, 2009 through which Waste Management acquired City Wide Recycling's assets. City Wide founders John Hansen and Eric Konik will become consultants to Waste Management, helping the company grow its construction-sector recycling services around the country, Kelly said.

Construction and demolition work produces about 1.4 million tons of debris annually, nearly 29% of the total waste produced statewide, according to a 2006 report by the Wisconsin Governor's Task Force on Waste Materials Recovery and Disposal.

Environmentally sensitive contractors are fueling booming growth in recycling at construction sites in southeastern Wisconsin, said Kelly, and those companies are recycling voluntarily. Wisconsin laws mandating segregation of materials such as cardboard and beverage containers don't require recovery of wood, cement and other waste types typically produced in large volumes during building and demolition work.

Contractors' recycling initiatives are in turn driven by a growing demand for green building practices among the institutions and homeowners purchasing building services, Kelly noted. For example, on Jan. 1 the state of Wisconsin began requiring construction contractors it hires to recycle at least 50% of the waste produced during construction of state building projects of $5 million or more and all demolition projects.

Some 61% of contractors rate waste management plans as the second most important aspect of green building, just behind energy efficiency, according to a November 2009 study conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction with support from Waste Management. The study found that waste diversion activity is increasing despite the recession, with 20% of contractors diverting half of their construction waste on 60% or more of their projects, and 25% expecting to do so within the year.

Waste Management is North America's largest recycler, handling about 8 million tons of recyclables a year. The company has set a goal of recycling triple that volume by 2020.

"We're working to increase recycling by continually developing new opportunities that we can offer our customers," Kelly said, pointing to initiatives such as Waste Management's recycling of mixed paper from residences and investments in electronics and fluorescent lamp recycling and new technologies that sort mixed recycling loads.

In 2008, Waste Management opened a $23 million plant in Germantown to sort mixed loads of recyclable containers, paper and cardboard collected by Waste Management and other transporters from homes and businesses in eastern Wisconsin. The new technology can boost recycling 20% or more by providing a more convenient way to separate recyclables from garbage at home and in the workplace.

About Waste Management

Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. For more information about Waste Management please see www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.

SOURCE Waste Management, Inc.