Town Hall Q&A
Read answers to employee questions
Q: What effect will the Affordable Care
Act have on our benefits?
A: For most full-time employees, the short answer is that WM will continue to offer quality,
affordable coverage to you and your family. In addition, because the company pays for 80 percent
of your coverage, WM’s health plan will be significantly less expensive than what you would get
on a government exchange.
The new law also means that WM will cover more services and more employees. However, this
will come with an increased cost for both WM and its workforce. Annual Enrollment begins this
week, so now is the time to review your benefits and to craft the right plan for you and your family.
Go to mywmtotalrewards.com to get started.
Q: Will WM reinstitute the tuition
A: While WM will not reintroduce the tuition reimbursement program — or LEAP — in 2014,
the company does value leadership development. That’s why classes and programs are available
through both WMU and beyond to support its employees’ educational goals. To encourage
development further, WM now has the College Marketplace, where we’ve partnered with colleges
and secondary schools to provide employees (and in some cases their families) with tuition discounts,
scholarships, grants, etc. For more info, visit beneplace.com/mywmextras.
Q: As part of orientation, would you consider
having managers go out to lunch with a new
employee? It would break the ice.
A: It’s important to not only understand your own role within WM, but the broader business and how it
operates. Getting to know your coworkers certainly helps to accomplish that. While each Area conducts
orientations slightly differently, your manager should always serve as a key resource for learning about
WM and the roles within your department. We encourage you to speak with your manager and/or local
HR representative about your idea.
Q: Can our customer service system
(MAS) send invoices electronically?
A: This is a good suggestion and the MAS team will add it to the IT enhancements list. Currently, MAS
is not programmed to send out electronic invoices. However, WM does use a third party to send electronic
invoices to customers who have elected to go paperless. Signing up for this is easy and can be done by
going to wm.com/paperless and providing a valid email address.
Q: Could our delivery drivers take before
and after pictures of the garbage pen areas?
That way we can avoid getting blamed for
A: Great idea. While we don’t have a process like this in place, we’ll advance the recommendation,
since it would alleviate a lot of unnecessary complaints and insurance claims.
Q: Could WM sell advertisements on the sides of
our trucks, much like public transportation does?
A: We explored this in the past and have even gotten requests to put ads on our trucks. Ultimately, though,
we made the strategic decision to maintain our trucks as WM branded only. That’s because, according to
our research, the media value of the branding on our trucks is worth more than $200 million. In addition,
many customers call us first because our trucks are so recognizable. Ads might change that.
Q: Why don’t we offer military discounts?
A: As you can imagine, there are dozens of deserving groups to whom companies could extend discounts,
like members of the military, seniors, veterans, low-income families, etc. In some cases, WM does work
with cities to offer these kinds of discounts — it depends on the contract.
Keep in mind that WM supports the military in other ways beyond discounts, like through corporate donations
to veterans’ organizations and through our continued emphasis on hiring men and women who have served
in the military. In fact, more than 3,600 of our employees are either a military veteran or an active
guard/reserve member, making us a top military-friendly employer.
Q: What are the future plans for the remaining
A: Servicing our healthcare customers to help them meet their sustainability goals is an important objective.
To accomplish this, WM’s Healthcare segment has merged with WM’s core operations and collections areas.
Healthcare sales has been incorporated into each Area, while national healthcare accounts are part of the Public
Sector marketing segment. In addition, program managers who used to fall under Healthcare Solutions are now
part of our Sustainability Services business, where they help customers develop solutions around managing
medical waste, municipal solid waste, recycling and other streams.
Q: Recycling commodity prices are still low. How
long are we going to remain on this path?
A: Throughout the year, despite lower commodity prices, WM reported strong earnings results and is on target to
achieve its financial objectives for the year. To help improve our recycling business, aggressive plans are being
implemented to compensate for our increased costs to process recyclable materials, as well as low commodity
prices. Be sure to read David Steiner’s CEO Updates to get the latest information on WM’s strategy.