Waste Management Recycle America Facilities Achieve a Top Industry Designation for Environmental Quality, Protection, Health and Safety and Security in Electronics Recycling

All seven North American eCycling service centers attain prestigious Basel Action Network (BAN) e-Stewards® certification.

HOUSTON — November 14, 2011 — WM Recycle America, L.L.C., a subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM), one of the largest waste services and residential recycling companies in North America, today announced that all seven of its eCycling facilities have earned certification to the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment®. By operating seven e-Stewards-certified eCycling facilities, WM Recycle America further strengthens its position as a leader in recycling services. The e-Stewards® certification program, created by the Basel Action Network (BAN), formally recognizes electronics recyclers that adhere to BAN’s stringent environmentally and socially responsible practices when recovering e-waste containing hazardous components.

Older electronics may contain potentially harmful materials such as lead, mercury and cadmium, but also contain valuable materials that can be reclaimed for use in new devices. To help ensure proper handling of this e-waste, this certification requires participating companies to implement an environmental, health and safety management system that tracks materials and helps reduce emissions and worker exposure during electronics recycling operations. Companies must exercise due diligence to help ensure safe and accountable handling of e-waste throughout the recycling chain, both domestically and internationally.

“Residents and businesses demand more recycling services and options. Waste Management meets those needs with a myriad of recycling solutions. Recycling is a strategic part of our business portfolio and we are at the leading edge of pulling value from the recycling material waste stream. We view waste not as garbage, but instead as a valuable resource,” said Pat DeRueda, president of WM Recycle America. “We see eCycling as a fundamental service, and e-Stewards certification is independent validation of our commitment to responsible eCycling. By operating e-Stewards-certified eCycling facilities, Waste Management is able to provide our customers with environmentally conscientious recycling services.”

e-Stewards certification is the only e-recycler certification endorsed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA, the Electronics TakeBack Coalition and 68 other environmental organizations.  It has also drawn the public support of major corporate e-Stewards Enterprises, including Alcoa, Samsung, Bank of America, Capital One Financial Corp., LG Electronics and Wells Fargo.

The e-Stewards standard prevents the export of e-waste containing hazardous components to developing countries and does not allow the use of prison labor to manage toxic e-waste, or the landfilling or incineration of toxic e-waste.  It also requires strict protection of customer’s data and occupational health and safety controls to protect workers involved in the recycling of this material. 

 “Certification of WM Recycle America’s seven eCycling service centers is a very important addition to the e-Stewards U.S. footprint, putting responsible e-recycling in reach of many more individuals and organizations,” said BAN Executive Director Jim Puckett. “WM Recycle America’s eCycling certifications also support their partnership with LG, the first global e-Stewards Enterprise having committed to using certified e-Stewards recyclers to ensure their corporate asset management and take-back efforts are globally sustainable.”

Electronics recycling is a fast-growing industry that creates high-paying, green jobs and boosts the U.S. and global economy.  According to the 2011 Electronics Recycling Industry Survey®, the U.S. electronics recycling industry continues to show tremendous growth and strong domestic capacity.  The $5-billion-a-year industry, which employs more than 30,000 full-time workers in the U.S., collected and processed over 3.5 million tons of used and end-of-life electronics equipment in 2010, up from 1.8 million tons in 2009.  

WM Recycle America’s adoption of the e-Steward standard is a continuation of the company’s dedication to stringent e-waste processing standards. In 2002, the company developed and published its own electronics-recycling stewardship pledge to protect workers and the environment. Additionally, to encourage consumers to dispose of electronic devices in an environmentally sound manner, in 2007 WM Recycle America established an extensive network of drop-off locations.  WM Recycle America has also joined forces with LG Electronics USA and other manufacturers in comprehensive programs that enable consumers to recycle their unwanted LG, Zenith and GoldStar branded devices at no cost. Becoming a certified e-Stewards recycler supports Waste Management’s ongoing sustainability program, particularly its commitment to manage 20 million tons of recyclables by 2020.

In support of America Recycles Day held on November 15, Waste Management is hosting a series of activities nationwide, including facility tours, educational efforts with Keep America Beautiful and a partner event with Anheuser- Busch at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. To learn more and take the recycling pledge, visit www.americarecyclesday.org. Please also share the creative ways in which you are recycling on our Facebook Page or Twitter handle (@WasteManagement).

About Waste Management

Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is one of the leading providers of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also one of the largest residential recyclers and a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill-gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.

WM Recycle America, L.L.C. is a subsidiary of Waste Management and is one of the largest recyclers in North America. WM Recycle America’s business lines include processing many types of consumer-generated recyclables and finding the best markets for the recyclable commodities produced. In its capacity of providing processing and marketing services, WM Recycle America offers a wide variety of recycling options for municipal, manufacturing, commercial and residential customers.