Waste Management expands renewable energy program to develop landfill gas to energy projects



    
    Dedicated team to work with private and municipal landfill owners to
    develop untapped landfill gas resources
    

    HOUSTON, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:   WMI) today
announced that it plans to use its expertise as North America's largest
developer of landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) projects to partner with private
and municipal landfill owners to develop untapped landfill gas resources
throughout Canada and the U.S. Waste Management is the first in the waste
management industry to launch such a program.
    Waste Management's third-party LFGTE development team recently broke
ground on a LFGTE facility at the municipal owned Madison County landfill near
Syracuse, New York. There, Waste Management will develop a 1.4-megawatt LFGTE
facility.
    "Landfill gas to energy is a viable option for Canadian jurisdictions,"
said Paul Pabor, vice president of renewable energy. "We've had tremendous
success with our Sainte-Sophie landfill site in Quebec that saved a local
paper mill from being shut down in 2005 by supplying 75 per cent of its energy
needs. The site reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 540,000 tons a year - the
equivalent of removing about 120,000 cars from the roads.
    "It is important for the rest of Canada to follow the lead of
Sainte-Sophie and many U.S. jurisdictions who have embraced landfill gas to
energy technology."
    Landfill gas is an important source of waste-based, renewable energy that
can generate distributed base load power and reduce reliance on fossil fuels
like coal and oil.
    There are currently 445 LFGTE sites in operation across the U.S., but the
U.S. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) has identified 535
additional sites (out of 1,700 total operating landfills) as promising
candidates for LFGTE facilities. Fully developed, LMOP estimates these
additional landfills could produce over 1,200 megawatts of electricity, enough
to power more than 1 million homes.
    Waste Management is unique in the industry with its in-house expertise
providing landfill gas management, power plant construction and operation and
energy marketing. Its Renewable Energy group provides full service support to
municipal and private landfill operators that lack the resources to develop
LFGTE projects.
    "Waste Management pioneered landfill gas to energy technology over two
decades ago, and we operate more of these facilities than any other company in
North America," said Pabor. "As the largest operator of landfills, we
understand how landfills operate and how best to leverage this valuable
resource."
    Last year the company set an ambitious goal to develop up to 60 LFGTE
projects at its landfills by 2012. To date the company has completed or
launched the development of more than a dozen projects across North America
including an LFGTE facility at its Ottawa Waste Management facility. The
company is planning a LFGTE facility at its Warwick Landfill near Watford,
Ontario and a possible facility at its landfill near Petrolia Ontario. The
program to develop partnerships with other private and municipally owned
landfills furthers Waste Management's commitment to generate waste based
renewable power.
    Landfill gas, produced when microorganisms break down organic material in
the landfill, is composed of approximately 50-60 percent methane and 40-50
percent carbon dioxide. At most landfills, the methane is simply burned off.
LFGTE facilities use methane gas to power generators offsetting power
otherwise generated from fossil fuel.
    Waste Management is North America's largest operator of LFGTE facilities,
with renewable energy projects at 112 of its landfills. Upon completion of the
60-project expansion begun in 2007, Waste Management expects to generate more
than 700 megawatts of energy from its landfills, enough to power 700,000
homes.

    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. To learn more visit www.wm.com or
www.thinkgreen.com.

    The Company, from time to time, provides estimates of financial and other
data, comments on expectations relating to future periods and makes statements
of opinion, view or belief about current and future events. Statements
relating to future events and performance are "forward-looking statements."
The forward-looking statements that the Company makes are the Company's
expectations, opinion, view or belief at the point in time of issuance but may
change at some future point in time. By issuing estimates or making statements
based on current expectations, opinions, views or beliefs, the Company has no
obligation, and is not undertaking any obligation, to update such estimates or
statements or to provide any other information relating to such estimates or
statements. Outlined below are some of the risks that the Company faces and
that could affect our financial statements for 2008 and beyond and that could
cause actual results to be materially different from those that may be set
forth in forward-looking statements made by the Company. However, they are not
the only risks that the Company faces. There may be additional risks that we
do not presently know or that we currently believe are immaterial which could
also impair our business. We caution you not to place undue reliance on any
forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. The following
are some of the risks that we face:

    
    -   competition may negatively affect our profitability or cash flows,
        our price increases may have negative effects on volumes and price
        roll-backs and lower than average pricing to retain and attract
        customers may negatively affect our yield on base business;
    -   we may be unable to maintain or expand margins if we are unable to
        control costs or raise prices;
    -   we may not be able to successfully execute or continue our
        operational or other margin improvement plans and programs, including
        pricing increases; passing on increased costs to our customers;
        reducing costs due to our operational improvement programs; and
        divesting under-performing assets and purchasing accretive
        businesses, any of which could negatively affect our revenue and
        margins;
    -   weather conditions cause our quarter-to-quarter results to fluctuate,
        and harsh weather or natural disasters may cause us to temporarily
        shut down operations;
    -   inflation, higher interest rates and other general and local economic
        conditions may negatively affect the volumes of waste generated, our
        financing costs and other expenses;
    -   possible changes in our estimates of costs for site remediation
        requirements, final capping, closure and post-closure obligations,
        compliance and regulatory requirements may increase our expenses;
    -   regulations may negatively impact our business by, among other
        things, restricting our operations, increasing costs of operations or
        requiring additional capital expenditures;
    -   climate change legislation, including possible limits on carbon
        emissions, may negatively impact our results of operations by
        increasing expenses related to tracking, measuring and reporting our
        greenhouse emissions and increasing operating costs and capital
        expenditures that may be required to comply with any such
        legislation;
    -   if we are unable to obtain and maintain permits needed to open,
        operate, and/or expand our facilities, our results of operations will
        be negatively impacted;
    -   limitations or bans on disposal or transportation of out-of-state,
        cross-border, or certain categories of waste, as well as mandates on
        the disposal of waste, can increase our expenses and reduce our
        revenue;
    -   fuel price increases or fuel supply shortages may increase our
        expenses or restrict our ability to operate;
    -   increased costs to obtain financial assurance or the inadequacy of
        our insurance coverages could negatively impact our liquidity and
        increase our liabilities;
    -   possible charges as a result of shut-down operations, uncompleted
        development or expansion projects or other events may negatively
        affect earnings;
    -   fluctuating commodity prices may have negative effects on our
        operating revenue and expenses;
    -   trends toward recycling, waste reduction at the source and
        prohibiting the disposal of certain types of wastes could have
        negative effects on volumes of waste going to landfills and waste-to-
        energy facilities;
    -   efforts by labor unions to organize our employees may increase
        operating expenses and we may be unable to negotiate acceptable
        collective bargaining agreements with those who have been chosen to
        be represented by unions, which could lead to labor disruptions,
        including strikes and lock-outs, which could adversely affect our
        results of operations and cash flows;
    -   negative outcomes of litigation or threatened litigation or
        governmental proceedings may increase our costs, limit our ability to
        conduct or expand our operations, or limit our ability to execute our
        business plans and strategies;
    -   problems with the operation of our current information technology or
        the development and deployment of new information systems could
        decrease our efficiencies, increase our costs, or lead to an
        impairment charge;
    -   the adoption of new accounting standards or interpretations may cause
        fluctuations in reported quarterly results of operations or adversely
        impact our reported results of operations; and
    -   we may reduce or eliminate our dividend or share repurchase program
        or we may need to raise additional capital if cash flows are less
        than we expect or capital expenditures or acquisition spending are
        more than we expect, and we may not be able to obtain any needed
        capital on acceptable terms.
    

    Additional information regarding these and/or other factors that could
materially affect results and the accuracy of the forward-looking statements
contained herein may be found in Part I, Item 1 of the Company's Annual Report
on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007.





For further information:

For further information: Waste Management, Inc., Wes Muir, (905)
595-3345, Web site: http://www.wm.com

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Waste Management, Inc.

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