Environmental Protection

FMA Congresses and Waste Management Changing Attitudes: From Garbage Collection to Environmental Performance

We've all heard the old adage, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." Waste Management Inc. actually proved it with a study a couple of years ago that found the materials in U.S. landfills alone holds about $10 billion in value every year. North America's leading provider of comprehensive waste management solutions knows that we are a throw-away society and has perfected getting garbage to the landfills. Its challenge now is to get people to understand that realizing a zero-waste operation is an achievable goal and that there is value to the trash being thrown out, if we all just change our perspectives.

Waste Management is leading the charge in offering integrated sustainability solutions by helping companies look at waste streams from top to bottom and inside out. This shift in the way the company is positioning its business is a major turnaround for how it is viewed by its customers.

"We're transitioning our brand and want to be known as an environmental performance company that helps businesses meet their sustainability goals," said James Hall, Managing Director of Waste Management's Green Squad. "It's a challenge to have people understand that we're changing this industry and the way people look at their garbage."

One of the ways that they've been able to reach out to industry influencers is at the FMA Congresses' August event, where they were able to hold a workshop with attendees entitled, "Getting to Zero - and what it's like when you arrive," which Hall found to be very productive.

"We've had a really good experience with attendees," said Hall. "There has been great engagement and education with the people here that has allowed us to further our message."

Waste Management reports that its customers have so far realized savings of more than $60 million through zero-waste action plans, which can drive efficiency and profitability. It is this approach that attendees learned more about in the workshop.

"Networking was also a lot easier because it was arranged for us," Hall added. "It was a deliberate effort on the part of event organizers, so it was much easier to get engaged. That was a big differentiator from other events we've attended."

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