Environmental Protection

Waste Management to Develop New Organics Facility in Central Florida

Waste Management Inc. is developing a new organics facility in Apopka, Fla. The facility will process yard, food and clean wood waste to create value added soil amendments.

"We want to extract the highest value possible from the materials we manage. Recycling organics through composting and the development of other technologies that may produce energy, transportation fuels or specialty chemicals enables us to generate more value from this specific material stream," said David McConnell, market area vice president for Waste Management. "With this facility, we will be able to offer customers dedicated organics processing capability as well as generate beneficially useful products such as nutrient-rich organic compost that can close the loop with local homes and businesses in Central Florida.

The Vista Landfill facility is part of Waste Management's expansion of its organics recycling solutions and key to developing new, high value-added end markets for organic materials and accelerating the growth of organics recycling across North America. Earlier this year, Waste Management announced the development of a new organics facility in Okeechobee, Florida. Last year, Waste Management acquired a majority equity interest in Garick LLC, a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of organic lawn and garden products, which has served to expand Waste Management's organics recycling capabilities to over 1 million tons. The company has also invested in new and emerging technologies to convert organic energy into transportation fuels, and ultimately, petrochemicals and chemicals.  

The market for composting services is growing as consumers are increasingly demanding alternatives to conventional fertilizers for lawn and garden care, and municipalities and companies are seeking to increase the recycling of organic materials for beneficial use. Organic compost is considered a part of the green retail market, which has been growing at 20 percent annually.

North America generates over 80 million tons of organic waste each year. In the United States, approximately a third of municipal solid waste is organic, including food, yard and wood waste. Approximately 65 percent of yard waste and 2.5 percent of food waste collected in the United States is currently diverted from disposal.

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