Waste Management Inc. and a Dirty Agenda

Garbage collection company Waste Management Inc. is using political lobbying and campaign contributions to lift bans on yard waste in landfills, discouraging composting.

| November/December 2012

  • Compost
    Since 2010, Waste Management has lobbied to lift bans on yard waste in landfills.
    Photo By Diego Grez

  • Compost

Managing America’s landfills is a dirty job, but for $13 billion a year somebody will gladly do it. That “somebody” is Waste Management Inc., the largest garbage collection company in the United States. Like any publicly-traded corporation, Waste Management is compelled to seek profits, creating a conflict of interest in a society that desperately needs to cut back on trash.

In 2008, when the recession caused consumption to slow, the amount of rubbish at the curb fell for the first time on record. While most would consider this cause for celebration, Waste Management Inc. was not as thrilled, reports Jason Mark for Earth Island Journal (Autumn 2012). In 2010, the company increased campaign contributions and political lobbying in Florida and Georgia, two of three states that have lifted bans on yard waste in landfills since 2009.

Although a spokesman for Waste Management claims the move “is about enabling community choice,” critics see it as an unabashed attempt to increase demand for landfill space and the profits that follow. The company has been trying to brand itself as a friend of the earth with its slogan “Think Green,” but Mark Woodall of the Georgia Sierra Club told Mark, “The only green they have in mind is green money.”

1/12/2018 8:28:53 AM

If we are going to compost, we will compost regardless of what government does. Those that do not compost would not do it regardless of what Waste Management does. Do not blame big corporations because you are too sorry to compost.

Brandon McGinnity
11/11/2012 4:46:23 PM

Just another reason for me to shake my head at Florida. I gotta get outta here...

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter

click me