May 2, 2022 By WM
Rounding out Earth Month, WM plans to invest $825 million in its renewable energy footprint from 2022-2025 by expanding its renewable natural gas (RNG) infrastructure.
With the benefit of such investments, WM’s network of RNG plants, landfill gas-to-electricity plants and other beneficial use projects are estimated to enable the company to provide enough renewable energy to supply the equivalent of one million homes across North America and help WM fuel its entire natural gas fleet with RNG by 2026. WM’s accelerated RNG investment positions WM to outpace its original goal of fuelling 50 percent of its natural gas fleet by 2025.
Today, WM is the leader in beneficial reuse of landfill gas, with a growing network of RNG plants and the most landfill gas-to-electricity plants in North America. Landfill gas is captured and turned into renewable electricity and fuel at 144 of the landfills WM owns or operates. WM services – including landfill gas and recycling – avoid more than three times more greenhouse gas emissions than its operations generate. The company creates five times more renewable electricity from its landfills than is used in its operations.
“We are committed to sustainability through our actions and investments and are proud to transform yesterday’s waste to fuel our future with renewable energy,” said Tara Hemmer, chief sustainability officer, WM. “As an end-to-end vertically integrated environmental services provider, WM is uniquely positioned to expand our RNG footprint within our business. Renewable energy from WM landfill sites is an excellent source of alternative energy that beneficially uses existing landfill gas for communities. In addition, it provides an opportunity to close the loop with WM’s natural gas fleet, which is the largest fleet of its kind in North America. With this new investment, we are excited to increase projected production at WM-operated RNG facilities by approximately 600 percent in the next four years.”
Today, WM has 16 plants across North America through a mix of WM plants and third-party developers. By 2026, the company plans to expand its RNG network with 17 new RNG projects in several areas across North America including: Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania in the U.S. as well as Quebec and Ontario in Canada. The increase in RNG production WM expects from the new investments will lead to displacement of approximately 1.3 million metric tons of CO₂ greenhouse gas emissions by 2026, the equivalent to 3 billion miles driven by an average gasoline-powered passenger vehicle.
WM expects RNG plants in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Springdale, Ark., to come online in 2022.
“We appreciate this innovation that derives value from waste, and we’re grateful to WM for this unique effort,” said Mayor David Holt, Oklahoma City. “Investments like this new plant are ultimately positive for our local environment, and a fitting thing to celebrate during Earth Month.”
WM seeks solutions to improve energy efficiency in its facilities by implementing a range of technologies and best practices that reduce environmental impacts, improve operational efficiencies and achieve cost savings. In addition, the company continues to support renewable energy efforts to increase broader adoption by others, including ultra-low-carbon intensity dairy projects, where methane gas is captured from dairy operations to fuel WM’s fleet and is piloting zero-emission electric trucks at multiple sites to facilitate commercialization of the technology. WM also hosts 100 megawatts of wind power and 53.9 megawatts of solar capacity at its closed landfills.