Waste Management, Inc. is launching a new organics facility in Apopka, Florida that 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,” David McConnell, market area vice president for Waste Management, said in conjunction with the announcement. “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.
Such initiatives help address municipal solid waste challenge. North America generates over 80 million tons of organic waste each year, and in the United States, approximately a third of municipal solid waste is organic material such as food, yard and wood waste. Around 65 percent of yard waste and 2.5 percent of food waste currently collected in the United States is diverted from disposal.
The move is part of Waste Management’s strategy to develop new, high value-added end markets for organic materials while accelerating the growth of organics recycling across North America. In 2010, Waste Management acquired a majority equity interest in Garick LLC, a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of organic lawn and garden products. Waste Management subsequently announced in January 2011 the development of a new organics facility in Okeechobee, Florida. As well, the company has invested in new and emerging technologies to convert organic energy into transportation fuels, and ultimately, petrochemicals and chemicals.
Waste Management emphasizes that the market for composting services is growing. While consumers are increasingly demanding alternatives to conventional fertilizers for lawn and garden care, municipalities and companies are seeking to increase the recycling of organic materials for beneficial use and landfill diversion.