What’s in Store for Waste Management?

Ever since I was a small child I’ve wondered what happened to things when we threw them “away.”  When I figured it out, I did all I could to prevent the tossing out of anything.

From the little experience I’ve had in the waste management industry in general, I’ve learned that landfill disposal can be very profitable, recycling can be profitable when played right but has tighter margins, and radical ideas like composting may not add to the bottom line at all, except to make your tree-hugging stakeholders happy.  Knowing that, and knowing just how many of us there are producing tons of waste, I’ve always seen waste as a key problem area in need of attention and innovation.

It is for that reason that I have the good fortune of being able to attend Waste Management’s Industry Summit next week in Florida.  This will be a first time for me to travel for the sake of TriplePundit coverage.   I’ll get to hear from the company’s executive team on company strategy, recycling and renewable energy markets and other waste management industry trends.  Look out for my coverage later this week.

In the meantime, Waste Management has announced a strategic investment partnership with waste-to-biofuels company Enerkem Inc. Essentially Waste Management is investing in Enerkem’s most recent financing round, which will support the construction of a second waste-to-biofuels plant. Enerkem’s thermo-chemical gasification technology helps convert organic waste into biofuels, such as ethanol. This technology is able to process carbon-based feedstocks, such as sorted municipal waste, construction and demolition wood, as well as agricultural and forest residues.

What do you want to know about Waste Management’s strategic direction and decisions?

Ed Note: In the interest of full disclosure, WM has covered Amie’s travel expenses to the Florida summit

Amie runs Cobblestone Solutions, LLC, a consultancy focusing on business development, marketing, communications and strategy for mission driven companies. Previously, Amie served as Director of Business Development for Viv (a Bay Area environmental start-up), Program Manager for Social Venture Technology Group (a boutique consulting firm focused on measuring social and environmental impact), and Associate Consultant at Bain & Co (a global management consulting firm). She is particularly interested in innovations that reduce waste, altering consumer behavior for good, and leveraging the power of business to solve the climate crisis. You can read more from her on her blog, on GreenBiz.com, and on JustMeans.