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Waste Management Launches Big Green Initiative

Date: October 10, 2007

Source: Waste Management

Waste Management Announces Environmental Initiative to Serve as Platform for Sustainable Growth

Investments in waste based energy, recycling, fuel efficiency, new waste technologies and protected habitats

Waste Management, North America's largest provider of waste and environmental services, today announced an environmental initiative to increase the value of the company's services to its customers while benefiting the environment.

The actions, to be unveiled by Waste Management CEO David P. Steiner at a luncheon and via webcast (see coordinates below) during the World Business Forum in New York, will span much of the Fortune 200 company's diversified services and will include investments in waste-based energy, recycling, fuel efficiency, new waste technologies and protected habitats. Specifically, the company plans to:

  • Increase waste-based energy production. Today, Waste Management creates enough energy for the equivalent of 1 million homes each year. By 2020 it expects to double that output, producing enough energy for the equivalent of more than 2 million homes.

  • Increase the volume of recyclable materials managed. Waste Management currently manages 8 million tons of recyclables; by 2020 it plans to capture enough of the increasing volumes to manage more than 20 million tons.

  • Direct its capital spending of up to $500 million per annum over a 10- year period to increase the fuel efficiency of its fleet by 15 percent and reduce fleet emissions by 15 percent by 2020. The company also expects to invest in technologies to enhance its waste business.

  • Preserve and restore wildlife habitat across North America. By 2020, Waste Management plans to increase by more than four times the number of facilities * from 24 to 100 * certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council, and increase the number of acres set aside for conservation and wildlife habitat to approximately 25,000. The company will report publicly on its progress in each of these areas on a regular basis.

The company believes these actions will further position Waste Management as the industry leader in waste and environmental services, while improving its overall impact to the environment and differentiating it from its competitors.

"Taking innovative steps to protect and enhance the environment has been a historically successful business approach for Waste Management," said Steiner. "By increasing our focus on the environment, we expect to better meet the needs of our customers, the communities we serve and our shareholders. We continue to evaluate all of these opportunities through the lens of maintaining our capital expenditures at approximately 10% of revenue and accomplishing our primary financial objectives, which include earnings growth, margin expansion and higher returns on invested capital."

A History of Environmental Leadership Waste Management has pioneered environmentally sustainable solutions to waste needs. In addition to being North America's largest recycler, the company is a leader in waste based energy technologies.

As a result of its efforts to date, Waste Management has achieved the following environmental progress:

  • Waste Management supplies enough waste based energy to replace over 14 million barrels of oil per year.

  • In 2006 alone, Waste Management recycled enough paper to save 41 million trees.

  • Waste Management's landfills provide more than 17,000 acres of protected wildlife habitat * the Wildlife Habitat Council has certified 24 of these sites. "With each person in North America producing four and a half pounds of garbage each day, we've become a leader in environmental stewardship," said Steiner. "We're a company that protects and enhances the environment through what we do each and every day. We believe that as we improve our environmental stewardship, our profitability will improve as well."

Mr. Steiner's speech during the World Business Forum outlining the company's environmental initiative can be seen via webcast at www.wm.com/wbf/. The speech will begin at 12:45 p.m. EDT. Please log onto the webcast by 12:30 p.m. EDT.

About Waste Management Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to- energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. More information about how Waste Management Thinks Green(R) can be found at www.wm.com/wm/thinkgreen.

The Company, from time to time, provides estimates of financial and other data, comments on expectations relating to future periods and makes statements of opinion, view or belief about current and future events. Statements relating to future events and performance are "forward-looking statements." The forward-looking statements that the Company makes are the Company's expectations, opinion, view or belief at the point in time of issuance but may change at some future point in time. By issuing estimates or making statements based on current expectations, opinions, views or beliefs, the Company has no obligation, and is not undertaking any obligation, to update such estimates or statements or to provide any other information relating to such estimates or statements. Outlined below are some of the risks that the Company faces and that could affect our financial statements for 2007 and beyond and that could cause actual results to be materially different from those that may be set forthin forward-looking statements made by the Company. However, they are not the only risks that the Company faces. There may be additional risks that we do not presently know or that we currently believe are immaterial which could also impair our business. We caution you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. The following are some of the risks that we face:

  • competition may negatively affect our profitability or cash flows, our price increases may have negative effects on volumes and price roll- backs and lower than average pricing to retain and attract customers may negatively affect our yield on base business;

  • we may be unable to maintain or expand margins if we are unable to control costs;

  • we may not be able to successfully execute or continue our operational or other margin improvement plans and programs, including pricing increases; passing on increased costs to our customers; reducing costs due to our operational improvement programs; and divesting under- performing assets and purchasing accretive businesses, any of which could negatively affect our revenues and margins;

  • weather conditions cause our quarter-to-quarter results to fluctuate, and extremely harsh weather or natural disasters may cause us to temporarily shut down operations;

  • inflation and resulting higher interest rates as well as other general and local economic conditions may negatively affect the volumes of waste generated, our financing costs and other expenses;

  • possible changes in our estimates of site remediation requirements, final capping, closure and post-closure obligations, compliance and regulatory developments may increase our expenses;

  • regulations, including regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions, may negatively impact our business by, among other things, restricting our operations, increasing costs of operations or requiring additional capital expenditures;

  • if we are unable to obtain and maintain permits needed to open, operate, and/or expand our facilities, our results of operations will be negatively impacted;

  • limitations or bans on disposal or transportation of out-of-state or cross-border waste or certain categories of waste can increase our expenses and reduce our revenues;

  • fuel price increases or fuel supply shortages may increase our expenses, including our tax expense if Section 45K credits are phased out due to continued high crude oil prices, or restrict our ability to operate;

  • increased costs to obtain financial assurance or the inadequacy of our insurance coverages could negatively impact our liquidity and increase our liabilities;

  • possible charges as a result of shut-down operations, uncompleted development or expansion projects or other events may negatively affect earnings;

  • fluctuating commodity prices may have negative effects on our operating revenues and expenses;

  • trends requiring recycling, waste reduction at the source and prohibiting the disposal of certain types of wastes could have negative effects on volumes of waste going to landfills and waste-to-energy facilities;

  • efforts by labor unions to organize our employees may increase operating expenses and we may be unable to negotiate acceptable collective bargaining agreements with those who have been chosen to be represented by unions, which could lead to union-initiated work stoppages, including strikes, which could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows;

  • negative outcomes of litigation or threatened litigation or governmental proceedings may increase our costs, limit our ability to conduct or expand our operations, or limit our ability to execute our business plans and strategies; problems with the operation of our current information technology or the development and deployment of new information systems may decrease our efficiencies and increase our costs to operate;

  • the adoption of new accounting standards or interpretations may cause fluctuations in reported quarterly results of operations or adversely impact our reported results of operations; and

  • we may reduce or eliminate our dividend or share repurchase program or we may need to raise additional capital if cash flows are less than we expect or capital expenditures are more than we expect, and we may not be able to obtain any needed capital on acceptable terms. Additional information regarding these and/or other factors that could materially affect results and the accuracy of the forward-looking statements contained herein may be found in Part I, Item 1 of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006.

For more information, visit: www.wm.com.

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