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Wildlife Habitat Council Recertifies Work at Orchard Ridge

Nov. 26, 2012

MENOMONEE FALLS AND GERMANTOWN, Wis. — Nov. 26, 2012 — The Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) has presented Waste Management’s Orchard Ridge Landfill with its Wildlife at WorkSM recertification.

Orchard Ridge garnered the recognition for habitat protection at a Germantown property adjacent to the disposal site in Menomonee Falls. The certification is part of 134 total certified programs for Waste Management at 116 sites company-wide.

“Wildlife Habitat Council members continue to raise the bar for conservation success. We connect corporations, conservation and community to create habitat and increase biodiversity. The programs being honored today are the best examples of our model at work,” said Margaret O’Gorman, WHC President. “Congratulations to Waste Management for its successful efforts towards habitat enhancement and biodiversity.”

The site’s wildlife team manages for a variety of habitat including prairies, forested wetlands, oak/hickory forests, and riparian zones.

Waste Management employees, along with EC3 Environmental Consulting and volunteers from Pheasants Forever, Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Lutheran College restore and maintain wildlife habitat at Orchard Ridge project site. In 2010, two acres of woody invasive species were removed. This area was predominantly black locust but also included buckthorn, Asian honeysuckle, sumac, prickly ash and box elder. The team is planting native species once invasive plants are entirely eradicated.

The effort has created a very successful bluebird and wood duck nest box program. In just one nesting season, it saw 17 bluebirds fledge, 15 hooded merganser hatchlings, and 9 wood duck hatchlings.

“Waste Management is honored to receive this WHC certification in recognition of the continued success of our environmental efforts,” said Steve Meyer, district manager for Waste Management. “Our partnership with WHC engages our team and our community in wildlife enhancement and land stewardship initiatives that prove to be a valuable experience for all.”

This year’s certifications also helped Waste Management to continue to surpass one of its corporate-wide sustainability goals set for 2020. In 2007, Waste Management pledged to preserve and restore 25,000 acres of wildlife habitat across North America. The company achieved this in 2010 and now has over 28,000 acres. Waste Management also committed to have at least 100 of its facilities with WHC certifications. With the addition of this year’s certifications, the company has surpassed this goal.

“Waste Management first began working with WHC because our employees wanted to get involved and this organization helped us do that,” said Waste Management President and CEO David Steiner. “Our relationship has turned into one that truly benefits Waste Management and its communities. Through the WHC programs we feel we are making a difference as a trusted and valued partner to our customers and communities.”

Waste Management has been working closely with WHC since 2000. In 2008, the company was the first recipient of the organization’s William W. Howard CEO Award recognizing the company’s efforts in conservation, education and outreach efforts.

To read more about each program, please visit http://www.wm.com/wm/community/whc/index.asp

The certification program recognizes outstanding wildlife habitat management and environmental education efforts at corporate sites, and offers third-party validation of the benefits of such programs. Certification requirements are strict and require that sites apply for periodic renewal.

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