Reducing trash in landfills
In the course of a normal day, each American can expect to produce approximately 2.24 kilograms of waste1. Only a third of this waste is currently recycled, with the rest disposed of in sanitary landfills, incinerated for energy recovery or composted1.
WCA was founded in 2000 aiming to help reduce the amount of waste Americans sent to landfill. Since acquiring the business through a take-private process in 2012, MIRA has supported WCA as it has expanded its waste processing and recycling capacity. With a focus on creating value from waste, WCA’s material recovery sites now prevent more than 4,800 metric tons of reusable commodities from ending up in landfill each month – recycling more than 58,000 metric tons of materials each year.
MIRA has also actively supported WCA as it has built out a network of gas-to-energy stations. As waste decomposes, gas from landfill can be captured and used to generate a sustainable source of renewable energy. Each year, WCA’s landfill gas plants power more than 6,000 homes across the Southeast and South-Central United States – helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions whilst improving local air quality.
WCA operates across eleven states, with 1,000 collection vehicles serving its 21 landfill sites, 27 transfer stations, 34 collection businesses and two material recovery facilities.
MIRA has supported WCA as it has invested to expand the number of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles in its fleet, aiming to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. Replacing petroleum-fuelled vehicles, WCA’s new CNG-fuelled vehicles produce up to 20 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions and over 70 per cent less smog-producing pollutants2. With MIRA and WCA’s management committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving local air quality, the business is prioritising its fleet replacement programme. By the end of March 2019, approximately 16 per cent of WCA’s route vehicles had already been converted to CNG.