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Waste Management: 2020 Business Sustainability SPOTLIGHT Award Winner


Waste Management has been awarded the 2020 Business Sustainability SPOTLIGHT Award. This award recognizes a business in the Auburn Area successfully implementing innovative ways of safeguarding employees, communities, and the environment while also contributing to the local economic and social health to reduce the impact on resources globally.


From the Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce:

As one of our state’s largest garbage and recycling services, Waste Management operates its South Sound facility from within the Auburn community, serving customers of all types and sizes. As a national company, Waste Management employs some 45,000 employees and has been recognized as one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” (Fortune Magazine 2019) and as a “100 Best Corporate Citizens” for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance (CR Magazine 2019), as well as among “Best Companies for Millennials” (The Women’s Choice Award 2018) and “Best for Vets” (Military Times 2019). In 2020, Waste Management was also recognized by, for the 11th time, as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies.”

At Waste Management, their mission is “to leave the world a better place than we found it by helping its inhabitants find purpose in becoming its caretakers.” To advance this mission, the company focuses on environmental stewardship. They focus on finding real-world solutions to make sustainability an integral part of everyday life. (Click here to read more about Waste Management’s commitment to help safeguard our planet.)

In addition, Waste Management is continually striving to remain on the forefront of technological advancements that promote environmental sustainability and stewardship. Such technologies are used to improve the company’s operations and waste management strategies through renewable energy, modernized landfills, waste and organics recycling, and smart fleet development. (Read More)

The company also believes in maximizing its social impact. As stated on their website, “Waste Management is committed to inspiring, educating, and empowering current and future generations to proactively protect our planet.” The company places a strong focus on educating their customers and communities about responsible waste management practices, including recycling and preventing litter, and working together to achieve a more sustainable future. (Click here to learn more about Waste Management’s social impact.)


Each of these priorities is passed down to the individual facilities, operating in communities across our nation, including right here in the Auburn Area. Waste Management trucks in Auburn run on 100% Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) — gas made from the garbage they collect! RNG is a renewable fuel produced by landfills with 70% lower emissions than traditional diesel. In addition, the South Sound team continuously analyzes routes to improve efficiency and reduce fuel consumption. As of October, in 2020, Waste Management had already collected 6,200 tons of recyclables and 5,400 tons of compost — for a collective 11,000 tons of materials diverted from landfills for alternative uses.

Especially this year, in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly impact our lives and communities, the Auburn/South Sound facility has assumed a leadership role as an “Essential Service” by adopting rigorous, new health and safety protocols to ensure that reliable service continued throughout the crisis, while never losing sight of the company’s commitment to sustainability.

As shared in the award nomination statement, while working closely with the City of Auburn, Waste Management took steps and acted early to acquire appropriate safety gear for front-line drivers, secured essential disinfectants, and implemented aggressive sanitation and social distancing protocols. Customer service and office employees were quickly transitioned to work-from-home settings, and the company invested in new technologies to increase driver safety.


In response to the economic downtown that followed business closures and job instability in our communities, the Waste Management Education and Outreach Team created a brand new outreach campaign — called eConnect — to engage digitally with businesses and property managers, seeking greater cost-savings and increased efficiency in recycling, garbage, and compost services. During a time when it is increasingly challenging to provide in-person service, the eConnect system allows for virtual outreach, education, and consultation between Waste Management staff and customers.

For more information about Waste Management South Sound Operations, based in downtown Auburn, visit:

The SPOTLIGHT Awards Program is an annual initiative of the Auburn Area CONNECT Chamber of Commerce that recognizes businesses, nonprofits, and community leaders in the Auburn Area, who serve the community and, through their business products/services, employee programs, volunteerism and/or mission statement, benefit and improve the Auburn Area and help our region thrive as a center of economic activity and social leadership in the South Puget Sound. Members of the community are invited each year to nominate a deserving business, nonprofit or individual leader for our SPOTLIGHT recognition. Following the nomination period, Auburn Area CONNECT board members and members of the business community vote on the nomination they believe best represents the spirit of each award.

The above is aggregated content from the Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its content.

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