In the past, major trash industry operators such as Waste Management have sometimes fought government requirements to divert waste because they operate landfills, and they get paid according to how much trash they put there. But these same firmsare now investing in organic recycling, in part because of customer demand. Waste Management — the nation’s largest waste hauler, disposal and recycling company — operates 36 organic processing facilities across the country and has invested in companies such as Waltham, Mass.-based Harvest Power, which takes solid waste from municipalities in the United States and Canada and converts it into high-quality soils or energy.
“We certainly believe it’s becoming mainstream, and in some parts of the country, it’s been mainstream for a while,” said Waste Management’s director of organic recycling, Eric Myers, whose firm just opened a state-of-the-art composting facility in Orlando.
Still, Myers said it is too soon to jettison traditional waste disposal altogether.