Deep Dive

Industry insights from our journalists

  • A rendering of a methane detection satellite in space
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    Courtesy of MethaneSAT
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    Satellite and flyover tech advances for landfill methane as industry seeks more clarity

    WM is testing a range of emissions detection options as it works to solidify a measurement system by next year. This comes as more groups are launching satellites and asking the U.S. EPA to update its regulations.

    Leslie Nemo • July 9, 2024
  • California Treasurer Fiona Ma stands in a red jacket behind a lectern with the words "California Democrats State Convention" on the front.
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    The image by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
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    How California Treasurer Fiona Ma became ‘obsessed’ with waste and recycling

    That obsession could affect the industry if Ma wins her bid for lieutenant governor. She has received backing from state waste companies over the years but has not always aligned with them on policy.

    Mary Catherine O'Connor • Updated June 12, 2024
  • EPA Administrator Michael Regan speaks at a PFAS regulation event in front of a crowd of people under a tent
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    Retrieved from U.S. EPA.
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    Hazardous waste incinerators see PFAS disposal opportunity, emissions questions remain

    The U.S. EPA’s latest destruction and disposal guidance provides updated data on incineration's effectiveness, while noting the need for more research about the products of incomplete combustion.

    April Reese • June 5, 2024
  • Aerial view of trucks, booths and people standing in the Las Vegas Convention Center at WasteExpo 2024
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    Megan Quinn/Waste Dive
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    Battery electric, hydrogen or CNG trucks? WasteExpo attendees say all of the above

    As fleet operators try to keep up with federal and state emissions reduction requirements, the technology available to them is advancing quickly. Executives discussed key themes related to range, cost and infrastructure in Las Vegas.

    Cole Rosengren • May 22, 2024
  • A piece of heavy equipment manages a steaming compost pile
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    Permission granted by Renüable
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    South Florida composters eye opportunities as region faces disposal crunch

    A growing number of subscription haulers in Miami-Dade, Broward and other counties are signing up residential and commercial customers as local officials debate landfill and incinerator expansions.

    Cole Rosengren • May 6, 2024
  • Workers in hardhats walk through a chemical recycling facility.
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    Industry Dive; Keith Srakocic/AP

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    Chemical recycling plants are on the rise. What does it mean for MRF operators?

    Chemical recyclers see MRFs and specialty collection partnerships as important feedstock sources to fulfill production promises, but experts say it’s too early to determine how they could influence recycled plastic markets.

    Megan Quinn and Shaun Lucas • April 1, 2024
  • The flag of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hangs outside the agency building in Washington, D.C.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    Does the EPA’s Waste Reduction Model favor landfills or incineration?

    After the EPA released a new version of WARM and held a public comment period, stakeholders across the spectrum of materials management believe there’s room for improvement.

    Jacob Wallace • Updated March 21, 2024
  • A fuel pump in focus in front of a line of waste trucks.
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    Permission granted by Clean Energy Fuels
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    How a new wave of clean fuels bills could spur a biogas boom

    New Mexico became the fourth state to enact a program, which has the potential to give biogas projects from landfills and on-farm digesters a boost. Could more states soon follow?

    Jacob Wallace • March 13, 2024
  • Helicopter point of view of famous Times Square in New York City
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    Extreme-Photographer via Getty Images
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    5 issues to watch as New York reshapes its commercial waste system

    Many questions remain about how companies were selected, how much recycling investment will occur, how soon companies get electric vehicles, when implementation will begin and more.

    Cole Rosengren • Feb. 16, 2024
  • Manhattan skyline
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    Sean Pavone via Getty Images
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    Who came out on top with New York commercial waste zone contracts?

    The 65 contracts awarded to provide service in the five boroughs effectively reset the market. Major companies such as Action Environmental and Waste Connections did well; others are left with tough choices.

    Cole Rosengren • Feb. 13, 2024
  • Recycled materials are offloaded from a truck.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    EPR, bottle bills and right-to-repair legislation make a return in 2024 with nuanced new details

    New state legislation for EPR, bottle bills and right-to-repair will become more complex in 2024, but lawmakers are playing a long game to build consensus around such involved bills, experts say.

    Megan Quinn • Jan. 29, 2024
  • Industrial building with numerous pipes and components for processing biogas
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    Courtesy of Archaea Energy
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    RNG industry expects voluntary agreements, new credits to spur growth in 2024

    The renewable natural gas industry saw more than 60 projects come online last year. This year, it’s expecting to build on that growth as the industry matures.

    Jacob Wallace • Jan. 22, 2024
  • A loader manages compost at a Recology facility
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    Courtesy of Recology
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    Compostable packaging’s contested, complicated past doesn’t determine its future

    Composters can struggle to manage the wide variety of new packaging entering the market, leading to greater calls for labeling guidelines and testing. Cities like San Francisco and Minneapolis offer case studies in how to make it work.

    Mary Catherine O'Connor • Dec. 7, 2023
  • Truck collecting a cart via automated sideloader
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    viavado via Getty Images
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    Has the waste and recycling industry’s multiyear M&A boom peaked?

    Experts from Stifel, Houlihan Lokey, Comerica Bank, Raymond James, Waste Connections and others weigh in on the latest trends involving valuations, private equity, environmental services, antitrust and more.

    Cole Rosengren • Nov. 27, 2023
  • A worker stands in front of ExxonMobil's advanced recycling facility in Baytown, Texas.
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    Courtesy of ExxonMobil
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    Chemical recycling aims to scale fast in effort to manage plastic waste, even as questions remain

    Chemical recycling proponents are investing in major projects to scale up the technology. Yet lingering policy, permitting and business factors will affect the trajectory of this fast-developing recycling sector.

    Megan Quinn • Oct. 9, 2023
  • Two people wielding shovels move organic material from a pallet to a composting bin while others look on.
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    (2018). "Baltimore Food Waste & Recovery Strategy" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Baltimore Office of Sustainability.
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    With a $4M EPA grant, Baltimore looks to chart a fresh course on organics

    The city's organics infrastructure is getting a jolt from the new funding. Composting advocates hope broader changes laid out in the city’s draft waste plan will follow.

    Jacob Wallace • Sept. 26, 2023
  • Lively mural on stone wall depicting waste collection workers on a truck
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    (2016). Retrieved from Baltimore Department of Public Works.
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    Baltimore faces expensive road ahead for collection and disposal infrastructure

    Despite pressure from advocacy groups, the city's 10-year waste plan anticipates landfill and incineration assets will continue to serve a key role as the city works to increase recycling.

    Jacob Wallace • Sept. 18, 2023
  • A photo composite of tetra pack bottle being lassoed. The background is a screen shot from the 2012 Green Guides.
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    Photo illustration: Shaun Lucas/Industry Dive; Getty Images; Federal Trade Commission 

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    Taming the wild west of environmental marketing: A Green Guides history

    More than 30 years after state attorneys general pushed for scrutiny of marketing claims, the packaging landscape is as complicated as ever, and opinions vary about whether the guides served their original purpose.

    Mary Catherine O'Connor • Updated Sept. 6, 2023
  • Upside down plastic bottles
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    sebasnoo via Getty Images
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    Demand for recycled plastic in packaging is growing. So are concerns about potential health risks.

    Recent studies have raised questions about health effects from plastic, including recycled material, as companies and regulators increasingly look at ways to advance the use of recycled resin in food-grade packaging.

    April Reese • June 28, 2023
  • A Heliox electric charging port connects to a Mack Electric heavy-duty vehicle
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    Jacob Wallace/Waste Dive
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    Waste industry braces for ‘bumps and bruises’ in EV rollout as California sets the pace

    Haulers and vehicle manufacturers at WasteExpo said they expect a potential collision between regulation-fueled demand and limited supply of battery-electric trucks. Charging infrastructure is also a growing concern.

    Jacob Wallace • May 10, 2023
  • Aerial view of lighthouse along beach
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    HaizhanZheng via Getty Images
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    New York’s Brookhaven Landfill is closing soon. Is Long Island ready?

    A prime destination for incinerator ash and C&D will soon be out of capacity. Winters Bros. Waste Systems has acquired rail transfer assets with plans to build a new site and is looking to play a lead role in the region’s next chapter.

    Cole Rosengren • April 26, 2023
  • Aerial view of landfill in Vermont
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    Permission granted by Casella Waste Systems
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    Some landfills will begin treating PFAS on-site as regulators move to adopt new limits

    Companies such as Casella Waste Systems and Waste Connections are building their own wastewater treatment plants for leachate and testing a range of technologies as the industry awaits federal standards.

    April Reese • Jan. 17, 2023
  • Fence in the foreground, construction cranes in the background
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    Cole Rosengren/Waste Dive
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    The fragile ecosystem of Massachusetts C&D recycling

    The state’s construction recycling requirements have spurred a wave of new infrastructure investments and led to more acquisitions. Some say they’ve also constrained capacity, all while the region’s building boom continues.

    Cole Rosengren • Jan. 11, 2023
  • Person sitting on a stack of bags containing plastic packaging
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    Permission granted by Rabbit Recycling
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    Specialty recycling pick-up services flip the script on items accepted curbside

    Services from Ridwell, Rabbit Recycling, TerraCycle, Casella Waste Systems and others are seeing growth as consumers want more options for hard-to-recycle products. Yet some are also navigating cost and legal challenges.

    Katie Pyzyk • Dec. 13, 2022
  • Compost, bird, California
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    Is California’s 2025 organics diversion target still viable?

    An independent commission is now assessing whether course corrections are needed for the state’s landmark SB 1383 law. CalRecycle, WM, Republic Services, Agromin, Anaergia and many others have weighed in.

    Cole Rosengren • Nov. 14, 2022