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Waste Management Inc. Receives International Habitat Conservation Awards; Wildlife Habitat Council Recognizes Environmental Programs at WM Landfills.

Business Editors/Environment Writers


Waste Management Inc. (NYSE:WMI) today announced that six of its landfill sites have received international recognition for their contributions to wildlife habitat conservation from the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) at its recent 15th Anniversary Symposium. WM has two other sites that received WHC certification in 2002, one of which was recognized as a "Rookie of the Year" site.

"When WHC was formed in 1988, the founders conceived a new and innovative concept of bringing together conservation and business," said Bill Howard, WHC president. "WHC assists corporate landowners in providing valuable wildlife habitat on their properties. Pioneering approaches to habitat management provide our members with the knowledge and tools to enhance and restore land, water and living resources. Waste Management is the leader in its industry and has made an outstanding effort toward the restoration and enhancement of wildlife habitat."

"Waste Management is committed to providing an environmentally friendly solution to the everyday task of solid waste disposal," said A. Maurice Myers, chairman, president and CEO of Waste Management. "Working with the WHC to enhance wildlife habitat conservation at our facilities provides an excellent opportunity to put our dedication to protecting the environment into action."

Since 1990, WHC has certified 334 programs worldwide. The certification process includes a comprehensive review in which each site must show evidence of stewardship, conservation and environmental protection. In addition, the sites must apply for periodic renewal in order to maintain certification status.

The six sites that were recently recognized include:

-- Altamont Landfill and Resource Recovery Facility in Livermore,

Calif.: Of the 2,100 acres that the facility encompasses,

1,300 acres are actively managed for wildlife habitat

opportunities. The Altamont facility has implemented plans to

protect habitat for a number of special-status species

including the federally endangered San Joaquin kit fox, the

federally threatened California red-legged frog, the western

burrowing owl and the California tiger salamander.

-- El Sobrante Landfill in Riverside County, Calif.: The active

landfill, future expansion phases and undisturbed open spaces

encompass approximately 1,333 acres, which is covered by a

Habitat Conservation Plan approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Service and California Department of Fish and Game. The

Habitat Conservation Plan is designed to ensure the continued

existence of the Stephens' kangaroo rat, California

gnatcatchers, and 29 additional threatened species.

-- GROWS, Tullytown, and Penn Warner Club facilities in Falls

Township, Pa.: Since Waste Management acquired the 6,000-acre

property in 1984, wildlife habitat enhancement and protection

has been a primary focus. Because the property provides an

ideal setting for birds and waterfowl, WM employees maintain a

nesting box monitoring program. In addition, employee

volunteers maintain natural buffers along the shores of the

lakes to provide shade, food sources and cover for animals

that live in and around the lakes. Wildlife Club members also

use the lakes and open area for recreational purposes.

-- Hillsboro Landfill in Washington County, Ore.: The centerpiece

of Hillsboro Landfill's Wildlife Habitat Program is its large

wetland restoration project that will eventually result in the

conversion of over 125 acres of farmed floodplain into

wetlands. In addition, several of the buffer corridors of

vegetation that separate landfill facilities from adjacent

properties provide additional habitat for local wildlife,

particularly for neo-tropical migratory birds.

-- Okeechobee Landfill in Okeechobee, Fla.: WM's Okeechobee

Landfill consists of 4,150 acres with 1,550 acres actively

undergoing wetland preservation and restoration, as well as

the creation of aquatic, marsh and forested wetland habitat.

WM employees recount numerous sightings of wild turkey, deer,

wood ducks, gopher tortoise and a variety of birds on the

property. They also have developed a wildlife habitat program

to protect the presence of the threatened Florida sandhill

cranes on the property. Employees maintain grasslands as well

as several earthen mounds, or islands, within the wetland

lakes to encourage nesting.

-- Oliver Landfill near Waterford Township, Erie County, Pa.: The

Oliver Landfill is a 52-acre former municipal solid

waste/industrial site. The closure of the site under the

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Site

Remediation Program involved the design of an alternative

remedy that integrated ecological enhancement with beneficial

reuse of the site as a baseball field and recreational

facility for the local community. The area is now referred to

as the Waterford Recreation Association Sports Complex. The

beneficial reuse approach includes the planting of trees that

readily absorb water, the installation of a dense tree cap on

the waste cells and the construction of a living fence --

consisting of native trees and shrubs -- around the waste


In 2002, Waste Management's Kirby Canyon Recycling & Disposal Facility in Morgan Hill, Calif., and Spruce Ridge Landfill in Glencoe, Minn., received WHC certification. Kirby Canyon also was the recipient of WHC's 2002 "Rookie of the Year" award that goes to one newly certified site each year and exemplifies a superior wildlife habitat program. To date, Waste Management has eight sites that have received WHC certification.

The Wildlife Habitat Council is a nonprofit, non-lobbying organization dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. WHC devotes its resources to building partnerships with corporations and conservation groups to create solutions that balance the demands of economic growth with the requirements of a healthy, biodiverse and sustainable environment. More than two million acres in 48 states, Puerto Rico and 16 other countries are managed for wildlife through WHC-assisted projects. For more information, visit WHC online at

Waste Management Inc. is its industry's leading provider of comprehensive waste management services. Based in Houston, the Company serves municipal, commercial, industrial, and residential customers throughout North America.

Certain statements contained in this press release include statements that are "forward-looking statements." Outlined below are some of the risks that the Company faces and that could affect our financial statements for 2003 and beyond and that could cause actual results to be materially different from those that may be set forth in forward-looking statements made by the Company. However, they are not the only risks that the Company faces. There may be additional risks that we do not presently know or that we currently believe are immaterial which could also impair our business. We caution you not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In addition, the Company, from time to time, provides estimates of financial and other data relating to future periods. Such estimates and other information are the Company's expectations at the point in time of issuance but may change at some future point in time. By issuing such estimates the Company has no obligation, and is not undertaking any obligation, to update such estimates or provide any other information relating to such estimates.

-- possible changes in our estimates of site remediation

requirements, final capping, closure and post-closure

obligations, compliance and regulatory developments;

-- the possible impact of regulations on our business, including

the cost to comply with regulatory requirements and the

potential liabilities associated with disposal operations, as

well as our ability to obtain and maintain permits needed to

operate our facilities;

-- the effect of limitations or bans on disposal or

transportation of out-of-state waste or certain categories of


-- possible charges against earnings as a result of shut-down

operations, uncompleted acquisitions, development or expansion

projects or other events;

-- the effects that trends toward requiring recycling, waste

reduction at the source and prohibiting the disposal of

certain types of wastes could have on volumes of waste going

to landfills and waste-to-energy facilities;

-- the effect the weather has on our quarter-to-quarter results,

as well as the effect of extremely harsh weather on our


-- the effect that price fluctuations on commodity prices may

have on our operating revenues;

-- the outcome of litigation or threatened litigation;

-- the effect competition in our industry could have on our


-- possible diversions of management's attention and increases in

operating expenses due to efforts by labor unions to organize

our employees;

-- possible increases in operating expenses due to fuel price

increases or fuel supply shortages;

-- the effects of general economic conditions, including the

ability of insurers to fully or timely meet their contractual

commitments and of surety companies to continue to issue

surety bonds;

-- the need for additional capital if cash flows are less than we

expect or capital expenditures are more than we expect, and

the possibility that we cannot obtain additional capital on

acceptable terms if needed;

-- possible errors or problems upon implementation of new

information technology systems; and

-- possible fluctuations in quarterly results of operations or

adverse impacts on our results of operations as a result of

the adoption of new accounting standards or interpretations.

Additional information regarding these and/or other factors that could materially affect results and the accuracy of the forward-looking statements contained herein may be found in Part I, Item 1 of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002, and in Item 2 of the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2003.
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Date:Dec 18, 2003
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