About TrueNorth

WM Recycle America, L.L.C.

WM Recycle America, L.L.C. (WMRA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc. WMRA provides recyclables processing, materials brokerage and other recycling services in the US and Canada. The company handles approximately 8 million tons of paper, aluminum and other commodities each year through its network of 100 recycling facilities and provides marketing services for third–party recycling facilities. Tom Powers, Director, Safety and Environmental Protection, is responsible for ensuring that regulatory standards and rules are communicated to and understood by each site and practiced through the company’s safety, health and environmental initiatives. With the assistance of four Market Area Safety and Environmental Managers, Powers tracks and manages OSHA, EPA and company policy requirements for the recycling facilities and their over 2,000 employees.

The Challenge

clients-wm2The biggest challenge facing Powers’ group was the complexity and breadth of regulatory training that must be tracked. “In the solid waste industry, there are a lot of specific compliance requirements for recycling facilities and their employees,” he states. “It’s a continual challenge for the managers who are operating our
facilities because most of the laws are complicated and not always cut and dry.” In addition, regulatory data was recorded manually, using paper files and binders to house facility compliance documents and training records at individual locations.

The Solution

In 2001 WMRA selected TrueNorth to track training requirements, employee evaluations and facility compliance. Each recycling facility faxes or emails applicable data—training records, facility inspections, audiograms, meeting records and job observations—directly to TrueNorth. TrueNorth confirms the information and enters it into its database where it is available on demand over the Internet to WMRA managers. “At a minimum, I look at our data at least once a week,” Powers explains. “I focus on each site’s percent compliance and then drill down to identify any specific deficiencies that we can work on with facility managers.”

The Results

Today, TrueNorth helps WMRA simplify its approach to managing health, safety and environmental compliance issues. “Our managers don’t have to collect and continually update training records for each individual,” Powers observes. “TrueNorth applies our events directly to the application as they occur, so all we have to do is ensure that training requirements are met and a roster is faxed. One of the greatest advantages in working with TrueNorth is the comfort that if WMRA or a regulator wants to audit our training program, those records are accurate and accessible in an instant.”

Compliance performance metrics produced by TrueNorth are one measurement used by WMRA to determine managers’ bonuses, in addition to productivity, material quality and accident and injury statistics. “Our managers are very familiar with TrueNorth; it has become part of the way we do business,” Powers concludes. “If we have questions or issues of any kind, TrueNorth is always available for us. Their technical expertise and responsiveness make them a great partner.”