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The U.S. waste-management industry has become a darling of environmentally minded investors for its work in recycling trash and harvesting gases from landfills as an alternative fuel.

Leading firms Waste Management Inc. and Republic Services Inc are included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, a benchmark for socially conscious investing. The firms’ major investors include funds controlled by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and wealth-management icon Larry Fink, founder of BlackRock Inc, who are both leading advocates for corporate climate action.

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