We recognize the importance to our stakeholders of our continuing efforts to minimize our impact on the environment by encouraging materials recycling and reuse; using waste to generate clean, renewable energy; reducing our carbon footprint and use of fossil fuels; and exploring alternatives to landfill disposal. But for Waste Connections, our sustainability efforts extend beyond the environment; we also measure the positive impacts we have on the communities we serve, the development and welfare of our employees, the financial health of our company, and the returns to our stockholders.
As an environmental services company with a large presence on the West Coast, sustainability is not a new concept for us. Over the years we have been recycling a significant portion of the waste stream on the West Coast, with diversion rates in some markets in excess of 70%. Our recycling efforts recover valuable materials for reuse, and include the composting of organic materials for reuse as a soil amendment. Off the West Coast, we are working to bring these programs and technologies to other communities throughout the areas we service.
In addition to recycling and recovery, we also harvest methane gas from landfills to generate renewable energy to power homes, small industry and, eventually, our fleet. We deploy route optimization software, retrofit existing fleet and utilize alternative fuels to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, lowering our overall carbon footprint. We construct environmental enhancements to certain of our sites through the creation of wetlands and public trails. These efforts are fundamental to a sustainable business model and the success of our company.
Everything we do today is with an eye towards the future. We constantly monitor and evaluate new technologies and programs that can enhance our commitment to the environment and improve our competitive positioning. Within our industry, these changes have historically been evolutionary in nature, but there is an enormous effort currently being made in alternative technologies to reduce landfill disposal, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and harness bio-fuels. Environmental, organizational and financial sustainability initiatives have been key components of our success since we were founded in 1997. We remain committed to growing and expanding these efforts as our industry and technology continue to evolve.