Dividend Yield as of 7/8: 3.6%
Our first megatrend isn’t pretty, but it is pretty inevitable.
To put it simply, humans make a lot of stuff, but many of us also throw a lot away. In 2011 alone, Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash — or an average of 4.4 pounds of waste per person per day.
The good news: That’s slightly less than the total generated in 2005, while a larger chunk of it was recycled.
But whether we are piling garbage into landfills or recycling our soda cans, Waste Management (WM) is often the one providing the service, and thus pocketing the profits. The Houston-based company is the largest environmental solutions provider in North America, serving all 50 states and D.C., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Income investors will note that WM has been paying a dividend since 1998 and has increased that payout every year since 2004. Its current 37-cent dividend makes for a 3.6% yield — and that’s something you won’t want to throw away.