Waste Management ( WMI) said Monday it will cut 600 full-time jobs and 200 contract workers.

The reduction will result in about $20 million in 2003 pretax savings, or $50 million annualized. The company said a charge to earnings of about $20 million pretax will be recorded in the second quarter to cover severance and related costs.

Mid- and senior-level managers in the company's operations, finance and billing departments will be affected. The contract worker cuts are predominantly from information technology, the Houston-based company said.

"We discovered that we could further reduce our staffing at the manager level in order to maximize our span of control to a higher, more cost-efficient ratio," the company said. In March, Waste Management implemented a plan to reduce its number of market areas in the U.S. and Canada from 91 to 66 and to reduce certain other overhead positions. The company cut about 700 full-time jobs and 270 contract workers at that time.

The company said improvements to its financial systems and processes allowed it to reduce its finance and information technology staffs. "The quality of our systems is such that we no longer require as many people to oversee these job functions," said David Steiner, chief financial officer.

Shares of the company were up about 1.4% in morning trading to $24.03.

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