The U.S. waste and recycling industry's 2021 M&A activity is on track to reach historic levels. While some of these transactions receive publicity, many others may not and it can be challenging to keep up with all of the changes underway.
This year, for the first time, Waste Dive is aiming to catalog as many deals as possible to provide a fuller picture of what it all means for the state of industry consolidation and expansion.
Among the industry's largest publicly traded players, it's been estimated M&A spending could beat a 2019 record. While none have disclosed a full list of their activities, third quarter filings and other reporting show they've all been active to varying degrees.
- Waste Management reported spending $11 million on acquisitions through Q3 but declined to disclose further details. A company spokesperson said the primary focus remains integrating the $4.6 billion acquisition of Advanced Disposal Services from last year.
- Republic Services, which spent $922 million on acquisitions through Q3 and could top $1 billion by the end of the year, declined to confirm or expand on Waste Dive's list of identified transactions.
- Waste Connections, which reported spending $561 million (net of cash acquired) on 14 deals through Q3, similarly declined to confirm or expand on Waste Dive's list.
- GFL Environmental, which spent CA$2.2 billion on 37 North American deals through Q3 and anticipates surpassing 40 deals this year, did not respond to requests for comment.
- Casella Waste Systems, which spent $153 million (net of cash acquired) on nine deals through Q3, declined to expand on Waste Dive's list. At least one unidentified transaction occurred in western New York earlier this year.
In addition to the main public companies, the industry has also seen notable acquisition activity by a range of private companies — including multiple with private equity backing — and many confirmed or shared information for this list.
Any deal primarily focused on municipal solid waste, or completed by an acquirer specializing in that area, has been included on this list. The list excludes Canada-specific transactions, though it should be noted GFL has also been particularly active in that area through buying Terrapure's solid waste assets, the Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance and others.
Waste Dive will continue updating this list through the end of 2021. Please send any additional information about solid waste-focused M&A in the U.S. to email@example.com.Dec. 2: The most recent update to this list is Washington-based DTG Recycle's acquisition of assets from Maltby Container & Recycling, including a fleet of recycling containers and a C&D recycling facility.