The U.S. waste and recycling industry's M&A activity has neared historic levels in recent years. Waste Dive is working to catalog as many deals as possible to provide a more holistic look at the state of industry consolidation and expansion.
Collective M&A spending by the solid waste industry's publicly traded companies is estimated to have reached $4.29 billion in 2021, according to investment firm Jefferies, coming in above prior estimates of around $3.5 billion due to heightened activity in the fourth quarter. Based on comments made in earnings calls and initial first-quarter reports, activity will remain elevated in 2022.
- After spending $73 million on acquisitions in 2021 (net of cash acquired), WM reported spending just $5 million during the first quarter of 2022. During the company's latest earnings call, CEO Jim Fish said this "conservative" approach to M&A would likely continue.
- Republic Services reported spending $65.6 million on acquisitions during the first quarter of 2022, followed by the $2.2 billion acquisition of US Ecology in May. Last year, the company spent $1.06 billion on acquisitions in 2021.
- Waste Connections reported spending $355.2 million on four acquisitions during the first quarter of 2022, estimating those deals to be worth $175 million in annualized revenue. In 2021, the company spent $1.069 billion on 30 deals worth an estimated $400 million in annualized revenue.
- GFL Environmental reported closing 21 acquisitions worth an estimated CA$300 million as of its May 5, 2022, earnings call. The company spent nearly CA$2.3 billion on 46 acquisitions in 2021, which contributed an estimated CA$785 million in annualized revenue.
- Casella Waste Systems spent nearly $49.8 million on six acquisitions during the first quarter of 2022, after spending $171 million on 10 deals in 2021 worth an estimated $88 million in annualized revenue.
In addition to acquisitions by the main public companies, the industry has seen notable activity by a range of private companies, including multiple with private equity backing. This list focuses on deals executed by companies that primarily provide municipal solid waste or recycling services in the United States. We list acquirers in alphabetical order by their parent company or common operating name, which may differ from the specific legal entities involved in the acquisitions. Please send feedback or tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 17: The most recent update to this list is LRS' acquisition of Lakes Disposal Services. The company serviced an estimated 2,000 commercial customers in northern Illinois, plus multiple residential contracts, and fits in with assets previously acquired from GFL.
Other recent deals include Interstate Waste Solutions' acquisition of Solterra Recycling Solutions, a sizable hauler of solid waste, recyclables and organics in the central New Jersey and Philadelphia markets. Solterra, which has nearly 300 employees, was created in 2014. LRS also recently acquired Kansas-based Ditch & Associates. The fourth-generation business provides roll-off, commercial and residential hauling services in the Topeka market, which LRS entered after purchasing assets from Orion Waste Solutions last year.