WM has acquired all assets of Specialized Environmental Technologies, an organics recycler that serves Minnesota’s Twin Cities metro area.
The deal includes compost sites in Shakopee, Minnetrista, Burnsville and Empire, as well as a transfer station in Empire and The Mulch Store in Burnsville, said Julie Ketchum, area public affairs manager for WM, in an email. SET has 31 employees that will join WM, she said. The transaction closed on March 1 and financial terms were not disclosed.
The Twin Cities area has a 75% recycling goal set by the state of Minnesota. Several cities and counties in the area require organics collection, including Hennepin County. These were “key considerations” in WM’s decision to purchase SET, Ketchum said. “This acquisition will allow us to internalize the volume that we collect and continue to provide compost capacity to third party collectors,” she said.
According to its website, SET started in 2000 and describes its Empire organics composting operation as the largest in the Midwest. It receives and processes over 25,000 tons of source-separated organic material each year, “supported by an infrastructure of transfer stations.” The company also accepts and processes over 80,000 tons of yard waste, brush and biomass each year through its residential yard waste program.
SET is also the contracted composter for food and yard waste from a growing collection program in Minneapolis. SET and the City of Minneapolis have not yet responded to a request for comment.
WM has offered organics collection to businesses and residents throughout the country for several years, and the SET acquisition aims to expand such offerings in WM’s upper Midwest region, especially as more customers express interest in the services to meet sustainability goals, Ketchum said.
The deal marks another example of waste companies that anticipate growing demand for organics service in Minnesota. In 2020, Republic Services acquired Randy’s Environmental Services, a Twin Cities hauler that offered an organics co-collection service alongside waste and recycling services.