- WM closed the acquisition of Ray’s Trash Service on Thursday, which a spokesperson described as “the largest family-owned recycling and waste collection operation in the Indianapolis area.” Financial terms were not disclosed.
- The company said it bought “key assets” from Ray’s but didn’t offer further specifics. Ray’s has previously advertised its fleet as having more than 300 trucks that perform the full range of collection services, plus multiple transfer and recycling facilities in the area.
- “We look forward to the integration and value that this acquisition will bring to expand and advance WM’s environmental services in central Indiana,” said spokesperson Janette Micelli via email. “We are excited to welcome our new employees into the WM family and for the opportunity to provide exceptional service to our customers in the Indianapolis market.”
WM has been quiet on the M&A front since its 2020 acquisition of Advanced Disposal Services, but executives previewed plans to ramp up spending during a recent earnings call. The purchase of Ray’s, a company that other prospective buyers have been eyeing for years, is a notable return to an active dealmaking environment.
Ray’s was founded in 1965 by Ray and Barbara Matthews and had been a family-run operation for decades. The company now has an estimated 600 employees, according to the Indiana Business Journal. The general manager for Ray’s did not respond to a request for comment as of publication.
The company’s headquarters is in the town of Clayton, Indiana, west of Indianapolis, and it has multiple facilities across the region. Those sites have a range of transfer and processing capabilities for MSW, C&D, single-stream recyclables and scrap metal. That list includes a single-stream MRF located within Indianapolis that opened in 2015.
While Ray’s does not own a landfill, WM has multiple disposal sites in close proximity to the Indianapolis market. Sources indicate that Ray’s was one of WM’s disposal customers.
Republic Services also has a presence in the Indianapolis market, alongside other regional haulers, and multiple large players have been expanding throughout Indiana this year. Republic acquired a company in the Bloomington area, LRS acquired one in South Bend and Rumpke Waste & Recycling acquired one in Bedford. GFL Environmental also expanded its presence in the state with a new collection contract in Fort Wayne earlier this summer.
Acquisition activity has remained high across much of the U.S. throughout 2022, driven by factors such as family succession issues, labor availability challenges, rising operating costs and concerns around tax outcomes.
WM only reported spending $5 million on acquisitions through the second quarter of this year — much lower than its publicly traded peers — but previewed plans to spend up to $400 million by the end of the year. Based on assessments of Ray’s revenues by outside observers, this transaction would likely comprise a notable share of that planned spending.