Waste Management takes recycling market hit

Waste Management takes recycling market hit

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Even though gross recycling material sales rose in the first quarter for Waste Management, America's largest residential recycling service provider, the financial performance was discouraging.

WM had recycling sales of $358 million in the first quarter, up 8.5 percent over the fourth-quarter results and an improvement of 3.8 percent from the year-earlier period. Recycling sales represent about 10.7 percent of the company's total revenues. However, recycling sales growth came from the fact the firm operated more recycling processing plants in the 2013 period.

In fact, average commodity prices in the first quarter were down 12 percent from the 2012 period. This negatively affected quarterly earnings by 3 cents per share. WM is thus paying its recycling customers less. "In our recycling operations, we are implementing new rebate structures to reflect these lower commodity prices," says David Steiner, WM's president and CEO.

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