Resource Recycling News

Recycling continues to pinch profits for haulers

Four of the country’s largest publicly traded waste management companies had one thing in common in 2015: falling recycling revenues.

A review of 2015 financial filings for Progressive Waste Solutions, Republic Services, Waste Connections and Waste Management shows while overall revenues remained fairly steady, revenues from recycling operations continued to take a nosedive.

Overall, revenues for the four companies amassed $26.13 billion in 2015, down about 2.8 percent compared with 2014’s total of $26.88 billion. Republic and Waste Connections saw overall revenue increases while Progressive and Waste Management saw their revenues decrease.

Combined recycling revenues, meanwhile, totaled $1.63 billion in 2015, down 13.76 percent from 2014’s $1.89 billion.

Progressive Waste Solutions

Progressive, which last week moved closer to finalizing its merger with Waste Connections, reported 2015 revenues of about $1.93 billion. That was 3.98 percent behind 2014 revenues of $2.01 billion.

Recycling revenues came in at $50.37 million, 2.6 percent of overall revenues. That was also behind 2014 recycling revenues of $63.65 million.

Republic Services

Republic Services continued to drive revenue growth in 2015, reporting revenues of $9.12 billion. The year’s revenues were 3.64 percent above 2014 revenues of roughly $8.80 billion.

Republic’s recycling business brought in $372 million in 2015, 4.1 percent of the company’s overall revenues. The company’s recycling revenues represented a drop of 8 percent from 2014 recycling totals.

Waste Connections

Waste Connections saw overall revenues in 2015 climb almost 2 percent to $2.12 billion. In 2014, the company reported revenues of $2.08 billion.

Recycling revenues, making up 2.2 percent of overall revenues, fell to $46.37 million in 2015. That figure was 17.36 percent behind 2014’s $56.11 million in revenues.

Waste Management

During 2015, the largest solid waste management business in the country generated revenues of $12.96 billion, 7.36 percent below 2014 revenues of $13.99 billion.

Recycling revenues declined 15.33 percent, falling from $1.37 billion in 2014 to $1.16 billion in 2015. Revenues generated from recycling operations accounted for 8.95 percent of overall revenues.

The company reported average commodity prices were down 17.5 percent and recycling volumes fell by 5.5. percent. At the close of 2015, WM operated 104 materials recovery facilities, down from 126 at the close of 2014.

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