Carriers continued to take advantage of markets in the second quarter


Waste Management and other North American waste and recycling haulers saw revenue increases in the last quarter. | Dan Leif/Resource Recycling, Inc.

North America’s largest carriers all reported substantial year-over-year increases in recycling during the second quarter, although revenue figures were down somewhat from the start of the year.

Waste Management (WM), Republic Services, GFL Environmental, Waste Connections and Casella Waste Systems reported that their recycling businesses saw year-over-year revenue increases of 18%, 10%, 10%, 63 % and 46%, respectively.

This growth was generally lower than in the first quarter, when high commodity prices boosted corporate revenues and profits. As the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) found in its second-quarter FRM survey, the weighted average value of a ton of recyclables increased in the second quarter, but, year-over-year, the increase was not as significant. spectacular than in the first quarter of 2022.

“The favorable year-over-year trend moderated in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter of 2022,” according to a quarterly financial report from WM, the continent’s largest waste and recycling company. “We currently expect the year-over-year price comparison to be slightly lower for the remainder of 2022 due to the high prices we experienced in the second half of 2021 when we saw demand for recycled materials exceed the offer.”

More recently,’s August price survey showed a huge price crash for some key recyclables, including mixed paper, PET and other plastics.

Here are the recycling-related financial results of the top five publicly traded waste and recycling companies in the second quarter of 2022:

Waste Management

The company’s recycling business generated $468 million in revenue in the second quarter, up 18% year-over-year.

According to his quarterly report, WM attributed the increase in recycling revenue primarily to higher prices for recyclable materials. During the second quarter, average market prices for products collected from WM MRFs were 30% higher than in the prior year period, the report noted.

During July 27 conference call with investors, John Morris, WM’s chief operating officer, said the company’s weighted average commodity price was $131 a ton in the second quarter. The company expects an annual average of about $125 per tonne.

According to a press release, WM’s recycling profits were also higher in the second quarter. Operating income before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the recycling business increased by $5 million year-over-year.

In the Press releaseJim Fish, WM President and CEO, also noted that the company completed upgrades to its Houston MRF during the second quarter. WM is modernizing its MRFs with sorting technologies, allowing facilities to operate with fewer employees and generate cleaner products.

It was the sixth MRF that WM has recently redesigned, Fish said on the conference call.

“Our advanced technology MRFs deliver tangible benefits, resulting in labor cost savings of approximately 30% per ton compared to the rest of the single-stream network,” he said, adding later. that the rebuilding of WM’s Salt Lake City MRF resulted in approximately a 50% reduction in labor. “During the second half of the year, we plan to open two additional state-of-the-art recycling facilities and enter a new recycling market, which will allow us to meet our recycling investment targets.”

Recycling now provides 9% of WM’s operating revenue. Overall, WM posted revenue of $5.03 billion in the second quarter, up 12% year-over-year.

Republic Services

The company’s recycling business generated nearly $114 million in revenue during the second quarter, up 10% year-over-year.

According to the company quarterly reportthe average price of recovered raw materials (excluding glass and organic materials) was $218 per ton during the second quarter, compared to $170 during the second quarter of 2021. It also increased by $201 during the first quarter of 2022, according to a Press release.

Republic too recently published its 2021 sustainability report, which noted the company’s 9% reduction in operational greenhouse gas emissions from a 2017 baseline. Last year, the company’s 71 MRF processed 5 million tonnes of recyclable materials. By weight, 84% of recyclables sold by Republic last year were fibers.


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