Waste Management Services Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Waste Management Services Industry Profile

Companies in this industry collect, treat, and dispose of garbage and other waste materials; and recover reusable materials through recycling. Additionally, companies provide remediation services for decontaminating buildings, mine sites, soil, or groundwater. Major companies include Advanced Disposal Services, Republic Services, and Waste Management (all based in the US); as well as SUEZ and Veolia (both based in France), and Waste Connections (Canada).

The global waste and recycling industry collects more than 11 billion tons of solid waste and generates more than $400 billion in revenue each year, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. The waste management services industry is largest in developed nations that consume more resources and generate more waste.

The US waste management industry includes about 25,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $100 billion.


Demand depends on the volume of waste generated, which depends on economic conditions and consumer spending. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations, because the service is a commodity sold based on price. Big companies enjoy economies of scale in purchasing equipment and establishing networks of facilities. Small companies can compete successfully by offering specialized services or serving local markets. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about half of revenue.


Waste collection services account for about half of US industry revenue; other services include waste treatment and ...

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