Largest Haulers in North America of 2020

To say that 2020 was a different year for North American waste haulers would be a gross understatement. Commercial shutdowns and stay-at-home mandates brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic late in Q1 and into Q2 forced waste companies across the continent to deal with skyrocketing residential volumes while commercial volumes plummeted and many customers put service on hold.

The good news was that volumes began to return to some semblance of normalcy in the second half of the year, and some haulers were able to supplement their core collection business with decontamination and other environmental service work.

Despite 2020 being a turbulent year, Waste Today’s Largest Haulers List reflects that revenues were about even for most companies from the prior year period.

About the list

The editors of Waste Today compiled this year’s Largest Haulers List by combing through public records, sending a survey to companies in the publication’s database, and soliciting feedback via the publication’s website and e-newsletter. The response from the industry for this list continues to grow year after year. Due to the increasing number of respondents, we’ve been able to grow the list from 40 companies listed with their 2018 revenues, to 50 for 2019 revenues, up to 70 for 2020.

For the handful of companies that submitted their revenues for 2019 but did not supply revenues for the latest iteration of the list, we chose to include the prior year’s number in an effort to have the most complete, accurate picture of the North American waste landscape as possible.

Thank you to all the companies that participated.

List highlights

  • Companies on our list generated a total of $52.5 billion in revenue in 2020. Of this, $46.8 billion came from those in the top 10.
  • The companies on our list represent 23 different states, plus Canada.
  • The states with the most haulers on our list include Texas (9), Florida and New Jersey (6), California (5), and Massachusetts (4).
  • Veolia North America is the lone company to enter the top 10 that was not represented in the top 10 of last year’s list. Advanced Disposal, which was No. 8 on last year’s list, has been omitted following its acquisition by Waste Management in October 2020.
  • There are four Canadian companies to make the list—Ontario-based Waste Connections and GFL Environmental; Quebec-based Ricova; and British Columbia-based Maple Leaf Disposal LTD.
*Indicates a number provided to Waste Today regarding 2019 revenues

Our best guess

Despite our best efforts, there are still companies worthy of being on the list who either haven’t responded to our requests for information or have chosen not to share their revenues. In past years, we have worked with industry analysts to ballpark revenues for these companies and included them alongside the companies who provided their information. This year, we chose to place these companies on their own list for the sake of accuracy.

A final note

Defining the term “hauler” was not straightforward. While many on the list are typical residential and commercial waste hauling companies, some provide a range of other special waste, recycling and environmental services offerings. Waste Today magazine chose to define haulers simply as those that own their own vehicles to collect waste and transport it for processing. This list does not include companies that solely transport recyclable materials.

Because of the list’s parameters, many revenues include additional services, including landfill operation, recycling processing and other offerings beyond traditional hauling operations.

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