Hot for Hotlanta

WASTE INDUSTRIES USA INC., Raleigh, N.C., has acquired three independently owned commercial and residential hauling companies in Atlanta for undisclosed sums. The acquisitions are part of an ongoing strategy to help streamline the company's operations in Atlanta and other markets.

“These acquisitions fit into our internalization strategy because we're now able to handle waste all the way from the customer to the landfill,” says Ven Poole, vice president of corporate development for Waste Industries. “It's the most cost-effective and efficient way for us to do business there because we're taking out the middle man.”

Waste Industries' newly acquired companies include D&D Disposal, which provides specialized commercial service to customers in downtown Atlanta, and its affiliate, Southland Disposal, which provides private residential subscription services in the west Atlanta suburbs. Waste Industries purchased the two companies from Jim Demkowski, who will join Waste Industries' management team. The third acquired company, A Plus Disposal, Inc., also provides private subscription residential services in the same suburbs. The seller wished to remain anonymous, Poole says.

According to Poole, all materials collected from the three companies will be taken to the Grady Road landfill in Woodstock, Ga. Waste Industries acquired the regional landfill from Waste Connections, Folsom, Calif., last December.

When Waste Industries acquired the landfill, the company began looking at what Poole terms potential “tuck-in” acquisitions, or related companies operating in the same market area, to help bolster overall operating margins through better routing efficiency.

“These three new acquisitions significantly improve our route density in the Atlanta area,” Poole says. “We're able to be more productive and efficient by picking up from our customers directly and then taking the materials to our own landfill.” The company also saves money by not paying another company's profit margin, Poole adds.

Two of the acquired firms will operate under Waste Industries' name. D&D Disposal, which offers more specialized services, may keep operating under its original name, Poole says.

Waste Industries says Atlanta represents one of the top three markets for the company, along with Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and the greater Tidewater area in Virginia. The company provides collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services to commercial, industrial and residential customers in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

According to Poole, Waste Industries increased its revenue growth approximately 8 percent last year and experienced a similar growth trend the prior year. The company ranked 14th in the 2004 annual Waste Age 100, with annual revenues of $270.5 million.