WCA Waste Corp. has acquired several other waste and recycling haulers in core markets, divested its waste-by-rail operations in Ohio and Massachusetts and expanded its investment in compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle operations.
The initiatives are the first major announced major moves by the Houston-based company since former Waste Management Inc. executive Bill Caesar took over as CEO of WCA last October.
The Houston-based WCA has purchased nine tuck-in hauling businesses in the past 12 months, according to a news release. They include the collection operations of Royal Disposal and Caney Creek Disposal in Houston; Manchester Transfer, a construction and demolition (C&D) transfer station in east Kansas City; Lloyds Loads, Fort Scott Sanitation and Behnen Enterprises, all in Missouri; C&S Sanitation in Little Rock, Ark.; and collection and recycling routes from Buzzard Waste and Abitibi, respectively, in Oklahoma City.
The Royal Disposal acquisition added 28 residential collection routes, more than 50,000 new customers and about 75,000 tons annually to WCA's Houston footprint, all of which will use WCA's Fort Bend Regional Landfill. The Royal routes are primarily concentrated in west and north Houston, areas in which WCA already has a strong market position.
"The Royal routes and customer relationships are an ideal strategic fit for WCA,” Caesar said. “We were able to seamlessly integrate the Royal routes into our existing operations and ensure our new customers received the quality service that WCA is committed to providing."
Manchester Transfer has been renamed WCA–Kansas City Transfer. "Although we have serviced the Kansas City market for a number of years through our Central Missouri Landfill, we are excited to be able to offer a more convenient disposal alternative for our Kansas City customers and further expand our services in the Kansas City market," said Kevin O'Brien, WCA regional vice president.
WCA also has continued converting its collection fleet to CNG trucks. In the first quarter, WCA added 35 front-load trucks in Houston and began operation of a CNG fueling station in West Houston.
WCA will also be opening a public CNG station at its hauling operation in Gainesville, Fla., during the second quarter. In October 2013 WCA opened a station there for its own fleet of more than 50 vehicles. The company said then it has a goal of operating an 80-percent CNG fueled fleet by 2017.
Regarding the latest moves overall, Caesar said, "These strategic acquisitions and initiatives, coupled with the divestiture of WCA's rail-based waste operations, represent a strategic repositioning of invested capital, strengthen the company's position in our core markets, deliver accretive value, reduce total leverage and offer improved operating margins. We will continue to seek and pursue acquisition and other growth and efficiency opportunities that offer an attractive return on investment."
Caesar joined WCA last October after leaving Waste Management, where he was president of the company’s recycling and organics operations. He left the company because of its reorganization plan, Waste Management confirmed.
The privately held WCA ranked 16th on the 2014 Waste 100 ranking of the top waste and recycling companies, with 2013 revenue of $268.6 million and more than 1,000 employees.