On July 16, 1998, USA Waste consummated its merger with WM Holdings and formed the new Waste Management Inc., which is based in Houston.
One month later, without missing a beat, the company announced an agreement to acquire Eastern Environmental Services Inc., Mt. Laurel, N.J., with estimated annualized revenues of approximately $265 million in the key East Coast markets surrounding New York City.
The result of this activity and other acquisitions, totaling $356 million in annualized revenues made during the first quarter of 1998, is a $12 billion-plus waste management behemoth with 319 landfills, 650 collection operations and 339 transfer stations.
In the aftermath of the USA Waste/Waste Management merger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John E. Drury said that he anticipated cost savings of $800 million through the elimination of duplicate facilities, the consolidation of operations and other synergies.
In August 1998, Drury told the Wall Street Journal that the company was on schedule to reach that goal in terms of annualized savings by the fourth quarter.
Drury also told the Journal that he expects to wring $75 million out of the cost of Eastern's operations by shutting down that company's headquarters and several regional offices and merging collection routes with existing Waste Management operations.
Company officials were unavailable to comment for this article. [For more information on the merger, see "A Strong Current of Change," World Wastes April 1998, page 26.]