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Articles from 2020 In October


Need to Know

Waste Management Completes $4.6 Billion Acquisition of Advanced Disposal

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HOUSTON -- Waste Management (NYSE: WM) announced today that it completed its acquisition of all outstanding shares of Advanced Disposal on October 30, following the receipt of required regulatory approvals. The previously announced purchase price of $30.30 per share in cash represents a total enterprise value of $4.6 billion when including approximately $1.8 billion of Advanced Disposal’s net debt. Advanced Disposal stock will no longer be traded on the NYSE.

This acquisition grows Waste Management’s footprint and allows the Company to deliver unparalleled access to differentiated, sustainable waste management and recycling services to approximately 3 million new commercial, industrial and residential customers primarily located in 16 states in the eastern half of the United States.

“We are excited to reach the finish line on this compelling acquisition, and I would like to welcome the Advanced Disposal team members to the WM family,” said Jim Fish, President and Chief Executive Officer of Waste Management. “The acquisition expands Waste Management’s reach and positions us for significant earnings and cash flow growth. The hard work our integration teams have done has prepared us to provide a seamless transition for employees and customers.”

Immediately following the completion of the Advanced Disposal acquisition, Waste Management and Advanced Disposal completed the sale to GFL Environmental of all of the assets required by the U.S. Department of Justice to be divested in connection with the Advanced Disposal acquisition.

Waste Management funded the transaction using a combination of credit facilities and commercial paper. Waste Management expects to maintain a strong balance sheet and solid investment-grade credit profile with leverage ratios well within the financial covenants of its credit facilities.

“With integration getting underway, the team is focused on a strong finish to 2020,” Fish concluded. “We look forward to providing our 2021 outlook for the combined organization when we announce fourth quarter and full-year earnings.”

ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT

Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management environmental services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, Waste Management provides collection, transfer, disposal services, and recycling and resource recovery. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Waste Management’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management, visit www.wm.com.

Casella Excels in Q3 2020 Despite Challenging Economic Conditions

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The year 2020 has presented a series of challenges as companies work to pivot and adjust operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a conference call on October 30, Casella Waste Systems Inc. (CWST), reported continued earnings growth despite the uncertain economic climate.

CFO Ned Coletta provided a detailed account of the third quarter financial results for the nine-month period which ended Sept. 30, 2020.

He noted that the company raised its financial guidance ranges for fiscal year 2020 based on its Q3 performance and “additional visibility into the rest of the year.”

Adjusted EBITDA was reported at $51.3 million for Q3 2020, up $2.8 million, or up 5.9% from Q3 2019. With 70% of Casella’s business in secondary and rural markets in the Northeastern United States, a “stable-to-improving” economy has driven recovery despite the pandemic shutdowns in late April through October.

Revenues came in at $202.7 million for Q3, up 2.1% or $4.1 million YOY. Coletta indicated that roughly 65% of Casella’s commercial and industrial collection services on a revenue basis that were reduced or suspended during the COVID-19 shutdowns have returned.

“We estimate that another 10% will return in the early winter when seasonal businesses and ski areas restart for the season,” he told investors. “It is unclear to us when the remaining 25% of these services will resume. This translates to approximately $6 million per year or 1.7% of collection revenues.”

Casella’s increased guidance range for the year is based on an expected “modestly declining to stable economic environment” for the remainder of the year, especially as the second wave of COVID begins to emerge.

Adjusted free cash flow was $60 million, up $35.9 million YOY. The company raised its 2020 adjusted free cash flow range back to the original level the company set back in February 2020. It received $5 million as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Coletta said will be paid back in December.

Solid waste volumes continued to decline, down 8.4% in Q3 2020 from Q3 2019 as COVID-19 once again created negative business impacts.  

The largest improvement seen in Q3 was from landfill operations, which are insensitive to shifts in volume. Results were achieved both from pricing power, more efficient operational management and partially because of a very dry summer, Coletta said.

While tonnage was down by about 9% for Q3, revenue was down less than 3%. This is due to a reduction in operating costs by around $2 million, almost 10%, “which would have taken place even if tonnage remain the same.”

With slightly more than half of Casella’s revenue generated from collection activities, cost of operations as a percentage of revenue improved by 125 basis points.

Coletta commented, “With the initial impacts of COVID becoming more stabilized, we have returned to our efforts to increase automation and ferreting out inefficiencies.”

Mergers and acquisitions continue to drive Casella’s growth strategy. The company has completed the acquisition of nine businesses so far this year, adding approximately $21 million of annualized revenues.

“We continue to invest during the quarter and plan capital expenditures at our newly acquired operations to drive operating synergies and integration efforts,” Coletta said.

On October 26, Casella announced the sale of 2.7 million shares of Class A common stock. This yields $151.3 million of aggregate gross proceeds before deducting underwriting discounts and offering expenses, according to the company.

The net proceeds will be distributed for general corporate purposes which includes additional acquisitions as well as the development of new operations or assets “with the goal of complementing or expanding its business, working capital and capital expenditures.”

Additional highlights from the Q3 earnings report included:

  • Overall solid waste pricing for Q3  was up 4.0%, with collection pricing up 3.7%, and landfill pricing up 6.9%, from the same period in 2019.
  • Net cash provided by operating activities was $111.9 million for the year-to-date period, up $40.4 million, or up 56.5% from the same period in 2019.
  • The company raised its revenue, net income, Adjusted EBITDA, net cash provided by operating activities, and Adjusted Free Cash Flow guidance ranges, for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020 (“fiscal year 2020”).  The Adjusted Free Cash Flow range is raised to the original level set in February for fiscal year 2020 despite the headwinds associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coletta said the company continues to monitor the uncertain economic situation and public health crisis.

 “With the recent uptick in the pandemic, we are continuing to track activity levels carefully so that we can respond operationally to a change in circumstances,” he said.

Covanta Announces New President, CEO and a Strong Q3

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Covanta Holding Corporation (CVA) reported third quarter results for 2020 showing strong results during an earnings call on October 30.

But, before they went into the financials, Sam Zell, Chairman of the Board said the company is launching a strategic review of the company’s operations, growth priorities, and capital structure and he announced that Michael Ranger has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer to lead the review.

Ranger succeeds Stephen Jones who is stepping down from his roles at Covanta.

"We believe that now is the right time to review and refocus our strategy to capitalize most effectively on Covanta's strengths. Mike brings significant depth of experience in the power and waste-to-energy industries, with specific expertise in driving strategic and structural improvements in infrastructure businesses, and we are fortunate to have him lead this initiative for Covanta,” said Zell.

Zell then handed the call over to Covanta’s CFO to go over the third quarter earnings.

The company cited key points for its solid performance:

  • Year-over-year growth in Adjusted EBITDA
  • Waste markets returning to near pre-pandemic levels
  • Effectively navigating challenging operating environment
  • UK project development progressing on schedule

"During the third quarter we saw continued recovery from the initial months of the pandemic, most notably in the waste market, with tip fees up three percent year-over-year," said Covanta's CFO Bradford J. Helgeson. "While the operating environment remains challenging, our team has performed at a very high level, as our facilities matched last year's strong availability. We will continue to focus on operating safely and reliably, while progressing our growth initiatives, particularly in the UK."

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During the company’s earnings call, Helgeson said they’ve sustainability processed 5.5 million tons of waste in the third quarter. There is an adjusted EBITDA of $128 million which is up from September 2019 and there is a free cash flow of $3 million for the third quarter with $84 million year-to-date.

He said the waste market is returning to near pre-pandemic levels with continue recovery in commercial and industrial volumes and same store waste-to-energy tip fee pricing is up three percent.

Looking ahead, Covanta is entering into a new municipal contract with Town of North Hempstead, N.Y. to increase residential flows to its key facility. And, growth in the United Kingdom is continuing to move forward with three projects under construction with one set to start operating as early as 2022, said Helgeson.

"We have already begun to re-align the management team in order to sharpen our focus on key priorities. Derek Veenhof will lead our core domestic waste-to-energy business as Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for commercial activities, facility operations and asset management. Further, I am pleased that Owen Michaelson, a Covanta director since 2018, will be joining the team in January as President of Covanta Europe. Owen brings his three decades of experience in development and the waste industry in the UK to our growing business in the UK and Ireland,” said Ranger.

 

 

Need to Know

Halloween Display in Nova Scotia Made from Shoreline Waste

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One homeowner in Nova Scotia is highlighting the scary side of waste.

Angela Riley, founder of the shoreline cleanup business Scotian Shores, has constructed an entire Halloween display from trash gathered from local shorelines. She says she got the idea after seeing someone purchase fake spider webs.

Old rope, cans and lobster traps were turned into grave markers for animals that have gone extinct. The goal is to educate residents and interested parties about the impact of garbage to the world's water sources.

Rileys says it took two months to gather the trash needed.

Read the original article here.

Need to Know

Toledo, Ohio Develops a Creative Solution for Halloween Candy Wrappers

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With Halloween just around the corner, Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful Inc. has developed a creative solution for all of the candy wrappers from trick-or-treating. Since they can’t be recycled, they have candy wrapper collection bins at the YMCA of Greater Toledo locations and the Toledo Zoo until November 15.

The wrappers will be sent to a special processor and sorted for recycling. This is the second year that the program ran. The first year of the program was a huge success, where over 200 pounds of candy wrappers were collected.

Candy packaged in small cardboard boxes like NerdsMilk Duds and Mike and Ikes, are the most environmentally friendly candies.

Read the original story here.

Need to Know

America's Beverage Industry Celebrates One Year of Every Bottle Back

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WASHINGTON – The first year of a breakthrough effort by America’s leading beverage companies to boost the recycling of plastic bottles saw the initiation of modernization projects in Texas, Oklahoma and Wisconsin that will help more than 349,000 households recycle nearly 38 million new pounds of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic over ten years for remaking into new bottles, the American Beverage Association (ABA) announced today.

The investments are the first three of nine initial projects that we have committed funding for under Every Bottle Back, a 10-year effort by The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) and PepsiCo to marshal the equivalent of nearly a half-billion dollars to reduce the beverage industry’s plastic footprint.  The initiative will go toward the modernization of recycling infrastructure and to help educate consumers on the value of 100% recyclable plastic bottles in several regions of the USA.

This effort is backed by environmental and sustainability leaders World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which is helping measure the industry’s progress in reducing its plastic footprint, The Recycling Partnership, which is funding collection infrastructure to expand access and supporting consumer education so households can recycle better, and Closed Loop Partners, the leading investment firm focused on the development of the circular economy and recycling infrastructure in the United States.  This landmark initiative in partnership with respected environmental groups builds on the latest commitments by the beverage industry to reduce our use of new plastic, such as support for the federal Recycle and  Recover acts to bolster recycling education and improve recycling infrastructure, and the ABA’s joining of the U.S. Plastics Pact to work toward a circular economy for plastics.

“Despite new challenges recycling systems face as a result of the pandemic, the beverage industry is moving forward with our environmental partners and with community leaders on exciting projects to boost the collection of our 100% recyclable bottles and cans so they can be remade into new ones,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association.  “Every Bottle Back is our commitment to reduce our plastic footprint and ensure our plastic bottles don’t end up as waste in oceans, rivers or landfills.”

Over the past year, Every Bottle Back has:

  • Invested $3 million in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in partnership with the Balcones Material Recovery Facility (MRF) to upgrade the recycling infrastructure and boost collection rates.  Along with state-of-the-art technology aimed at enhancing load capacity, Every Bottle Back’s investment in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will provide more than 282,000 households with improved recycling access and consumer education.  These investments are expected to yield 30 million pounds of newly recovered, fully recyclable PET plastic over 10 years.
  • Invested $390,500 in Broken Arrow, Okla., to help launch a new curbside recycling program and provide 35,000 households with carts and recycling education materials.  Efforts in Broken Arrow are expected to boost collection of recyclable materials by 124 million pounds over 10 years, of which 2.1 million pounds will be aluminum and 5.8 million pounds will be PET plastic, both of which are used to make 100% recyclable cans and bottles.
  • Invested $520,000 in Kenosha, Wis., to convert more than 32,000 households from an outdated plastic bag recycling system to 96-gallon, curbside recycling carts.  This modernization will allow carts to be lifted and dumped into trucks via an automated arm, upgrading from the city’s current labor-intensive, manual collection of bags – providing a safer environment for workers.  Over the next 10 years, this investment is estimated to yield 54 million pounds of new recyclables, including 2.1 million new pounds of PET plastic and 702,000 pounds of aluminum.

“This initiative is important for improving recycling programs across the United States, and The Recycling Partnership is honored to be a part of this work,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership.  “Every Bottle Back’s efforts are helping make recycling more effective, accessible, and equitable, and we look forward to building on the progress of our continued partnership with the beverage industry.”

Every Bottle Back showcases how strong partnerships can accelerate investment and progress toward a more circular future,” said Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners.  “In partnership with the American Beverage Association and others, we are modernizing and optimizing recycling infrastructure in the United States, increasing access to local communities and keeping valuable materials in manufacturing supply chains and out of the natural environment.”  

“After one full year of the Every Bottle Back initiative, it’s clear that when companies tackle challenges together, they have the power to make a difference,” said Sheila Bonini, senior vice president, private sector engagement at the World Wildlife Fund.  “Our collaboration with the Every Bottle Back initiative, which pairs our expertise through ReSource: Plastic with the beverage industry’s commitment to improving PET recycling in the U.S., is a model for other industries to follow.”

The Every Bottle Back initiative complements other sustainability efforts underway by The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo that focus on designing for recyclability.  These efforts are increasing the use of recycled materials and improving the collection and recycling of bottles and cans so they can be remade into new ones.  In the coming years, Every Bottle Back and its partners will continue its regional investments and establish new partnerships to further its mission and protect the environment for generations to come.

Compostable, Recyclable Pandemic Gear Needed

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With the growing use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic, the Canadian government has asked the private sector to develop compostable masks and recycling technologies for single-use PPE, so they won’t land up in landfills.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has launched two business challenges to small and medium sized Canadian companies. The first challenge is for efficient and cost effective technologies that recycling PPE waste that may contain traces of bacteria or viruses into materials that can further be used in manufactured products. The second challenge is around compostable surgical masks and respirators that could be mass-produced and used by health care workers.

Companies accepted into the program could receive up to $300,000 in government funding to develop proof-of-concept, or up to $1 million to develop a working prototype.

Read the complete story here.

No Matter What You Throw at Them — Or In Them — Toter Trash Cans Can Handle It With Ease

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Imagine a residential trash container so durable it can be carted down a highway at 60 MPH for 13 miles. When Kurtis Frederick of Richland, Indiana forgot to unhook his Toter Trash Can from the tow of his truck, he was pleasantly surprised to learn his mistake wouldn’t result in a trip to a home improvement retailer for a new receptacle. Aside from a small amount of wear on the axle, the can was nearly unscathed. If you think all trash cans are the same, you’ve clearly never owned a Toter.

While Toter has a deep history of providing waste containers to cities and municipalities, it offers that same resilience to the residential market. Toter’s commercial-grade, large-capacity cans are suited for a variety of uses, including storing and transporting birdseed, dog food, horse feed... whatever you’ve got. 

“The same heavy-duty cans used by cities throughout North America are available at retailers nationwide,” explained Wastequip CEO, Marty Bryant. “Toter last longer than other cans and they’ve got the industry-best, 10-year warranty to prove it.”

Recognized as the World’s Toughest Carts™, the ergonomic design and rugged wheels make Toter cans easy to tilt, roll and maneuver. Only Toter offers Rugged Rim® technology for added strength in critical-wear areas, and with a revolutionary Advanced Rotational Molding™ manufacturing process, our garbage cans will stand up to the toughest environments imaginable.

There’s no other collection-can built with as much strength and versatility. Toter cans are available for purchase online or in-store. To see where you can find your next Toter-tough can in your neighborhood, visit www.Toter.com/consumers.

WM's Driving Sustainability Event Stresses Need for Collective Action

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Individuals need to participate in change because “it is the signal of demand that all corporations are listening to," said Christina Figueres.

Figueres, who is a former executive secretary for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) discussed the role of people and corporations in combating environmental issues at Waste Management's Driving Sustainability: Crisis to Opportunity virtual panel.

Along with Figueres, Jasmine Crowe, Goodr founder and CEO, spoke about the social impact of food insecurity and what can be done to bring food that would otherwise end up in landfills to those who need it most.

The event was the first in a two-part series leading up to Waste Management's Sustainability Forum which will be held February 3-4, 2021.

“We thought it was important to look back and conquer the intersection between environmental issues and social issues that have been amplified this year,” explained Tara Hemmer, senior vice president, field operations for Waste Management.

A Collaborative Effort

Whether its an environmental issue or social change that needs to be made, the needle of progress won’t move unless society participates in a collective and calculated manner, Figueres stressed throughout the presentation.

Climate change is a “team effort,” much like the prevention methods propagated to slow the transmission of novel coronavirus, she said.

Figueres touched on five lessons learned from the pandemic, saying that her thinking has evolved as the public health crisis conditions. However, there are fundamentals in both circumstances that have not changed, and one is the reliance on science.

“It is very clear that those countries that are following the suggestions and the guidance of health professionals who know the science behind the pandemic are doing much better than those that are not,” Figueres said.

And the same parallel can be applied to climate change because “relying on science for guidance is the only way to address climate change,” she said.

When lockdowns first began to take place at the beginning of 2020, people developed an “individualistic frame of mind.” As restrictions loosened, it became clear that the pandemic was not an individual issue, but rather a collective issue. The same can be said about climate change, Figueres said.

“Climate is not an individual sport. We cannot address climate individually,” she said. “Each of us has to contribute in some fashion just like a team sport, and every member of a sports team contributes to the overall effort.”

Large corporations such as Amazon, Apple and Ikea are making sustainability goals not for charity or to save the plant but because “it makes business sense” to be responsible with both environmental and social issues, Figueres said. 

“There is no more tolerance in the public’s eye for corporations that are being irresponsible, that are instead of contributing to the solutions, they’re contributing to the problem,” she stated.

Corporations are realizing that it’s not just their carbon footprint, but their entire supply chain that needs to evolve and become circular. And circular thinking is not just essential, it’s required to reduce waste.

A trend among these recognizable names is to set increasingly ambitious sustainability goals. Figueres referenced Amazon’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2040. Apple, Nike and Starbucks have set their sights on 2030. Other companies such as Ikea and Microsoft have set more aggressive goals, pledging to become climate positive by 2030.

Above all, creating an ecosystem of responsibility among corporations moving toward the same goal will “increase the resilience of all of them,” she said.

Figueres also alluded to individual actions that can be made to influence climate change and sustainability.

“We can’t expect governments and corporations to do something that we are not part of,” she stated.

By 2030, individuals, cities and corporations have to be at one-half of the emissions they currently are producing. If there is a collective effort, it will open the door to “a world that is so much better than the world we have now,” but it does require every person to participate.

The Face of Hunger

Crowe continued the conversation with educating the audience about food waste and insecurity.

What does hunger look like in America? “It’s a very sad picture,” she told viewers.

Food insecurity has drastically escalated during the pandemic, and those who have never experienced hunger are facing empty plates for the first time. And what someone visualizes as an individual who is facing food insecurity might not look like what they think.

“The face of hunger can look like anyone," Crowe said. “The face of hunger looks very different from what we’re shown.”

So how can the 72 billion pounds of edible food that goes to waste each year in America make it into the hands of those who need it most?

Crowe is tacking the issue with Goodr that currently is networking with 30,000 nonprofits across the nation to fight food insecurity, but it wasn’t always this way.

Working out of her home kitchen and food pantries in Atlanta, Crowe regularly cooked meals and hosted Sunday Soul Food pop ups for those in need. One day, a video she posted about the effort went viral and someone asked her which restaurants donated the food.

“The reality was nobody. I was couponing. I was price matching. I was taking $5 and $10 donations and turning it into these marvelous dinners for up to 500 people,” she explained.

A subsequent Google search led her to the issue of food waste. During her volunteer work at pantries, she noticed that the food provided was not substantive or nutritional. Sugary snacks, a gallon of barbeque sauce and potato chips were not sufficient for a healthy meal.

“The idea that we should produce more food when so much goes to waste is just not right,” she stated.

The two experiences gave Crowe the impetus to found Goodr, which “tracks an organization’s surplus food from pickup to donation, delivering real-time social and environmental impact reporting analytics.”

“I thought ‘why were we not using technology for social good to get food to people that were hungry?’ And that’s how the journey got started,” she said.

Crowe quickly realized that innovation is key to solving logistics issues that exist to get individuals the food they need. Through Goodr, she developed an app that allows businesses to click on the items they have to donate and schedule a pick-up through various partners such as Uber.

“No matter if this is a small amount of food that can fit into someone’s trunk or this is a distribution center than needs an 18-wheeler, we’re able to move that food,” Crowe explained.

And the journey is not over. Crowe and Goodr are continuing to have conversations with other stakeholders such as Waste Management to expand the network needed to battle food insecurity.

Just like Figueres, Crowe stresses that at the end of the day, it’s about the collaborative effort needed to find solutions to societal issues.

“It’s not just on one of us. It’s about everybody working collaboratively,” Crowe said. “ I believe as an individual that I can make a change and that’s why I started this company in 2017. While we’ve enjoyed so much success – whether that’s press or now we’re at 5 million meals we’ve provided to people in need – nothing will happen without these other partnerships and without these other networks. That is critical.”

She continued, “With everything we’ve experienced in 2020, partnerships and collaboration is going to be even more paramount to our success.”

 

Waste Connections Exceeds Outlook in Q3 – Noting A Healthy Increase in M&A Activity

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Waste Connections, Inc. (WCN) announced its results for the third quarter of 2020. Solid waste volume improvements and increased recovered commodity values drove better than expected results.

Healthy M&A activity also was discussed at length. Worthing F. Jackman, president and CEO, said that, “The acquisition pace of activity has actually increased and the dialogue is as active as we have seen years.” He also mentioned that the company has already signed and closed 16 acquisitions with $135 million in annualized revenue. He also believes that the company could head into 2021 with 2% top line growth already in hand from M&A.

Here is a look at the numbers for Q3:

  • Revenue: $1.390 billion, exceeding outlook
  • Net income attributable to Waste Connections: $158.0 million
  • Adjusted net income attributable to Waste Connections: $188.6 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA: $432.6 million, or 31.1% of revenue, exceeding outlook
  • YTD net cash provided by operating activities: $1.186 billion
  • YTD adjusted free cash flow: $778.4 million, or 19.2% of revenue and up YOY
  • Quarterly cash dividend: Increased 10.8%, the tenth consecutive increase in 10 years

“Sequential improvement in solid waste volumes and increased recovered commodity values drove better than expected results in the third quarter and provide incremental momentum going forward. Our strong operating results, financial performance and frontline support continue to differentiate Waste Connections during this year’s unprecedented health, economic and social challenges,” said Jackman.

Jackman added, “Higher margin flow-through from improving revenue during the quarter provided better than expected adjusted EBITDA margin and adjusted free cash flow generation. Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of revenue in the period was approximately 40 basis points above our outlook in spite of 30 basis points higher than expected discretionary frontline and incentive compensation costs impacting the quarter, which resulted from our more than $35 million commitment in incremental costs primarily directed to discretionary supplemental pay for frontline employees. Solid waste margins expanded by almost 200 basis points compared to the year ago period, with collection, transfer and disposal accounting for over 80% of that increase. Moreover, year-to- date adjusted free cash flow of $778 million, or 19.2% of revenue, increased year over year, putting us firmly on track to exceed the adjusted free cash flow outlook for the full year that we communicated in August and positioning us for double-digit growth in adjusted free cash flow in 2021.”

COVID-19 Impacts

Waste Connections continued to be impacted by COVID-19, albeit to a lesser extent than in the prior period in many markets. The impacts to solid waste activity from COVID-19 reflected the pace of reopening activity and varied by market, geography, the size and customer mix in each market. Through Q3, about 68% of solid waste commercial customers and 57% of associated revenue that had suspended or reduced service due to COVID-19, had since reached out for either a resumption of service or an increase in frequency, up from 53% and 42% respectively through the second quarter. As a result, solid waste collection, transfer and disposal revenue was down 2% YOY on a same store basis in the third quarter, an improvement of 330 basis points from Q2, which was down 5.3% YOY.

Looking Ahead

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on their business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows in future periods will depend largely on future developments, including the duration and spread of the outbreak in the U.S. and Canada, its severity, the actions to contain the pandemic or treat its impact, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume.

Jackman stressed that you need to take care of your people in any type of challenging environment going forward. By focusing on your people, it allows them to focus on their health, their own finances, the communities they serve, and it is imperative to stay ahead of it in order to support them.

As Jackman noted in the earnings call, he also believes that the company could head into 2021 with 2% top line growth already in hand from M&A. He said what drives a majority of our transactions is lineage transitions and that they are positioned well and have flexibility to fund continued outside acquisition activity.

When asked about ESG and sustainability, Jackman said that, “Our recently released Sustainability/ESG Report is what we’ve been doing for 20 years. What we can all do better going forward is to continue to be more visible about what we do.”