Sponsored By
Allan Gerlat

June 10, 2015

2 Min Read
Management Team Buys Mid America Recycling Iowa Unit from Waste Management

The former management team of Mid America Recycling has purchased from Waste Management Inc. its recycling plant in Des Moines, Iowa, for an undisclosed amount.

The facility, one of Des Moines’ largest recycling operations, will continue to operate under the name Mid America Recycling. The same individuals who started and operated the business between 1979 and 2007 now will own and manage the operation, according to a news release.

The new, Lincoln, Neb.-based owners initially want to expand the commercial customer base and improve operating efficiencies at the facility.

The new ownership team has more than 100 years of combined expertise in recycling, waste management and business management. Michael “Mick” Barry will serve as president and co-owner. He was vice president of Mid America Recycling from 1998-2010.  The other co-owner is Brian Meng, He was president of Mid America Recycling and its companies from 1994 to 2002, adding the title of CEO in 2002.

The new team also includes Kelley McReynolds, vice president, co-owner & general manager, Lincoln operations; and Scott Emery, co-owner and general manager, Des Moines operations.

“We feel that now is the right time to re-enter the recycling market in the Des Moines area,” Barry said. “My business partner, Brian Meng, and I will utilize our experience, resources and intellectual capital to ensure that Mid America Recycling will return to the forefront of the recycling industry in the central United States.”

This is the second recent purchase by the management team. In April 2014 the group acquired the Midland Recycling facility in Lincoln–another location formerly under the Mid America Recycling umbrella. The owners identified similar goals with the takeover of that operation. They also said the view the Lincoln business as a first step in building a larger, multi-location enterprise as the previous group had done.

Houston-based Waste Management bought the Des Moines facility in 2013 from the Greenstar Recycling, which in turn purchased Mid America Recycling in 2007.

Waste Management has been a leader in expressing its concerns about the current challenging economics of recycling, along with many of the other major industry players. At WasteExpo’s Investor Summit at the beginning of June, there was substantial talk about experimentation in restructuring contracts. Waste Management said at the summit that it would like to move to a service fee model to charge for recycling.

About the Author(s)

Allan Gerlat

News Editor, Waste360

Allan Gerlat joined the Waste360 staff in September 2011 as news editor. He was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for the first 16 years of its history, and under his guidance the publication won 27 national and regional awards.

Before Waste & Recycling News, Allan worked at another Crain Communications publication, Rubber & Plastics News, which covers rubber product manufacturing. He began with the publication as associate editor and eventually became managing editor, a position he held for nine years.

Allan is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a BS in journalism. He is based in Sagamore Hills, in northeast Ohio.

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