The wasteful habits of Americans are big business for Casella Waste Systems, which operates regional waste-hauling businesses mainly in the northeastern US. The company serves residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers. In 2012 it owned and/or operated 32 solid waste collection businesses, nine disposal facilities, 17 recycling facilities, 31 transfer stations, four landfill gas-to-energy facilities, one construction materials landfill, and one waste-to-energy plant. Casella Waste Systems holds a 50% stake in GreenFiber, a joint venture with Louisiana-Pacific that manufactures cellulose insulation from recycled fiber.
Casella Waste Systems' broad portfolio of waste service assets includes solid waste collection businesses, disposal facilities, recycling plants, transfer stations, and gas-to-energy and waste-to-energy facilities.
It manages its solid waste operations through regional operating segments. It had divided its waste-hauling operations into three independently operated geographic regions: Eastern (Maine and Massachusetts); Central (New Hampshire, Vermont, and eastern upstate New York), and Western (western upstate New York and Pennsylvania). To reduce operating costs, in 2011 the company consolidated its Central and Western regions into one segment, now called the Western region.
Casella reported revenues of $480.9 million in Fiscal 2012, a 3% increase over the previous year, primarily due to higher disposal prices and an increase in collection volumes. However, the company recorded a net loss of about $78 million in Fiscal 2012, compared to net income of $38.4 million in 2011, primarily because of a $47 million asset impairment charge related to its proposed sale of underperforming waste-to-energy plant Maine Energy Recovery, and higher general operating costs.
For about two years, the company has focused on paying down debt and improving its operating performance. Casella's stated strategy is to divest noncore assets, increase its landfill value, improve pricing and profitability, improve cost structure and service, and target tuck-in acquisitions and swaps. Another part of the company's strategy is to focus on resource transformation, which includes squeezing economic value from traditional waste streams. Toward this end, the company provides Zero-Sort recycling and clean energy programs.
As part of its strategy, in 2012 the company agreed to sell its Maine Energy Recovery facility to the City of Biddeford for about $7 million. In 2011 Casella sold FCR Recycling -- whose assets were outside its core Northeast footprint -- to a group of capital investment firms led by Pegasus Capital Advisers for $134 million. It also sold some smaller assets that year. The company used its proceeds of about $147 million from the sales to reduce its debt.
Earlier in 2011, Casella picked up a landfill in McKean, Pennsylvania, which had emerged from bankruptcy. The landfill adds much needed capacity to the company's Western region. That year the company also integrated solid waste and recycling services in seven states in the northeastern US.
In a 2010 move to raise cash, Casella sold its Rochester, Massachusetts, construction and demolition debris transfer station; its Sandwich, Massachusetts, transfer station; and its Cape Cod hauling assets and related equipment to United Waste Management for about $8 million. It also sold its Great Northern Recycling Canadian operation and its domestic brokerage operations.
The company was founded in 1975 with one truck.