Republic Services, Inc is the second largest provider of non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, recycling, and energy services in the United States, as measured by revenue.
The company is active in recycling, reducing carbon emissions by replacing diesel trucks with compressed natural gas powered trucks, supporting composting and other community projects which relate to environmental conservation, sustainability and education.
Republic Industries was created as a waste disposal firm in 1981. H. Wayne Huizenga, became chairman of the board in 1995. At that time Republic Industries began acquiring auto dealerships and car rental agencies. In 1998, Republic Industries spun off Republic Services as an IPO then changed its name to AutoNation.
In June 2008, Republic became the second largest waste management company in the U.S. following the acquisition of its larger competitor, Allied Waste Industries, for $6.1 billion in Republic stock. The merged company retained the Republic Services name.
The Wall Street Journal reported in June 2010 that Republic Services’ $4 billion acquisition of Allied in December 2008 "has been successful from the start", delivering at the high end of the annual savings projected when they did the deal ($191 million), a 27% increase in share price.
After 12 years as CEO of Republic Services, James O’Connor retired on January 1, 2011. Replacing him was the president and COO of Republic Services, Donald Slager.
Thomas W. Handley and Jennifer M. Kirk were appointed to the Republic Services Board of Directors at the end of July, 2016, expanding the number of board members to 12, 11 of them independent.
Republic Services’ operations primarily consist of providing collection, transfer and disposal of non-hazardous solid waste, recovering and recycling of certain materials, and energy services.
As of December 31, 2015, it operated in 41 states and Puerto Rico through 340 collection operations, 201 transfer stations, 193 active landfills, 67 recycling centers, 8 treatment, recovery and disposal facilities, and 12 salt water disposal wells. Republic also operated 69 landfill gas and renewable energy projects and had post-closure responsibility for 126 closed landfills.
In January 2016, Republic realigned its field support functions by combining its three regions into two field groups, consolidating its areas and streamlining select operational support roles at its Phoenix headquarters.
According to Fleet Owner 500, 2017, Republic Services ranked 7 in the U.S. in total number of trucks in service with 19,004.
Republic Services announced in May 2017 that it will increase its usage of renewable natural gas (RNG) by a factor of three above what it used in 2016. They will also reduce usage of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) by about 110,000 metric tons by their fleet over the coming three years with an expanded agreement with Clean Energy.
Approximately 72% of its residential routes have been converted to automated single driver trucks. By converting its residential routes to automated service, they reduce labor costs, improve driver productivity, decrease emissions and create a safer work environment for its employees. Additionally, communities using automated vehicles have higher participation rates in recycling programs, thereby complementing its initiative to expand its recycling capabilities.
As of November, 2016 Republic Services operated a fleet of almost 2,500 CNG-powered vehicles, supported by 38 natural gas fueling stations. According to the company, their CNG fleet helped to save about 21 million gallons of diesel fuel.
In August 2016 Republic Services opened a new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station in Long Beach, California. The station will serve the recent addition of 56 CNG-powered garbage trucks which replaced their old diesel trucks. With this addition of CNG trucks the total number of alternative fuel vehicles operating in Long Beach is 147.
In Broward and Dade Counties in South Florida Republic Services added 62 CNG trucks to their collection fleet in April, 2016. The addition brought the total number of trucks to 127.
On Earth Day, April 22, 2016, Republic Services announced enhancements they made to the Anaheim Recycling Center. The new system was designed by RRT Design & Construction and Bulk Handling Systems. The new system can handle over 1000 tons of recyclables each day, or 100 tons per hour.
In Central Contra Costa County Republic Services added 40 Compressed Natural Gas solid waste collection trucks to its fleet. The CNG trucks replaced diesel-powered garbage collection trucks. As of April 2016 the total number of CNG trucks operated by Republic in Contra Costa County was 123.
In Portland, Republic Services added 16 CNG solid waste collection trucks to its fleet in April, 2016.
In St. Louis the company added four CNG solid waste collection trucks to its fleet, bringing the total number of CNG trucks in the region to 107.
At the end of 2015 Republic Services opened a $35 million, 110,000 square-foot recycling center in North Las Vegas. The plant is state-of-the-art with rooftop solar panels generating enough energy to run the plant for two to three months. The plant is designed to process one million pounds of recycled paper each day, going up to two million pounds as automation is completed during the coming three years. Eventually the plant will be able to recycle three million pounds of paper per day.
Approximately 16% of its fleet operates on CNG. Approximately 33% of its replacement vehicle purchases during 2015 were CNG vehicles. As of December 31, 2015, they operated 38 CNG fueling stations.
In Raleigh, North Carolina, Republic Services added eight CNG trucks in November, 2015, bringing the total number of CNG trucks in North Carolina to 25.
Republic Services brought the number of CNG trucks operating in Colorado up to 82 with an addition of 17 trucks in the greater Denver area.
In early 2015 Republic Services invested $19 million in a St. Louis recycling center upgrade of the company’s state-of-the-art Northside Recycling Center. The upgraded center is able to produce 25 tons of baled recycled material an hour. Ninety-two percent of the material that comes through the center is then sold to be remade into new products.
Republic Services owns or operates 193 active landfills. They also have responsibility for 126 closed landfills, for which they have associated closure and post-closure obligations.
Republic Services owns and operates the largest landfill in the United States at 2,200 acres (890 ha) located in Apex, Nevada.
In 2008, at the time that Republic Services bought Allied Waste, it acquired two closed St. Louis, Missouri landfills, West Lake and Bridgeton. An underground event (more accurately referred to as a “smoldering event”) was detected in the closed Bridgeton Landfill. Due to the odors emitted from the landfill and its proximity to the adjacent West Lake—an EPA-managed Super Fund site which contains low-level radioactive waste dumped there illegally over forty years ago—environmental groups got involved.
Republic operates the Bridgeton Landfill near St. Louis, Missouri. The landfill is the site of an underground event of concern to residents and the EPA. Since 2013, when Republic Services installed equipment to flare off gasses and treat contaminated liquid, the levels of contaminants released into the air have mostly fallen below regulatory acceptable levels.
In 2013 the company said it would build a barrier to separate the two landfills, but because the EPA was uncertain where the radioactive contamination was located, progress on the barrier was delayed for more than a year.
In March 2016 the EPA released studies which showed the extent of the radioactive waste on the site, and allowed the company to build a barrier without disturbing the radioactive areas. During the construction of the barrier Republic also must submit plans for a cooling system, which must be completed within four months of commencement of construction. The company will also enlarge onto the north quarry of Bridgeton Landfill a plastic liner that it already installed over the south quarry. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 Administrator Mark Hague said this should help control the reaction by blocking oxygen “as well as mitigate some of the odors coming off of this site.” Republic will also install more temperature monitors plus two sulfur dioxide monitors to track unhealthy emissions. They will also be required to develop a system which can quickly extinguish any new hot spots that the underground event might create.
Republic Services, along with all other waste and recycling companies, are subject to a variety of federal, state and local requirements that regulate, among other things, the environment, public health, safety, zoning and land use. Operating and other permits, licenses and other approvals generally are required for landfills and transfer stations, certain solid waste collection vehicles, fuel storage tanks and other facilities that they own or operate. Federal, state and local laws and regulations vary, but generally govern wastewater or storm water discharges, air emissions, the handling, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste, and the remediation of contamination associated with the release or threatened release of hazardous substances. These laws and regulations provide governmental authorities with strict powers of enforcement. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and various other federal, state and local authorities administer these regulations.
In February 2016, Republic Services said that it would be opening a customer service center in Fishers, Indiana and creating hundreds of jobs over the next 10 years. They are investing $13.6 million to renovate and equip office space along the I-69 corporate corridor in Fishers. The customer service office is expected to be operational by September 1, 2016, and will create up to 469 new jobs by 2025.
In February 2016 it was announced by North Carolina Governor Pay McCrory and N.C. Commerce Secretary John E. Skvareta, III, that Republic Services was planning to open a full-service Customer Resource Center in Charlotte. It is expected that the facility will create over 350 new jobs, while Republic’s investment in the Center is projected to be over $6.8 million over the next three years.
In January 2016, the company said it will invest $20 million during 2016 to design and implement its Customer Resource Centers in addition to other customer focused initiatives. The company expects the changes to result in a yearly savings of about $10 million.
Republic Services puts a substantial percentage of its earnings- 45 percent- into developing new technologies and initiating new programs across the US. The company has also been an industry leader in advancing new technologies, including converting landfill gas to energy, solar energy products, and a natural gas fleet.
The company has developed programs that will enable it to reduce emissions by 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent over the next four years, including developing at least two landfill gas-to-energy projects each year, adding at least 150,000 tons per year of recycling capacity, and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from its fleet by 3% by 2018.
At the end of 2015, 40 companies participated in an inaugural business tour in Seattle highlighting the regenerative model of what has become known as the circular economy. Those in attendance, including Jennifer Gerholdt, the environment and sustainability director at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, toured Republic Services as well as General Biodiesel, Phillips, PCC Markets/Wiserg and others.
Republic Services scored in the 90th percentile of the Commercial Services and Supplies sector of the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability—North America Index™ (DJSI), and was also named to the 2016 DJSI World and North America indices. Republic is the only recycling and solid waste collection provider in the Commercial Services and Supplies sector that is included in the 2016 DJSI World Index. The rankings highlight Republic's leadership in corporate governance, environmental, social and financial aspects of sustainability.
The Blue Planet sustainability initiative is Republic Services’ approach to corporate social responsibility through their efforts to reduce emissions from operations; improve materials management; improve safety standards; increase community engagement; and a focus on employee growth opportunities. At the end of August, 2017, the company released its most recent Sustainability Report describing how well it was able to advance its sustainability initiatives.
Republic owns or operates 67 recycling centers. These facilities generate revenue through the processing and sale of old corrugated cardboard (OCC), old newspaper (ONP), aluminum, glass and other materials, which accounted for approximately 4% of their revenue during 2015. Approximately 70% of its recycling center volume relates to OCC, ONP and other mixed paper. Of the 5.1 million tons they sold during 2015, 2.5 million moved through its recycling centers and 2.6 million they collected and delivered to third parties.
In partnership with the Alabama Coastal Foundation (ACF) Republic Services is launching an oyster shell collection program in 28 restaurants. Funded by a two-year grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the goal of the collection program is to create sustainable oyster habitats and to teach the public about the importance of oyster shell recycling.
In June 2016 the company, together with Lab USA, announced the launch of a state-of-the-art ash metal recovery facility at the Roosevelt Regional Landfill in Roosevelt, Washington. The high-tech process allows metals which would otherwise have been lost into the environment to be reclaimed, recycled, shipped to manufacturers and repurposed as new metal products. The facility will systematically extract metal from ash that is already found in the landfill in addition to all newly delivered ash. It is estimated that the facility will be able to recover and recycle more than 46,200 tons of ferrous metals and 42,900 tons of non-ferrous metals. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, recycling iron uses 20 percent less energy in production than extracting iron from natural resources. Recycling copper saves about 60 percent of the energy which would be needed to mine copper. Use of this facility will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In Missoula, Montana Republic Services launched an expanded recycling program in response to demand made by the citizens of the city.
On April 19, 2016 Republic Services launched a website to allow easier access to sustainability resources and community tours at the Southern Nevada Recycling Center. The Nevada Center opened in November 2015, and is described as a “state-of-the-art” recycling center. It was developed and built by Cambridge Cos., of Griffith, Indiana. The facility is 110,000 square feet, making it the largest residential recycling plant in the country.
In partnership with the city of Chesterfield, and USAgain, Republic Services launched a new program offering curbside textile recycling in Chesterfield, Missouri. The program began in April 2016.
In September 2015 the Buffalo Bills partnered with Republic Services for the third year in a row to encourage and support recycling during the football team’s home games. The goal was to maintain the cleanliness of the parking lot at Ralph Wilson Stadium by handing out recycling bags and garbage bags to fans who participate in tailgating.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas partnered with Republic Services of Southern Nevada in September 2015 to participate in the GameDay Recycling Challenge. The challenge is a competition between 72 college football teams across the United States.
At the end of August, 2017, Republic Services signed a deal of purchase ReCommunity Holdings, the largest independent recycling-processing company in the United States. ReCommunity operates 26 recycling centers in 14 states, manufacturing reusable items from waste. ReCommunity's plants recover about 1.6 million tons of recyclable commodities annually, which will help Republic Services achieve their "Blue Planet" sustainable initiative of adding at least 150,000 tons of recycling capacity per year by 2018.
In September of 2017, Republic Services and Soltage activated a 13.5 megawatt solar energy project in Massachusetts. The project, constructed on three former landfill sites, when finished, will include approximately 41,000 solar panels to power 1,900 local households and reduce carbon emissions by more than 14,000 tons.
In April 2016 the city of Boise, Idaho began to consider the implementation of a composting program, utilizing Republic Services, the company that is already hauling garbage in the city.
On May 6, 2010 Allied Waste, a Republic Services company, upgraded its Pacific Region Compost Facility (PRC) with the state’s first food composting facility, accept all food waste including meat, bread and vegetable products, which per the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is almost 15 percent of the material landfilled in Oregon. Allied Waste paved 2 acres (8,100 m2) purchased and installed a composting system that has been used successfully in Washington and California called “aerated static pile technology.” It captures and controls emissions from the composting process using a negative air system has a smaller footprint than other methods, and reduces the amount of storm water runoff.
In July 2016 Republic Services and Mas Energy announced a new renewable energy project to serve the metropolitan Atlanta area. The project includes three landfill gas to energy facilities in Buford, Griffin and Winder. The facilities will produce 24.1 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 15,665 households. The three facilities together will be the largest landfill gas-to-energy project in Georgia. Republic Services converts landfill gas, the natural byproduct of decomposing waste, to energy. The use of landfill gas provides the U.S. economy with benefits, including reducing air pollution through the capture and use of methane. As of December 31, 2015, Republic Services operated 69 landfill gas and renewable energy projects.
In April 2015 Republic Services opened a landfill gas-to-energy project near Los Angeles at the Sunshine Canyon Landfill. The 20-megawatt renewable energy project has the ability to supply enough electricity to power almost 25,000 homes in the area.
In January 2010, the EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) selected three Republic Services landfill gas-to-energy projects (LFGTE) as LFGTE Projects of the Year for 2009. Ox Mountain Landfill in Half Moon Bay, California; Jefferson City Landfill in Jefferson City, Missouri and Oak Grove Landfill in Winder, Georgia were honored at the annual LMOP conference in Baltimore in January 2010.
Republic Services developed LFGTE projects at 73 of its 213 landfills, including 52 electric generating plants, 13 medium Btu plants that provide LFG to industrial users, 6 high Btu plants that produce pipeline quality gas and 3 leachate evaporators; The 52 electric projects generate 323 MW of electricity, enough to power about 250,000 homes. The 22 other projects provide or process more than 58,000 scfm of gas, energy needed to heat almost 200,000 homes, the combined benefits equivalent to removing about 4 million cars off the road.
In 2008, Republic Services agreed to pay a $1 million fine and up to $36 million in remediation costs for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at a closed landfill in Clark County, Nevada.
In 2007, Republic Services was fined $725,000 by the State of California related to hazardous waste leaking from a closed landfill into San Francisco Bay.
In 2014, Republic Services gave $50,000 to Missouri Republicans to their House and Senate campaign committees and $20,000 to House and Senate committees for Missouri Democrats.