Waste Management Acquires Garick, Expands Organics Recycling

Waste Management, Inc. has acquired a majority equity interest in Garick LLC, a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of organic lawn and garden products that will accelerate the expansion of the company's organics recycling services and development of value added organic products.

Garick’s operations and commercial and consumer products will add more than 1 million tons of processing capacity to Waste Management’s organics recycling business and could lead to the development of composting and bagging facilities at North American locations. This expansion will benefit the company’s municipal, commercial and industrial customers seeking to convert their organic wastes into products such as compost, mulch and organic soil amendment.

The market for composting services is growing as consumers are increasingly demanding alternatives to conventional fertilizers for lawn and garden care, and municipalities and companies are seeking to increase the recycling of organic materials for beneficial use. Organic compost is considered a part of the green retail market, which has been growing at 20 percent annually.

North America generates more than 80 million tons of organic waste each year. In the United States, approximately one-third of municipal solid waste is organic, including food, yard and wood waste. Approximately 65 percent of yard waste and 2.5 percent of food waste collected in the United States are currently diverted from disposal.

“We want to extract the highest value possible from the materials we manage. Recycling organics through composting and other technologies that may produce energy, transportation fuels or specialty chemicals enables us to generate more value from this specific material stream,” said Tim Cesarek, managing director of Organic Growth at Waste Management. “Combining Waste Management’s leadership and expertise in the collection and management of organic feedstocks with Garick’s resources, knowledge and experience in yard and food waste composting and retail product sales will be key to developing new, high value-added end markets for organic materials and accelerating the growth of organics recycling across North America.”

The investment complements other company investments. In January, Waste Management invested in Harvest Power to expand its organics processing facilities and to develop innovative anaerobic digestion technology to accelerate the decomposition of organic materials that may produce renewable energy. In 2009, the company also invested in Terrabon to generate renewable transportation fuels from organic waste via a unique MixAlco™ technology.

“The deal with Waste Management will allow Garick to expand its geographical footprint in both supply and service to our growing customer base,” said Gary Trinetti, chief executive officer for Garick. “The ability to leverage Waste Management’s existing infrastructure, coupled with their commitment to redirecting organic waste streams to higher and better uses, will help close the loop for our mutual customers in accomplishing their recycling and sustainability goals.”