The 10 Largest Waste Management Companies In The United States

By Sky Ariella
Apr. 27, 2023
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Largest Waste Management Companies Research Summary

  • The largest waste management company in the US is Waste Management Inc, with a revenue of $19.7 billion and 49,500 employees.

  • As of 2022, the US waste management industry has a market size of $68 billion.

  • Over 268 million tons of waste is produced in the U.S. each year.

  • The global waste management market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% through 2030.

The trash that humans create isn’t the most pleasant part of life, but regardless it needs to be handled professionally. The businesses responsible for managing what’s discarded in the United States are waste management companies.

While having pounds of garbage as a constant co-worker doesn’t sound like the most glamorous working environment, the largest players in the waste industry earn billions of dollars every year.

waste produced in the US per year


  1. Waste Management Inc: Houston, Texas

    2022 Annual Revenue. $19.7 billion

    Number of Employees: 49,500

    Most Americans recognize the forest-green trucks and bold WM logo of Waste Management Inc driving around their neighborhood to collect trash. Waste Management Inc supplies 21 million customers in North America. These include commercial, residential, and industrial clients.

    Waste Management Inc has an extensive collection of locations and facilities that are part of its network. This includes:

    • 293 Active Landfill Disposal Sites

    • 346 Transfer Stations

    • 146 Recycling Facilities

    • 26,000 trucks and miscellaneous transfer vehicles

    Waste Management Inc is another company that started out small and eventually grew into the largest waste management company in the United States.

  2. Find Waste Management Jobs Near Me

  3. Republic Services. Phoenix, Arizona

    2022 Annual Revenue: $13.511 billion

    Number of Employees: 35,000

    Republic Services specializes in the collection of non-hazardous trash items, but they also have a hand in recycling materials to create new energy. The organization operates across 80% of the United States. They work in a variety of different waste management locations, such as:

    • 204 Transfer Stations

    • 343 Collection Operations

    • 195 Active Landfills

    • 90 Recycling Centers

    • 7 Treatment Plants

    While Republic Services has an impressive track record in terms of business expansion and yearly revenue, the company isn’t free from controversy. They’ve been called out by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for being a potential contributor to radioactive waste at West Lake Landfill.

    Still, Republic Services is the second-largest waste management company in the United States.

  4. Find Republic Services Jobs Near Me

  5. Clean Harbors. Norwell, Massachusetts

    2022 Annual Revenue: $5.17 billion

    Number of Employees: 14,400

    Clean Harbors is a hazardous waste disposal service that caters to some of the most powerful Fortune 500 companies in the country. They’re also the waste management provider for local, state, and federal levels of the United States government.

    Since its founding in 1980, Clean Harbors has continued to grow through strategic acquisitions steadily. Today the organization owns a total of 400 waste management and disposal service locations around the world.

    That’s fairly impressive for a company that started with a single truck to haul and dispose of trash. Clean Harbors went from a local business that handled hazardous waste to a multi-billion dollar corporation with an extremely diversified portfolio considered to be one of the largest in the United States.

  6. Find Clean Harbors Jobs Near Me

  7. Stericycle. Lake Forest, Illinois

    2022 Annual Revenue: $2.7 billion

    Number of Employees: 23,200

    Stericycle is responsible for handling and properly disposing of a bunch of extremely hazardous types of waste. Some of the trash that Stericycle works with on a daily basis includes:

    • Medical waste

    • Needles

    • Pharmaceuticals

    • Recalled products

    These types of waste require expertise and the utmost care to avoid any health risks. Their objective is to prevent the public from getting exposed to these dangerous trash items.

    There are many different types of facilities that require the assistance of Stericycle, such as:

    • Hospitals

    • Outpatient clinics

    • Pharmaceutical manufacturers

    • Dental offices

    • Funeral homes

    Since the services of Stericycle are so desperately needed to keep Americans safe, they’ve experienced an enormous amount of success.

  8. Find Stericycle Jobs Near Me

  9. Advanced Disposal Services. Ponte Vedra, Florida

    2022 Annual Revenue: $1.6 Billion

    Number of Employees: 5,400

    A big factor behind the success of Advanced Disposal Services is that they provide services to a wide variety of property types. Advanced Disposal provides its services to:

    • Commercial properties

    • Residential properties

    • Industrial complexes

    • Government institutions

    • Construction companies

    Each of these customers has unique waste needs that Advanced Disposal Services is happy to oblige. Some of their common services include:

    • Construction and demolition

    • Recycling

    • Special waste collection

    • Oil and gas drilling waste material clean up

    • Electronic recycling

    The eclectic services that Advanced Disposal Services provides have made them one of the largest waste management companies in America based on revenue and customer base.

  10. Find Advanced Disposal Jobs Near Me

  11. Recology. San Francisco, California

    2022 Annual Revenue: $1.4 Billion

    Number of Employees: 3,800

    Alternatively, one of the oldest waste management companies that assist us in disposing of our trash is Recology, which was founded in 1920. While Recology, formerly known as Norcal Waste Systems, is a waste management company, they also focus a lot of energy on reclaiming reusable materials for sustainability purposes.

    They aren’t the largest waste management company in the United States, but they are the biggest organic compost facility according to volume.

    There are currently 40 operating companies that Recology owns. These subsidiaries bring in over a billion dollars per year in revenue, making Recology one of the largest waste management companies in the United States.

  12. Find Recology Jobs Near Me

  13. Casella Waste Management. Rutland, Vermont

    2022 Annual Revenue: $1.085 billion

    Number of Employees: 2,300

    Founded in 1975, Casella Waste Management started out as a homegrown small business. Doug Casella initiated the company with savings that he’d accumulated throughout his high school years and a small route picking up trash around the Rutland, Vermont area.

    From humble beginnings blossomed one of the most lucrative waste management companies in the United States.

    After becoming a publically traded entity in 1997, Casella Waste Management became even larger. It still remains one of the most successful company IPO in history.
    Today, Casella’s attention has turned more towards providing sustainable and renewable resources in its waste management services.

  14. Find Casella Waste systems Jobs Near Me

  15. US Ecology. Boise, Idaho

    2022 Annual Revenue: $988.0 million

    Number of Employees: 3,600

    US Ecology has been on the waste collection scene since the early 1980s. Their purpose is to collect low-level radioactive waste for treatment and disposal. Some of the organizations that use US Ecology’s services include:

    • The United States Army Corporation

    • Governmental branches

    • Medical facilities

    • Steel millions

    • Nuclear plants

    While US Ecology had some turbulent times in its history, it has managed to stay on the list of the ten largest waste management companies in the United States.

  16. Find US Ecology Jobs Near Me

  17. Waste Pro USA. Longwood, Florida

    2022 Annual Revenue: $900 Million

    Number of Employees: 3,200

    Waste Pro USA is a little bit younger than some of the other huge waste management companies on this list. It was founded in 2001 with the goal of providing exceptional service, equipment, and waste management to commercial and residential locations.

    This is a promise that they’ve lived up to because Waste Pro USA has managed to become one of the largest waste management companies in the United States in these 20 short years.

    Additionally, Waste Pro USA is a big supporter and contributor to sustainability within the industry. Their determination and quick success has landed Waste Pro USA a spot as one of the largest garbage management companies in the USA.

  18. Find Waste Pro Jobs Near Me

  19. Covanta Holdings Corporation. Morristown, New Jersey

    2022 Annual Revenue: $547 million

    Number of Employees: 4,000

    One of the elements that set Covanta Holdings Corporation apart from other waste management companies in the field is its waste-to-energy initiative. This means that Covanta uses trash form as fuel.

    This enables them to collect money from their disposal and energy services. Most of their projects are with governmental bodies and utility providers.

    Covanta currently operates over 40 of these types of waste-to-energy plants around the world. These facilities burn an average of 20 million tons of garbage annually and also recycle an estimated 550,000 tons of metal.

    While many people are split on whether burning trash is a viable energy solution, Covanta continues to be one of the largest waste management companies in North America, with annual revenue of $1.7 billion.

  20. Find Covanta Jobs Near Me

Waste Management FAQ

  1. What is the biggest problem with waste management?

    The biggest problem with waste management is the lack of proper equipment, regulations, and precautions. Unresolved issues in the industry can lead to serious environmental concerns, with the most prominent being:

    • Lack of proper collection

    • Poor disposal infrastructure

    • Inadequate transportation

    • Subpar safety and environmental regulations

  2. What is the most popular method of waste management?

    Lanfills are the most common method of waste management. Landfills involve the use of collection trucks and transfer stations that relocate waste to a designated site. While these sites aren’t necessarily the cleanest or environmentally friendly, they are one of the only modern solutions for massive quantities of trash.

    However, other popular methods of waste management include:

    • Recycling

    • Composting

    • Animal Feed

    • Raw Material For Companies

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Sky Ariella

Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

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