On January 31, Waste Management acquired one of the largest private recyclers in the United States. The acquisition of Greenstar from NTR essentially solidifies our position as the country's largest processor of residential and commercial recovered materials. The addition of Greenstar also gives us the capacity to manage about 15 million tons each year of recyclable materials for municipal, industrial, and commercial customers.
To give you an idea of Greenstar’s size, the company has 12 MRFs (seven of which are single stream) and a brokerage business which combined, processed around 1.5 million tons of recycled material to more than 12,000 customers in 2012.
By comparison, Waste Management sold nine million tons of recycled material through our plants and brokerage business in 2012. We operate 120 material recovery facilities (MRFs) throughout North America, including 42 single-stream facilities. For the past five years, we have invested about $100 million each year in building, maintaining, and upgrading our MRFs. We also have a sizable brokerage business that sells all the materials we produce in our MRFs as well as the materials generated by large printers and shredding companies (not unlike Greenstar’s brokerage business).
Thanks to employees’ hard work over the past few years, Greenstar became a company that, when combined with WM, can help us expand our service area and help us provide better service to our customers. Over the last few years Waste Management has transformed from a company that relied on collection and landfill assets to a company that recognizes the strategic importance of recycling to our business.
With this acquisition, we expect to capture value through both the added geographic footprint that Greenstar plants provide and the added volumes from Greenstar’s brokerage business. We also expect through the combination of the businesses to reduce costs. With this investment in Greenstar, we are furthering our commitment to recycling and our goal of extracting more value from the materials we manage. We can also reach almost three quarters of our goal to manage 20 million tons of recyclable material by 2020.
It has been a pleasure to work the Greenstar team during this entire process, and I have been impressed with the work ethic and professionalism that I know runs throughout the organization.
We are extremely excited about what the combination of our two companies will mean for the future.