In the wee hours of the morning, trucks chug up and down the streets of American cities, hauling away trash and recyclables. Businesses ranging from IT infrastructure to oilfield processors require their services, as do consumers. The process has been similar for decades and generates recurring revenue, which makes recycling & waste management a reliable industry that attracts a steady stream of PE firms. From 2007 to the present, each year's U.S. PE deal count for the industry hovers close to the median of 17, discounting 2009. Many of the recycling & waste deals since 2007 were smaller in nature, with the median deal size at $60 million and 59% of the deals under $100 million in size.
The Great Lakes and the Southeast accounted for the largest portions of the deal activity since the start of 2007, 24% and 16% respectively. However, the Great Lakes region's share of the yearly deal flow has been growing recently, from 13% of deals in 2011 to 50% in 2013, while the Southeast's has declined since hitting 43% in 2009.