Part of the fallout from Waste Management’s $4.6 billion deal to acquire Advance Disposal in 2020 is a new Canadian trash hauling competitor in the Rochester market.
GFL (Green For Life) Environmental Inc. took over Advanced Disposal’s Rochester area commercial trash hauling business last fall and launched new residential and roll-off services for the area in February.
“We are picking up customers in Southwest and Northwest Rochester,” said GFL General Manager David Meyer. “Northeast and Southeast are a little bit more of a challenge right now. Our goal is to keep growing. We definitely will be in all of them (Rochester quadrants), sooner or later.
GFL also won the contract to serve the City of Zumbrota in February. The firm has a local fleet of 11 bright green trucks now and it's adding more as it grows.
The addition of GFL brings the number of Rochester area residential trash haulers to four. Hometown Haulers and Sunshine Sanitation are locally based.
Waste Management, the largest trash hauler in the U.S., has long been a major player in the area. It has bought up smaller players, like Alli Rolloff Inc. and Garbage Man in recent years. The transition for Garbage Man customers in late 2017 and early 2018 did not go smoothly.
When Houston, Texas-based Waste Management decided to buy Advanced Disposal, the fourth largest U.S. hauler, the deal was approved with some restrictions.
The U.S. Dept. of Justice’s antitrust concerns pushed AD and WM to sell 32 collection operations, 36 transfer stations and 18 landfills in 10 states to GFL to get their deal approved. Advanced Disposal’s Rochester commercial hauler business was part of that deal.
That agreement landed GFL at 4245 US 14 East, Advanced Disposal’s former Rochester site. Last fall, GFL took on AD’s six local commercial hauling routes. Waste Management took over AD’s residential customers.
Now GFL, which has many former Advanced Disposal employees on its 16 person staff, is growing its footprint in the market. Meyer believes GFL’s offerings will be competitive, particularly compared with Waste Management.
“We have local customer service. That’s a really big deal,” he said, noting that Advance Disposal did not have that feature. “When people call in, they are literally talking to someone in the Rochester office.”
Leaning into its name, GFL is offering to pick up recycling on a weekly basis.
“I felt that there was a really great need for that. We really want to be Green,” said Meyer. “Promoting recycling is very important to us.”
On the issue of price, he said GFL is comparable to Hometown Haulers and Sunshine Sanitation, while being competitive with Waste Management’s pricing system. Meyer added that GFL’s billing is straightforward, with no surprises.
“We’re trying to take the hidden costs out of the picture and offer just a base rate,” he said. “Our goal was not to be the cheapest. Our focus is on service.”