SOURCE: Farkas Berkowitz & Company

August 27, 2009 11:17 ET

Higher Prices and Diversification Compensate for Volume Declines in the Hazardous Waste Industry

2009 Report Released by Farkas Berkowitz & Company

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - August 27, 2009) - Ewire -- Firms participating in the hazardous waste industry generated approximately $5 billion in revenue in 2008, half from collection and disposal services and half from adjacent and related services, according to a survey conducted by Farkas Berkowitz & Company. The twenty-six firms that responded to the survey operate 167 permitted hazardous waste facilities and received around 84 percent of the approximately 11 million tons of hazardous waste shipped to commercial facilities. Revenues for firms that participated in the survey ranged from less than $5 million to greater than $1 billion in 2008. Operating margins were in the range of 10 - 25 percent for 64 percent of respondents. Looking forward, 81 percent of survey participants expect revenues to decrease in 2009, but 67 percent anticipate that they will be able to maintain profit margins. The full report complete with charts and graphs can be downloaded for free from the Firm's website at

For the hazardous waste industry, 2008 was a great year; 2009 will be a lot more challenging. Growth slowed from 12 percent in 2007 to 8 percent in 2008, but operating margins increased for 77 percent of survey participants and were unchanged for 19 percent. The recession threatens future revenues. The economic downturn means less waste will be generated. Manufacturing capability in the U.S. is declining, the automobile industry being just one example. Customers are cutting costs. Economists predict a shallow trough and a very slow recovery.

In terms of traditional hazardous waste services, price increases generally exceeded volume increases in 2008, although there were exceptions. For landfills, volumes increased for 50 percent of respondents and decreased for 42 percent, but 67 percent raised prices. For incineration, volume increased for 40 percent of respondents and decreased for 40 percent, but 100 percent of survey respondents increased prices. For cement kilns, volumes also increased for 40 percent of respondents and decreased for 40 percent, but none of the cement kiln respondents increased prices.

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Contact Information

    Joan B. Berkowitz