In collaboration with Waste360, Stifel conducted a survey of solid waste companies between January 15 and February 1, focusing on trends in the waste industry through 2021. The survey was conducted by 117 respondents across the country.
Of those surveyed, 88 percent said they were involved in recycling, 59 percent in collection and 47 percent in disposal.
When asked about the sustainable change in residential volume after the second quarter of 2020, 79 percent said that the volume has increased, 12 percent that the volume has remained the same and 8 percent that the volume has decreased. In terms of percentage changes, 7 percent said the volume increased more than 40 percent, 3 percent said it increased 31 to 40 percent, and 19 percent said it increased 21 to 30 percent , 29 percent said it increased 11 to 20 percent, 22 percent said it increased 1 to 10 percent, 12 percent said nothing has changed, and 8 percent said it has decreased. Only 32 percent of those surveyed stated that they would be compensated for this increased volume of living space.
When asked about the sustainable change in trading volume after the second quarter of 2020, 62 percent said the volume had decreased, 25 percent said the volume was unchanged, and 13 percent said the volume had increased. In terms of percentage changes, 13 percent said the volume went up, 26 percent said there was no change, 4 percent said the volume was down 1 to 9 percent, 16 percent said the volume is down 10 to 19 percent, 18 percent said the volume is down 20 to 29 percent. 12 percent said the volume was down 30 to 49 percent, and 10 percent said the volume was down 50 percent or more.
When asked about the change in permanent roll-offs from the beginning of 2021 compared to the same period of the previous year, 40 percent said they had increased the number of roll-offs, 35 percent said the number was unchanged and 25 percent said the number was the same decreased.
When asked about the change in temporary roll-offs from Q4 2020 compared to a year earlier, 38 percent said the number had increased, 36 percent said the number had stayed the same, and 26 percent said the number had decreased. With regard to the composition of the temporary roll-off applications, 45 percent of those surveyed said they were in favor of non-residential construction, 33 percent for residential construction and 22 percent for infrastructure projects.
81 percent of respondents said that their fleet equipment did not need to be parked in 2020. Regarding the container trends, 69 percent said that no containers need to be pulled and stored, 14 percent said that between 1 and 10 percent of the containers need to be pulled and stored 4 percent said 11 to 20 percent of the containers need to be pulled and stored stored, 3 percent said between 21 and 30 percent needed to be pulled and stored, and 10 percent said more than 30 percent needed to be pulled and stored. Of all the towed containers, 49 percent were commercial, 33 percent were temporary and 18 percent were permanent.
When asked about the change in capital spending compared to pre-COVID spending, 4 percent said it increased 21 percent or more, 8 percent said it increased 1 to 20 percent, and 66 percent said it there was no change, 7 percent said they went down 1 to 20 percent, and 15 percent said they went down 21 percent or more.
When asked about M&A appetite, only 18 percent of respondents answered that they were potential sellers of their business. Of this group, only 24 percent said the potential sale had been put on hold. Conversely, 22 percent said they were potential buyers. Of this group, only 12 percent said the potential purchase had been postponed.
Regarding the impact of the presidential election on economic prospects, 54 percent said it will have an impact on their prospects. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said the economy would fare worse because of the election results, compared with 32 percent who expected the economy to be better and 11 percent said they were undecided.
Based on the president’s result, 54 percent said they didn’t expect any change in their capital investment decisions, 13 percent said they would spend more, while 33 percent would spend less.
The full report is available online.