Recent amendments to the federal Superfund law will have an important side effect: putting enormous sums of money into the pockets of eight major companies who have already captured 50% of the Superfund cleanup business. The effect will be to tighten the grip these eight companies are developing over the entire U.S. waste industry.
Total expenditures for Superfund cleanups in 1986 were $602 million but by 1996, ten years later, annual Superfund expenditures are expected to rise to $23.1 billion. This means the industry is expected to grow 36% each year. To put this into perspective, the entire waste industry, which is considered a rapidly expanding enterprise, grows 20% per year. Most healthy American businesses grow 3% to 10% per year. A 36% annual growth represents phenomenal growth (a doubling in size every two years!) and a phenomenal opportunity for high rollers.
Industry analysts believe these high-growth conditions will favor the eight major companies that already dominate the Superfund cleanup business. These companies are much more likely to grow than smaller companies because their size, their financial strength, and their aggressive style allow them to acquire expensive assets like landfills, which are often owned by organized crime syndicates. The eight large companies will grow by buying their smaller competitors. Probably a few of the big eight will, themselves, be absorbed by the largest and most aggressive. The surviving companies are likely to be arrogant, ruthless, fabulously wealthy and aggressive as pit bulls.
The eight are: American Ecology Corp. of Agura Hills, CA; Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) of Houston, TX; Chem-Clear of Wayne, PA; Chemical Waste Management of Oak Brook, IL; Environmental Systems Corp. of Redlands, CA; International Technology Corp. of Torrance, CA; Rollins Environmental Services of Wilmington, DE; and U.S. Pollution Control Inc. of Oklahoma City, OK.
For more information, request a copy of THE SUPERFUND HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT
INDUSTRY from Beverly Christensen, Lyon Research Co., 55 Broadway, New York, NY 10006; phone (212)
--Peter Montague, Ph.D.
Descriptor terms: american ecology corp; bfi; chem-clear; cwmi; environmental systems corp.; it corp; rollins environmental services; us pollution control inc.; superfund; remedial action; hazardous wastes; waste treatment technologies; waste industry;