GFL Environmental

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GFL Environmental Inc.
IndustryWaste management
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Area served
North America
Key people
Patrick Dovigi, founder, president and chief executive officer

GFL Environmental Inc. (also known as Green For Life or GFL) is a waste management company with headquarters in Toronto, Canada. GFL operates in all provinces in Canada, and currently employs more than 8,850 people. As of 2018, the approximate enterprise value of GFL is $5.12 billion.[1] The company provides environmental services to municipal, residential, commercial, industrial and institutional customers.[2]

Company history[edit]

GFL Environmental Inc. was founded in 2007 by Canadian entrepreneur and businessman Patrick Dovigi, who had previous experience in the environmental services industry and wanted to establish a company that could unlock the value in smaller waste companies in Canada.[2]

In recent history, GFL, along with subsidiaries under its control, has faced a number of workplace safety and environmental issues. Environmental issues include the spill of 200,000 gallons of used oil by a subsidiary in Illinois[3]; a $300,000 fine from violation of federal guidelines on the sale of tetrachloroethylene (the company and its CEO, Patrick Dovigi, were charged with violation of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act)[4]; and an injunction by a Cobb County, Georgia court halting the operation of a landfill[5][6]. Recent workplace deaths include a 31-year-old employee who died in an industrial accident in a Scarborough, Canada[7] and a 45-year-old-employee who was trapped under a garbage truck[8].


GFL was originally established from the merger of several Ontario environmental services firms, including Direct Line Environmental, National Waste Services and Enviro West.[9][10]

The same year that GFL was founded, the company gained the investment interest of Canaccord Genuity Corp.[2] Three years later, in 2010, Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta private equity firm, made a $105 million investment in GFL.[10][11]

GFL began to acquire environmental solution firms around Canada. In 2011, GFL acquired Turtle Island Recycling, a recycling company operating in Toronto.[12]

In 2014, GFL acquired the waste collection business of Contrans Group Inc., giving the company a larger solid waste management presence in Edmonton and Slave Lake, Alberta.[13] Also in 2014, GFL purchased the business operated by Waste Management in the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.[14]

A reorganization of GFL's share capital was completed in late 2014. The reorganization saw Roark Capital Group, which had provided capital to GFL since 2010, selling its stake in the company.[2] The reorganization introduced a new investor for GFL, Highbridge Principal Strategies (HPS).

GFL ACQUIRES EXCAVATION AND DEMOLITION BUSINESSES VAUGHAN, ON, July 28, 2015 /CNW GFL Environmental Inc. announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, GFL Excavating Corp. completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Anpro Environmental Group Inc., Anpro Excavating & Grading Ltd. and Pro-Green Demolition Ltd on July 24, 2015. Anpro has been a market leader in Southern Ontario in the excavating business for more than 40 years and Pro-Green, in the demolition business, for the past 10 years. Patrick Dovigi, president and CEO of GFL said: "With this acquisition, GFL will be the largest soil remediation and demolition contractor in Ontario, placing GFL in an excellent position for the large volume of infrastructure projects that have been announced forOntario over the next 3 to 5 years. The acquisition will also provide GFL with access to a new customer base which will present significant cross-selling opportunities for our liquid and solid waste operations. We are pleased to welcome all of Anpro and Pro-Green's employees to GFL." GFL, headquartered in Vaughan, ON, is a diversified environmental services company providing a comprehensive line up of solid waste, soil remediation, and liquid waste services. Through a national platform that currently spans 8 provinces, GFL currently serves approximately 23,400 commercial, industrial and institutional customers and more than 1,000,000 households under municipal solid waste contracts. Following completion of the acquisition, GFL will have a workforce of over 2,000 employees.

In February 2016, GFL completed the acquisition of Services Matrec Inc. (Matrec), the waste management division of Montreal-based TransForce.[1] The $800 million purchase represented GFL's largest acquisition in its company history and was supported by an equity investment of $458 million made by a fund managed by Macquarie Group and an additional investment provided by Highbridge Principal Strategies and other co-investors.[1][15]

The Matrec acquisition also represented GFL's entrance into the Quebec and eastern Ontario markets and increased GFL's total valuation to roughly $2.4 billion.[1]

Also in 2016, a new acquisition was announced with Canadian private equity firm, Novacap and Developpement EDB Inc., agreeing to sell Corporation de Developpement de Enviro-Viridis Inc., a Quebec-based environmental services firm, to GFL.

GFL announced on September 30, 2016, it completed a merger of Rizzo Environmental Services, Inc. and its subsidiary companies ("Rizzo Environmental" ) with a new U.S. subsidiary of GFL. Headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan, Rizzo Environmental was a market leader in municipal, commercial and industrial solid waste collection and in commercial recycling processing and brokerage. Rizzo Environmental had providesd collection services to more than 40 municipalities in Southeastern Michigan. Its recycling operations, with 3 commercial recycling facilities, had served customers in lower Michigan and northern Ohio. GFL purchased Rizzo Environmental around the same time that Rizzo's CEO, Chuck Rizzo, was indicted for bribery and wire fraud, among other charges.[16]

In 2018, its U.S. subsidiary, had purchased Waste Industries of Raleigh, North Carolina for an undisclosed price.

Residential solid waste operations[edit]

GFL trucks at Ingram Transfer Station in Toronto

In 2011, GFL won a seven-year contract to collect residential garbage from approximately 165,000 homes in west Toronto, specifically in the residential neighborhoods between Yonge Street and the Humber River.[10] The contract was expected to save the city roughly $11 million per year or $78 million over its total term.[10] GFL’s award of the contract was particularly publicized because it represented one of Toronto’s first moves to privatize and outsource the city’s residential garbage collection.

GFL's contract with the city of Toronto to collect residential waste west of Yonge Street began in August 2012.[10]

In January 2015, the Halifax council awarded GFL three new contracts to collect residential waste in Halifax for the next four years [17]

In 2016, the city of Windsor chose to keep their waste and recycling collection service outsourced and elected to retain GFL's services for the next seven years.[18] Windsor first contracted out its waste collection to GFL in 2010 after the city's workers went on a prolonged strike.

Soil remediation and excavation business[edit]

In 2011, GFL was awarded a contract by the city of Toronto to excavate the site of the Pan Am Aquatics Centre in Toronto that was opened for the Pan Am Games in July 2015. In January 2016, GFL acquired Anchor Shoring Group [19] to expand its services offered through its soil remediation, excavation and infrastructure group.


  1. ^ a b c d "Private equity investors pour $458 mln into GFL's acquisition of Matrec". The PE Hub Network. February 4, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Business is picking up at garbage upstart Green for Life". The Globe and Mail. February 3, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  3. ^ IEPA Seeks Action Against Granite City Company After Large Used Oil Spill, The Telegraph, Feb. 6, 2019.
  4. ^ Jeff Mitchell,, Dec. 10, 2018.
  5. ^ Leia Larsen, GFL-Operated Grady Road Landfill Landfill Battles Court Injunction, WasteDive, July 3, 2019
  6. ^ Kevin Myrick, Judge: Landfill Injunction Rules Stay in Place, The AP, May 24, 2019
  7. ^ Aileen Zangouei, Worker Dies in Industrial Accident During Yard Transfer to Stouffville,, Dec. 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Sean Bradley, Worker Dies After Being Trapped Under Garbage Truck Near Whitmore Lake, Livingston Daily, Oct. 11, 2019.
  9. ^ "Toronto's new garbage magnate stickhandles his way to the front". The Globe and Mail. October 26, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Garbage contract could save city $100M". The Toronto Star. December 27, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  11. ^ "Roark Capital Commits $105 Million to GFL Waste & Recycling". November 30, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  12. ^ "Green for Life Purchases Turtle Island Recycling". Recycling Today. December 20, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  13. ^ "Contrans Q3 profit shrinks to $8.1M; revenue grows to $153.3 million". Canadian Business. October 27, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  14. ^ "GFL Environmental to Buy Waste Management Canadian Assets". May 8, 2014. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  15. ^ "BMO forms Fortified Trust and prepares to enter the world of secured real estate credit lines". The Financial Post. January 25, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  16. ^ Robert Snell, Trash Giant Rizzo Pleads Guilty to Bribery, The Detroit News, November 9, 2017.
  17. ^ "Four companies pick up $60m in Halifax trash contracts". The Chronicle Herald. January 28, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  18. ^ "Windsor garbage to remain outsourced". CBC News. February 22, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  19. ^ "GFL to acquire Anchor Shoring Group". Canadian Manufacturing. January 18, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.