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GFL Environmental

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GFL Environmental Inc.
Company typePublic
IndustryWaste management
Founded2007; 17 years ago (2007)
Area served
North America
Key people
  • Patrick Dovigi, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Jacob Diliberto, General Manager[1]
GFL Environmental waste bin

GFL Environmental Inc. (an initialism of Green For Life) is a Canadian waste management company, with headquarters in Vaughan, Ontario. Founded in 2007, GFL operates in all provinces in Canada and much of the United States, and currently employs more than 8,850 people. The company provides environmental services to municipal, residential, commercial, industrial and institutional customers.[2] On July 6, 2021, the company announced the formation of the Resource Recovery Alliance (RRA) and an agreement to acquire Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance.[3][4]

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] The firm was originally established from the merger of several Ontario environmental services firms, including Direct Line Environmental, National Waste Services and Enviro West.[5][6]

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.[6][7]

GFL began to acquire environmental solution firms around Canada. In 2011, GFL acquired Turtle Island Recycling, a recycling company operating in Toronto.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10] Also in 2014, GFL purchased the business operated by Waste Management in the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.[11]

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]

In February 2016, GFL completed the acquisition of Services Matrec Inc. (Matrec), the waste management division of Montreal-based TransForce.[9] 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.[9][12]

GFL expanded into the United States in September 2016, through the acquisition of Michigan-based Rizzo Environmental Services, which was merged with a new U.S. subsidiary of GFL.[13][14] Rizzo had provided collection services to more than 40 municipalities in Southeast 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.[15]

On October 10, 2018, GFL announced it was going to buy American company, Waste Industries, for an undisclosed amount.[16][17]

GFL, along with subsidiaries under its control, have 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;[18] 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);[19] and an injunction by a Cobb County, Georgia court halting the operation of a landfill.[20][21] GFL has been sued by municipalities and farmers for its soil dumping practices.[22][23]

In March 2020, the company held its initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, pricing shares at $19 each and raising $1.4 billion, giving the company as a whole a market value of $6.1 billion.[24]

A 2020 report linked GFL executive Paul Borrelli with Antonio Borrelli, nephew of Toronto mobster Pietro Scarcella.[25][26]

In July 2021, GFL created the Resource Recovery Alliance (RRA) in response to the Government of Ontario's extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulation requiring product and packaging producers to operate and fully finance Ontario's Blue Box program.[4]

On August 17, 2021, GFL acquired solid waste business, Terrapure Environmental Ltd., and its subsidiaries for $743.8 million.[27] The deal did not include Terrapure's battery recycling business.[27]

In May 2022, the GFL acquired Sprint Waste Services, a solid waste company with assets in Texas and Louisiana.[28][29]

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.[6] The contract was expected to save the city roughly $11 million per year or $78 million over its total term.[6] 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.[6]

In January 2015, the Halifax council awarded GFL three new contracts to collect residential waste in Halifax for the next four years[30]

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.[31] Windsor first contracted out its waste collection to GFL in 2010 after the city's workers went on a prolonged strike.

Soil remediation, excavation, shoring and foundation 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[32] to expand its services offered through its soil remediation, excavation and infrastructure group.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "GFL Environmental USA has administration's confidence". June 28, 2022.
  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. ^ "The Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance". Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "About Us : Masthead Online - Headline News, Careers and Reference for the Canadian Magazine Industry". www.mastheadonline.com. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  5. ^ "Toronto's new garbage magnate stickhandles his way to the front". The Globe and Mail. October 26, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Garbage contract could save city $100M". Toronto Star. December 27, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  7. ^ "Roark Capital Commits $105 Million to GFL Waste & Recycling". waste360.com. November 30, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  8. ^ "Green for Life Purchases Turtle Island Recycling". Recycling Today. December 20, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Private equity investors pour $458 mln into GFL's acquisition of Matrec". The PE Hub Network. February 4, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  10. ^ "Contrans Q3 profit shrinks to $8.1M; revenue grows to $153.3 million". Canadian Business. October 27, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  11. ^ "GFL Environmental to Buy Waste Management Canadian Assets". waste360.com. May 8, 2014. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "GFL Environmental Inc. Announces First U.S. Acquisition". Waste Advantage Magazine. October 10, 2016. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  14. ^ "GFL Environmental, Rizzo Environment complete deal". Recycling Today. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  15. ^ Robert Snell, Trash Giant Rizzo Pleads Guilty to Bribery, The Detroit News, November 9, 2017.
  16. ^ "Raleigh's Waste Industries is being sold to Canadian company". newsobserver. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  17. ^ "Raleigh's Waste Industries merging with Canadian company". newsobserver. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  18. ^ IEPA Seeks Action Against Granite City Company After Large Used Oil Spill, The Telegraph, February 6, 2019.
  19. ^ Jeff Mitchell, DurhamRegion.com, December 10, 2018.
  20. ^ Leia Larsen, GFL-Operated Grady Road Landfill Landfill Battles Court Injunction, WasteDive, July 3, 2019
  21. ^ Kevin Myrick, Judge: Landfill Injunction Rules Stay in Place, The AP, May 24, 2019
  22. ^ "Scugog launches $105 million lawsuit to cover costs of cleaning up Greenbank airport site". durhamregion.com. April 18, 2017.
  23. ^ "Toxic dirt dumped in Ontario's prime farmland". thestar.com. October 20, 2014.
  24. ^ "GFL raises $1.4 billion in IPO amid volatile markets". Reuters. March 3, 2020. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  25. ^ "Investigating Internet Claims That GFL Environmental's CEO Has Ties To "Organized Crime"". seekingalpha.com. August 18, 2020.
  26. ^ "Spruce Point Capital Management Releases Report and Strong Sell Research Opinion on GFL Environmental Inc. (NYSE/TSX: GFL)". apnews.com. August 18, 2020.
  27. ^ a b "GFL closes its acquisition of Terrapure". Recycling Today. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  28. ^ Dorbian, Iris (May 2, 2022). "GFL Environmental acquires US-based Sprint Waste Services". PE Hub. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  29. ^ Kamczyc, Alex (May 3, 2022). "GFL Environmental acquires Sprint Waste Services". Waste Today. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  30. ^ "Four companies pick up $60m in Halifax trash contracts". The Chronicle Herald. January 28, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  31. ^ "Windsor garbage to remain outsourced". CBC News. February 22, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  32. ^ "GFL to acquire Anchor Shoring Group". Canadian Manufacturing. January 18, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.