Throwing Away Money

by Team Dinks on April 12, 2010 · 4 comments

landfill tractor
What do Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have in common? Other than being the two richest men in America; they love trash.

That’s right, hefty bags full of cereal boxes, half-eaten chicken bones, used coffee grounds, and that junk mail that you should have recycled is big business. How big? Waste management is a $50 billion per-year operation. Americans compile 200 million tons of garbage per day, or approximately 4 pounds per person per day.

We throw out more trash today than any other time in history, and we will only continue to throw out more. Think about it, the garbage industry is not going anywhere. You want a business with consistency-look no further than your own waste basket. Does your trash need to go out?

There is little competition in waste management. It is extremely difficult to open a landfill. As the saying goes, “not in my backyard.” No one wants a landfill stinking up their community, and your neighbors and local representatives are going to throw everything but the garbage disposal at you to keep it from happening. Competition? Good luck.

And guess what, neither Microsoft nor Apple is going to make technological advances in garbage retrieval. Until garbage eating robots roam the planet, count on waste management to pay out consistent, sustainable dividends. Just ask the two richest men in America. They’re not throwing away money.

“I’m in the waste management business. Everybody immediately assumes you’re mobbed up. It’s a stereotype. And it’s offensive.” Tony Soprano

(Photo by D’Arcy Norman)

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sustainable Family Finances April 12, 2010 at 7:32 pm

What does this have to do with personal finance? I don't see the connection.

Plus, if you really want to make some money recycling is the market to invest.

2 Anonymous April 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Seriously. At least you could list some companies in this industry, maybe dive into a couple of them and see which are undervalued at present?

3 Keith Morris April 13, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Do you foresee a green revolution that challenges the waste management industry?

4 Jeremy Heck April 14, 2010 at 8:33 am

Unfortunately, I do not see the "green revolution" challenging the waste management industry. Perhaps, I just have a pessemistic view of peoples' habits. Residents of Washington D.C. were in an uproar when D.C. instituted a charge for plastic bags at grocery stores. It appears that people are not ready to change even the simplest of habits when it comes to recycling. I wish this were not the case. In Brusells, however, you can be fined if there are any "recycables" in your garbage. Until the U.S. implements a similar practice, people will continue to pile up "good" garbage.

On that note, I am not sure if recycling is such a great market to invest in. I have not done the research on this, but I imagine it's different in different areas of the U.S. Garbage, however, is and will remain consistent EVERYWHERE.

In future blogs, I will make an effort to provide specific companies that may be undervalued or overlooked. I appreciate all the feedback. In the meantime, as they say in Brusells, "Bonne journée"


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