Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Waste Management Inc.
Waste Management Inc.

Waste Management Inc.

Dean Waste Management had its origins in the Dutch-dominated Chicago garbage business. In 1965, the U.S. Congress passed new laws that set stricter requirements for waste disposal, opening the field for new, larger companies in the industry. One of these companies was Waste Management, a Chicago-based enterprise founded in 1968 by Dean Buntrock and Wayne Huizenga through a merger of several garbage companies in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Florida. The annual revenues of this enterprise rose from about $5 million in 1968 to $17 million in 1971, when the company began to sell stock to the public under the name Waste Management Inc. During the next few years, the company grew at an extraordinary rate. At the beginning of the 1980s, when annual revenues neared $800 million, Waste Management owned about 4,500 vehicles and had about 12,000 workers worldwide. Waste Management had become the leading garb age disposal company in the United States. One of the company's divisions, Chemical Waste Management—which had a large laboratory in Riverdale, outside of Chicago—was spun off as an independent entity in 1986. By 1993, when the company changed its name to WMX Technologies, it was a giant international corporation claiming about $10 billion in annual revenues and some 75,000 employees around the world. In 1998, WMX was purchased by USA Waste Services Inc. of Texas for nearly $19 billion; the new owner returned the company's name to Waste Management Inc., and the headquarters of the operation were based in Houston, Texas.