Company Quick10K Filing
Republic Services
Price86.10 EPS3
Shares353 P/E28
MCap30,419 P/FCF17
Net Debt8,490 EBIT1,610
TEV38,909 TEV/EBIT24
TTM 2019-09-30, in MM, except price, ratios
10-K 2020-12-31 Filed 2021-02-23
10-Q 2020-09-30 Filed 2020-11-06
10-Q 2020-06-30 Filed 2020-08-07
10-Q 2020-03-31 Filed 2020-05-06
10-K 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-02-14
10-Q 2019-09-30 Filed 2019-10-31
10-Q 2019-06-30 Filed 2019-07-26
10-Q 2019-03-31 Filed 2019-04-26
10-K 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-02-08
10-Q 2018-09-30 Filed 2018-10-26
10-Q 2018-06-30 Filed 2018-07-27
10-Q 2018-03-31 Filed 2018-05-03
10-K 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-02-09
10-Q 2017-09-30 Filed 2017-11-03
10-Q 2017-06-30 Filed 2017-07-28
10-Q 2017-03-31 Filed 2017-04-28
10-K 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-02-17
10-Q 2016-09-30 Filed 2016-10-28
10-Q 2016-06-30 Filed 2016-07-29
10-Q 2016-03-31 Filed 2016-04-29
10-K 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-02-12
10-Q 2015-09-30 Filed 2015-10-30
10-Q 2015-06-30 Filed 2015-07-24
10-Q 2015-03-31 Filed 2015-04-24
10-K 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-02-23
10-Q 2014-09-30 Filed 2014-10-31
10-Q 2014-06-30 Filed 2014-07-25
10-Q 2014-03-31 Filed 2014-04-25
10-K 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-02-13
10-Q 2013-09-30 Filed 2013-11-01
10-Q 2013-06-30 Filed 2013-07-26
10-Q 2013-03-31 Filed 2013-04-26
10-K 2012-12-31 Filed 2013-02-15
10-Q 2012-09-30 Filed 2012-11-02
10-Q 2012-06-30 Filed 2012-07-27
10-Q 2012-03-31 Filed 2012-04-27
10-Q 2011-09-30 Filed 2011-10-28
10-Q 2011-06-30 Filed 2011-07-29
10-Q 2011-03-31 Filed 2011-04-29
10-Q 2010-06-30 Filed 2010-07-30
10-Q 2010-03-31 Filed 2010-04-30
10-K 2009-12-31 Filed 2010-02-24
8-K 2020-11-09
8-K 2020-11-05
8-K 2020-10-27
8-K 2020-08-25
8-K 2020-08-11
8-K 2020-08-06
8-K 2020-07-28
8-K 2020-07-28
8-K 2020-07-14
8-K 2020-05-20
8-K 2020-05-18
8-K 2020-05-08
8-K 2020-05-05
8-K 2020-04-28
8-K 2020-04-17
8-K 2020-03-24
8-K 2020-02-27
8-K 2020-02-18
8-K 2020-02-13
8-K 2019-10-30
8-K 2019-10-22
8-K 2019-07-29
8-K 2019-07-25
8-K 2019-05-17
8-K 2019-04-30
8-K 2019-04-25
8-K 2019-02-07
8-K 2018-10-25
8-K 2018-10-01
8-K 2018-07-26
8-K 2018-07-16
8-K 2018-06-08
8-K 2018-05-11
8-K 2018-05-03
8-K 2018-05-02
8-K 2018-02-08

RSG 10K Annual Report

Part I
Item 1.Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2.Properties
Item 3.Legal Proceedings
Item 4.Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
Item 5.Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6.Selected Financial Data
Item 7.Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A.Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8.Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9.Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A.Controls and Procedures
Item 9B.Other Information
Part III
Item 10.Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11.Executive Compensation
Item 12.Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13.Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14.Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Part IV
Item 15.Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16.Form 10 - K Summary
EX-10.30 ex1030final2021stockincent.htm
EX-10.31 ex1031rsgformofperformance.htm
EX-10.32 ex1032performanceshareagre.htm
EX-10.33 ex1033performanceshareagre.htm
EX-10.34 ex1034rsuagreementseniorex.htm
EX-10.35 ex1035rsuagreementseniorex.htm
EX-10.36 ex1036rsuagreementotheremp.htm
EX-21.1 exhibit211-subsidiariesoft.htm
EX-23.1 exhibit231-consentofernsty.htm
EX-31.1 exhibit311-rule13ax14a15dx.htm
EX-31.2 exhibit312-rule13ax14a15dx.htm
EX-32.1 exhibit321-section1350cert.htm
EX-32.2 exhibit322-section1350cert.htm

Republic Services Earnings 2020-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow
25201510502012201420172020
Assets, Equity
3.22.61.91.30.60.02012201420172020
Rev, G Profit, Net Income
0.70.40.1-0.2-0.5-0.82012201420172020
Ops, Inv, Fin

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from ___________ to ___________
Commission file number: 1-14267
REPUBLIC SERVICES, INC.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
_________________________________________________________ 
Delaware65-0716904
(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)(IRS Employer Identification No.)
18500 North Allied Way
Phoenix, Arizona
85054
(Zip Code)
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (480627-2700
_________________________________________________________ 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each ClassTrading Symbol(s)Name of Each Exchange On Which Registered
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per shareRSGThe New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  þ    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ¨    No  þ
Note
– Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act from their obligations under those Sections.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  þ    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  þ    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer  þ
Accelerated filer  o
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company  
Non-accelerated filer   o  
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes      No  þ
As of June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the shares of the Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $26.1 billion.
As of February 17, 2021, the registrant had outstanding 318,898,313 shares of Common Stock (excluding treasury shares of 33,294).
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Registrant’s Proxy Statement relative to the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference in Part III hereof.


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Item 16.Form 10-K Summary



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Unless the context requires otherwise, all references in this Form 10-K to Republic, the Company, we, us and our refer to Republic Services, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.
PART I
ITEM 1.BUSINESS
Overview
Republic is one of the largest providers of environmental services in the United States, as measured by revenue. As of December 31, 2020, we operated facilities in 41 states through 345 collection operations, 220 transfer stations, 186 active landfills, 76 recycling processing centers, 6 treatment, recovery and disposal facilities, 9 salt water disposal wells, and 7 deep injection wells. We are engaged in 75 landfill gas-to-energy and renewable energy projects and had post-closure responsibility for 128 closed landfills. We were incorporated in Delaware in 1996.
We believe the total addressable environmental services market in which we operate generates approximately $87 billion of annual revenue, which includes the $67 billion U.S. recycling and solid waste industry and $20 billion of the broader environmental services industry. Within our recycling and solid waste business, we prioritize investments in market verticals with above average growth rates and higher return profiles. Environmental services remains fragmented which provides consolidation opportunities to drive scale. We believe we will be able to further expand our addressable market into other segments of the environmental services industry over time by leveraging our differentiated capabilities.
Our operations are national in scope, but the physical collection and recycling or disposal of material is very much a local business and the dynamics and opportunities differ in each of our markets. By combining local operating management with standardized business practices, we drive greater overall operating efficiency across the Company while maintaining day-to-day operating decisions at the local level, closest to the customer.
We believe that our products and services are valuable to our customers and essential for long-term sustainability. Our focus and commitment to sustainability allows us to attract and retain the best talent, win more customers, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately drive higher revenue and profits.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the global economy as well as certain aspects of our operations and performance. During this time, we continued to provide essential services to our customers while prioritizing the health and safety of our employees. In April 2020, we launched our Committed to Serve initiative to help our employees, customers and communities across the United States. The impact of COVID-19 on our business and associated costs are discussed in Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Foundational Elements
Our strategy is designed to generate profitable growth by sustainably managing our customers’ needs, and it is underpinned by three foundational elements – (1) our market position, (2) operating model, and (3) management of human capital through our people and talent agenda.
Market Position
Our goal is to develop the best vertically integrated market position to enable us to build density and improve returns. We strive to have a number one or number two market position in each of the markets we serve, or have a clear path on how we will achieve a leading market position over time. In situations where we cannot establish a leading market position, or where operations are not generating acceptable returns, we may decide to divest certain assets and reallocate resources to other markets.
We have a robust market planning process to identify opportunities to grow internally through capital investments and infrastructure development, and externally through acquisitions and public-private partnerships. Additionally, our market planning process allows us to analyze market conditions and proactively adjust to trends as they emerge, including the effects of demographic shifts, and changes in the market and the competitive landscape.
Internal Growth
Volume Growth - We believe volumes are driven by population growth, household formation and new business formation. Volume growth through increases in our customer base and service offerings is the most capital efficient method to grow our business. We seek to obtain long-term contracts for collecting recyclable and solid waste material under residential collection contracts with municipalities, exclusive franchise agreements, and small-container and large-container contracts. We also look to enter into long-term disposal and recycling processing contracts with
2

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municipalities and other third parties. By obtaining such long-term agreements, we can grow our contracted revenue base at a rate consistent with the underlying economic growth in these markets. In addition, by securing long-term agreements, we are better able to help ensure we earn an appropriate return on the capital deployed.
Price IncreasesWe seek to secure price increases necessary to offset increased costs, improve our operating margins and earn an appropriate return on our substantial investments in vehicles, equipment, landfills, transfer stations and recycling processing centers.
Expansion of Recycling Capabilities - Based on the most recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data, we believe approximately 32% of municipal solid waste is recycled and composted, and we expect that percentage to increase over the long-term. While there are examples of communities cancelling their recycling programs, many more communities remain committed to enhancing and expanding their recycling programs for their residents. We continue to focus on innovative material handling processes and programs to help our customers achieve their goals related to sustainability and environmentally sound waste practices while also generating an appropriate return. We will continue to look for opportunities to expand or enhance our recycling capabilities in markets where customers are demanding these services and demonstrating a willingness to pay, and we can earn an appropriate return on our investment.
Infrastructure Development - We seek to identify opportunities to further our position as a vertically integrated service provider in markets where we are not fully integrated. Our goal is to create market-specific, vertically integrated operations typically consisting of one or more collection operations, transfer stations, landfills and recycling processing centers. Where appropriate, we seek to obtain permits to build transfer stations, recycling processing centers and landfills that would vertically integrate our waste services or expand the service areas for our existing disposal sites. Additionally, we seek opportunities to expand and permit new airspace at our existing landfills in order to replace airspace consumed. Development projects, while generally less capital intensive than acquisitions, typically require extensive permitting efforts that can take years to complete with no assurance of success. We undertake development projects when we believe there is a reasonable probability of success and where reasonably priced acquisition opportunities are not available.
External Growth
Acquisitions and Public-Private Partnerships - Our acquisition growth strategy focuses primarily on acquiring privately held recycling and solid waste companies that complement our existing business platform. We believe our ability to successfully complete these acquisitions is enhanced by the challenges facing many privately-held companies, including increasing competition in the environmental services industry, increasing capital requirements due to changes in regulatory requirements and technology and the limited number of exit strategies for privately-held companies. We also evaluate opportunities to acquire operations and facilities that are being divested by other publicly-owned companies.
We continue to invest in value-enhancing acquisitions in existing markets. Generally, we expect to maintain a steady pace of tuck-in acquisition investment of approximately $200 million annually. Given our free cash flow, availability under our credit facilities and our ability to access the public capital markets, we have the financial flexibility to make additional acquisitions that will complement our existing business platform, including larger acquisitions if the right opportunities present themselves.
We also focus on growth through public-private partnerships, which include the recycling and waste operations and facilities of municipal and other local governments. We believe over time we have an opportunity to acquire operations and facilities from municipalities and other local governments, as they seek to raise capital and/or reduce risk.
We realize synergies from consolidating businesses into our existing operations, whether through acquisitions or public-private partnerships, which allows us to reduce capital expenditures and expenses associated with truck routing, personnel, fleet maintenance, inventories and back-office administration.
Operating Model
Our operating model allows us to deliver a consistent, high-quality service to all our customers through the Republic Way: One Way. Everywhere. Every day. This approach of developing standardized processes with rigorous controls and tracking allows us to leverage our scale and deliver durable operational excellence. The Republic Way is the key to harnessing the best of what we do as operators and translating that across all facets of our business. Key elements of our operating model are our organizational structure, safety, fleet automation, compressed natural gas vehicles, fleet electrification and standardized maintenance.
Organizational Structure
A key enabler of the Republic Way operating model is our organizational structure that fosters a high performance culture by
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maintaining 360-degree accountability and full profit and loss responsibility with local management, supported by a functional structure to provide subject matter expertise. This structure allows us to take advantage of our scale by coordinating functionally across all of our markets, while empowering local management to respond to unique market dynamics.
Through this operating model, we have rolled out several productivity and cost control initiatives designed to deliver the best service possible to our customers in an efficient and environmentally sound way.
Safety
Republic is dedicated to the safety of our employees, customers and the communities we serve. We have a dedicated team of safety professionals at our corporate headquarters and in our field operations, the leader of which reports directly to our Chief Operating Officer. Due to the nature of our industry, we make safety a top priority and we recognize and reward employees for outstanding safety records. Over the past 10 years, our safety performance (based on OSHA recordable rates) has been 39% better than the industry average. Our Think, Choose, Live slogan encapsulates our everyday safety messaging to our employees to: Think about what you are doing, Choose the safe answer, and Live to go home to your family. With the phrase printed on numerous items, including hard hats and the equipment our employees touch, there are constant reminders for employees to go home in the same condition in which they came to work. Our goal is to ensure every one of our employees returns home safely each night.
Through our Safety Amplified program, we are providing even more tools and driving even greater awareness to help our teams better execute our safety standards. Regular training, multifaceted programs and strategic partnerships are key components to this program. It is simple by design and comprised of actions and activities that ensure safety is embedded in all we do. The program includes six initiatives to help us achieve our goal to have zero employee fatalities and reduce our OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate.
Focus Together: This is our core safety program created for our frontline employees and designed to help eliminate six types of serious incidents. We recently extended the scope and reach of the program to include all employees across the company.
Lead Together: This focus area brings best-in-class communication channels to our employees and includes advanced training techniques for all supervisors and managers.
Partner Together: We're initiating more frequent and higher quality leadership visits and interaction with frontline employees. These visits are designed to pull together leaders from a variety of departments to support the divisions' safety goals.
Celebrate Together: We take pride in recognizing employees who demonstrate a relentless commitment to safety. Employees with the best driving records are eligible for the industry’s most prestigious award, the National Waste & Recycling Association’s Driver of the Year. Republic drivers have won 70% of the Driver of the Year awards issued for the large truck category since 2009. In addition, our best drivers are recognized and rewarded with competing in our National Road-EO competition.
Analyze Together: We analyze real-time data to make short- and long-term decisions and identify opportunities for improvement. Examples include analysis of roadway awareness training, data mapping and other employee protection and preparedness insights. With these analytics we will be able to make proactive safety decisions to generate better results.
Innovate Together: We leverage the latest technologies, including automation, and take a data-driven approach to support our employees. These innovations include rear cameras, in-cab backing alarm systems and event recording systems throughout our fleet. We’re also working with equipment manufacturers to incorporate safety elements such as seat belt alarms, blind spot awareness, lane departure alarms and other potentially lifesaving equipment in our fleet.
We believe our Safety Amplified program will provide additional benefits for our Company and stakeholders including:
1.further strengthening relationships within the communities we service;
2.enhancing customer trust;
3.streamlining operational processes and increasing productivity;
4.delivering a reputational advantage, including positioning our Company as an employer-of-choice;
5.building and sustaining a safety culture in all areas of our business; and
6.contributing to employee engagement.
For more information regarding our safety performance, refer to our SASB report, which can be found at republicservices.com/
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sustainability. The information contained on our website shall not be deemed incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other filing we make under the Exchange Act.
Fleet Automation
Approximately 77% of our residential routes have been converted to automated single-driver trucks. By converting our residential routes to automated service, we reduce labor costs, improve driver productivity, decrease emissions and create a safer work environment for our employees. Additionally, communities using automated vehicles have higher participation rates in recycling programs, thereby complementing our initiative to expand our recycling capabilities.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicles
Approximately 21% of our fleet operates on natural gas. Approximately 13% of our replacement vehicle purchases during 2020 were CNG vehicles. We believe using CNG vehicles provides us a competitive advantage in communities with strict clean emission initiatives that focus on protecting the environment. Although upfront capital costs are higher, using CNG reduces our overall fleet operating costs through lower fuel expenses. As of December 31, 2020, we operated 38 CNG fueling stations.
Fleet Electrification
We are taking a leadership position in electric technology innovation for our fleet. This is a critical step toward reducing our environmental impact through lower fleet emissions, and we believe it will also improve our total cost of ownership while providing a competitive advantage in certain communities. We are partnering with multiple manufacturers to pilot electric-powered recycling and solid waste trucks. In addition, we are working with an electric battery manufacturer to retrofit diesel-powered trucks. We will apply what we learn from these programs to future electrification initiatives.
Standardized Maintenance
Based on an industry trade publication, we operate the fifth largest vocational fleet in the United States. As of December 31, 2020, our average fleet age in years, by line of business, was as follows:
Approximate Number of VehiclesApproximate Average Age
Residential6,900 7.4
Small-container4,900 6.8
Large-container4,500 8.7
Total16,300 7.6
OneFleet, our standardized vehicle maintenance program, enables us to use best practices for fleet management, truck care and maintenance. Through standardization of core functions, we believe we can minimize variability in our maintenance processes, resulting in higher vehicle quality and a lower environmental footprint, while extending the average service life of our fleet. We believe operating a more reliable, greener, safer and more efficient fleet will lower our operating costs. Additionally, our focus on preventative maintenance is improving the reliability of our fleet and enabling us to provide superior service to our customers, differentiating us from our competition. The entire fleet was certified under OneFleet in 2017.
Human Capital Management
Our management of human capital is embodied in our robust people and talent agenda, the goal of which is to maintain an environment that attracts and retains the best talent. Our 35,000 full-time employees continue to be a critical component in successfully executing our strategy and running our operations. We aspire to always be a company where the best people, with exceptional talents and diverse backgrounds, can thrive.
We are dedicated to driving our human capital objectives, which include (1) representing the diversity of the communities we serve and sustaining a safe and inclusive culture, (2) maintaining a highly engaged workforce, (3) developing our talent through learning and development experiences, and (4) offering compensation and benefits that attract and retain the best workforce. We review key progress metrics such as representation, engagement and turnover and regularly report on these metrics to our Board of Directors. This level of reporting holds all of our leaders accountable for advancing our human capital agenda.
Inclusion and Diversity
We are proud of the diversity of our front-line workforce, as it closely represents the demographics of the communities that we serve. We are relentless in our focus to improve representation of diverse groups across all levels of the Company. Our commitment to inclusion and diversity starts at the top of our organization, as outlined in our Mission of Supporting an Inclusive Culture (MOSAIC), established in 2013, and supported by the MOSAIC Council. The MOSAIC Council consists of leaders from across the Company who serve as ambassadors and thought partners for inclusion and diversity. This enables us to continue to develop new strategies and activities that are tied to the needs of our employees, customers and business with the
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goal of creating an even more inclusive work environment and diverse workforce.
We support inclusion and connectivity for our diverse populations through our business resource groups, including Women of Republic, VALOR (Veterans, Advocacy, Learning, Outreach and Recruiting), and the Black Employee Network (BEN) which we launched in early 2020. When the nation experienced an inflection point in race relations in 2020, we were well-positioned to address the call for social justice because it aligns with our value of respect and is reinforced by our existing commitment to advancing and supporting Black employees and Black communities.
We plan to launch a Hispanic business resource group in 2021 given the representation of LatinX employees in our workforce and the desire to create community amongst this valued population. While business resource groups help to drive a more inclusive environment for our diverse populations, we remain committed to driving inclusion for all of our employees.
In 2020, we also launched new programs and virtual events to advance awareness, education and connectivity across our workforce. Our “Let’s Talk” series has had over 3,000 virtual attendees, and is aimed to further our employees' understanding and empathy related to the topic of inclusion and diversity. We will continue to offer opportunities to help our employees conduct courageous and authentic conversations with one another, and we are committed to maintaining a work environment where people of all backgrounds feel valued and safe to share their perspectives.
Employee Engagement
We believe an engaged workforce is the greatest indicator of our success. We measure employee engagement through a third party survey, assessing employee sentiment on a variety of topics such as pride for the Company, job satisfaction and intention to stay. We have found that business units with a highly engaged workforce experience less turnover. We have also found that employees whose leaders are highly inclusive are more likely to speak up and share their perspective. In addition, we believe that engaged employees deliver better customer service and are more productive, which is directly tied to the success of our business. Our goal is to achieve and maintain employee engagement scores at or above 88% by 2030. Our employee engagement score was approximately 85% in 2020, which was consistent with our score in 2019. Approximately 92% of our employees participated in the engagement survey process in 2020, which represented an all-time-high participation rate, compared to approximately 84% in 2019. Employee engagement is a core part of our business strategy, which is why we compensate our General Managers on their employee engagement scores. This helps to ensure that our leaders are held accountable and rewarded for their efforts to drive a more engaged workforce.
Talent Development
We are committed to providing our employees with opportunities to develop throughout their careers. Our programs, including new hire onboarding and new leader assimilation, reinforce our Company values, expectations, and business approach. Targeted development experiences support the growth of people in key roles, including Driver Training, Technician Training, Supervisor Training, Sales Acceleration, General Manager Onboarding, and more. We believe these programs provide the fundamental skills necessary to be successful across roles.
Our leadership programs are a critical part of our human capital approach. We remain focused on attracting, hiring and developing early career leaders. Our rotational training and development programs, including our General Manager Acceleration Program and Leadership Trainee Program, help us attract, develop and advance a diverse and talented pool of individuals from across our organization. These programs are sponsored by our Executive Leadership team, which provides visibility and support for the career advancement of our high-potential talent across the organization. Since the beginning of these programs in 2017, over 40 leaders have graduated into leadership positions. We have found that these programs and experiences help ensure that the next generation of leaders build the necessary skills and experiences to be successful in their roles today, and in the future.
In 2020, seven of our leadership programs were converted to a virtual platform and delivered to over 2,550 employees. Providing development opportunities to distributed work forces requires innovative training methods, and we use mixed mediums to deliver trainings and instruction to our employees across the country. We remain committed to expanding employee participation in learning programs that are relevant to our business strategy and contribute to career advancement for our employees.
As we continue to grow as a Company, we are focused on developing a high performing workforce that is diverse, engaged, and well prepared to meet the needs of our customers and communities.
Rewards
We offer competitive compensation and benefits programs to our workforce to meet their personal and professional needs. Our commitment to paying market competitive wages enables us to attract and hire talent all across the country. Our approach to paying for performance supports our focus on pay equity. Our compensation packages are designed to provide employees with a stable and livable wage and growth potential. Our focus on wellness also provides our employees with access to preventative care, advice on financial planning and support for mental health, contributing to our efforts to provide a total rewards package
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that improves and enhances the lives of our employees.
Differentiating Capabilities
To effectively execute our strategic plan, we prioritize the development and investment in capabilities that will differentiate us in the marketplace. These capabilities include – (1) customer zeal, (2) sustainability, and (3) digital.
Customer Zeal
The goal of our customer zeal capability is to drive customer loyalty by offering differentiated products and services specifically designed to meet our customers’ needs. We believe this increases customer loyalty and willingness to pay for a higher value service.
To help our sales team identify specific customer needs and configure the right offering, we use a Priority Based Selling (PBS) technique and our Capture pricing tool nationwide.
PBS enables us to identify and segment customers’ buying priorities, and attract customers that are willing to pay for enhanced offerings.
Capture is a cloud-based pricing tool that creates a more professional sales experience, helps realize better pricing levels at the point of sale and provides enhanced controls over the price quoting process.
In response to our customers’ requests, we expanded our suite of products to include electronics recycling with BlueGuard® and universal recycling. For those services that we don’t provide, we fulfill demand through our alliance partnerships while maintaining the customer facing relationship.
To help ensure a consistent customer experience, we invested in our customer service capabilities and consolidated over 100 customer service locations into three Customer Resource Centers. These state-of-the-art centers and the technology deployed provide our customer service employees with the tools and capabilities they need to provide better levels of service though a variety of communication channels. These centers enhance the customer experience and provide us a platform to reduce the cost to service our customers.
To help ensure our efforts are making an impact and building customer loyalty, we solicit feedback from our customers, including Net Promoter Score℠, so that every General Manager receives recent, relevant feedback that allows him or her the ability to reach out to customers directly and address issues immediately.
Sustainability
The goal of our sustainability capability is to protect our Blue Planet® by providing our customers with environmentally responsible solutions that support a cleaner, safer, and healthier world. We are committed to focusing on the five elements of sustainability that underpin our business strategy: Safety, People, Operations, Materials Management and Communities. These elements continue to guide our short- and long-term sustainability and business goals.
Our Board of Directors’ Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Committee has oversight responsibility with respect to our sustainability performance, our corporate responsibilities, our role as a socially responsible organization and our enterprise risks, including cyber security, environmental, climate related risks and opportunities, and reputational risks. The Committee conducts a formal comprehensive review of the Company’s performance in these areas on an annual basis.

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Our Blue Planet: 2030 Goals
As we grow, so does our opportunity to make a meaningful positive impact on the environment and society. In 2019, we unveiled our ambitious 2030 goals, which are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals(1). Each goal is aligned with the Company's five sustainability elements, and together they are designed to significantly benefit the environment and society while enhancing the foundation and profitability of our business for the long-term.
Safety Amplified: Achieve zero annual employee fatalities and reduce OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) to 2.0 or less by 2030
Engaged Workforce: Achieve and maintain employee engagement scores at or above 88% by 2030
Climate Leadership: Reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 35% by 2030(2), aligned with SBTi(2)
Circular Economy: Increase recovery of key materials by 40% on a combined basis by 2030(2)
Regenerative Landfills: Increase biogas sent to beneficial reuse by 50% by 2030(2)
Charitable Giving: Positively impact 20 million people by 2030
We believe that reducing our impact on the planet and improving the quality of life for its inhabitants are the right things to do, and they are also necessary actions to ensure a vibrant future for our organization.
Refer to our sustainability reports for updates regarding our progress towards these goals, which can be found at republicservices.com/sustainability. The information contained on our website shall not be deemed incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other filing we make under the Exchange Act.





















(1) We have aligned our 2030 goals with the following UN Sustainable Development Goals: (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, (12) Responsible Consumption and Production and (13) Climate Action. SBTi, or Science Based Targets initiative, is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
(2) Data points used 2017 as the baseline year.
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Digital
The goal of our digital capability is to allow us to provide a consistent experience across our business while enabling our customers to do business with us through more channels and with better access to information.
We are responding to our customers' requests for options to do business with us digitally. By increasing the ease of use and functionality of our web-based market presence, we believe we enhance customer satisfaction, interaction, and connectivity while lowering our costs. These tools reinforce to our customers that they can rely on us to handle their recycling and waste service needs in a way that is easy and convenient for them.
Our website and mobile app are online account management tools, allowing customers access to their accounts and our services.
Our e-commerce sales channel allows customers to secure services on a real-time basis, provides capabilities to meet our customer's evolving buying preferences, and provides a lower cost sales channel.
We are also leveraging technology to digitally connect our customers, drivers, dispatchers, supervisors and trucks via our "RISE" dispatch platform and in-cab technology. We are utilizing an agile iterative approach to the development and multi-year roll-out of this technology to ensure durable adoption and an appropriate return on our investment. With the roll-out of this technology we will improve productivity through more real-time routing information and data visualization tools, increase customer connectivity and enable automated service verification communications, and enhance the employee experience by providing better tools and technology designed around employee interaction. In 2020, the rollout of the "RISE" dispatch platform was substantially completed. The rollout of the "RISE" in-cab technology enhancements will continue through 2021.
Cash Utilization Strategy
We take a consistent and balanced approach to capital allocation to drive long-term, sustainable value for our shareholders. The predictability of our free cash flows allows us to efficiently execute our capital allocation strategy, which includes investing in acquisitions and returning free cash flow to our shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. We are committed to an efficient capital structure and maintaining our investment grade credit ratings on our senior debt, which was rated BBB+ by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, BBB by Fitch Ratings, Inc. and Baa2 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. as of December 31, 2020. Such ratings have allowed us, and should continue to allow us, to readily access capital markets at competitive rates.
We manage our free cash flow by ensuring that capital expenditures and operating asset levels are appropriate in light of our existing business and growth opportunities, and by closely managing our working capital, which consists primarily of accounts receivable, accounts payable, and accrued landfill and environmental costs.
Dividends
In July 2020, our Board of Directors approved an increase in the quarterly dividend to $0.425 per share, which represents an increase of approximately 5% over the prior year. Over the last five years, our dividends have increased at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.2%. We expect to continue paying quarterly cash dividends and may consider additional dividend increases if we believe they will enhance shareholder value.
Share Repurchases
In October 2017, our Board of Directors added $2.0 billion to the existing share repurchase authorization, which continued through December 31, 2020. In October 2020, our Board of Directors approved a $2.0 billion share repurchase authorization effective starting January 1, 2021 and extending through December 31, 2023. Share repurchases under the current program may be made through open market purchases or privately negotiated transactions in accordance with applicable federal securities laws. While the Board of Directors has approved the program, the timing of any purchases, the prices and the number of shares of common stock to be purchased will be determined by our management, at its discretion, and will depend upon market conditions and other factors. The share repurchase program may be extended, suspended or discontinued at any time. On a quarterly basis, our Board of Directors reviews the intrinsic value of our stock and the parameters around which we repurchase our shares.
Shareholder Value
We are committed to creating long-term shareholder value by generating consistent earnings and cash flow growth, while continually improving returns on invested capital. Our incentive compensation programs are aligned with these objectives at all levels of management. We have an active shareholder outreach program and routinely interact with shareholders on a number of matters, including governance, executive compensation, environmental and social matters.
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Management Team
We believe that building and blending a diverse team of strong industry veterans, along with talented people from other industries who bring unique skill sets, will contribute to what we call our Composite Strength. Composite Strength combines the vast, varied experience and capability of both strong environmental services industry veterans and talented people from other industries. Additionally, Composite Strength helps ensure the continuity of leadership and preservation of institutional knowledge, while also bringing in skills and new ideas from other companies outside of our industry - many of them from leading companies.
Donald W. Slager serves as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, a position he has held since January 2011. He previously held the role of President and Chief Executive Officer from January 2011 to May 2019, and served as the Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer from the Allied Waste Industries, Inc. (Allied) acquisition in December 2008 until January 2011. Prior to the Allied acquisition, Mr. Slager worked for Allied from 1992 through 2008 and served in various management positions, including President and Chief Operating Officer from 2004 through 2008, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 2003 to 2004. From 2001 to 2003, Mr. Slager served as Senior Vice President, Operations. Mr. Slager held various management positions at Allied from 1992 to 2003, and was previously General Manager at National Waste Services, where he served in various management positions since 1985. Mr. Slager has over 35 years of experience in the solid waste industry. Mr. Slager has been a member of our Board of Directors since June 24, 2010.
Brian Bales was named Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer in February 2015. Mr. Bales has been with Republic for over 20 years, serving as Executive Vice President, Business Development from December 2008 to February 2015, and Vice President, Corporate Development from 1998 until the Allied acquisition in December 2008. Prior to his time at Republic, Mr. Bales held roles of increasing responsibility in finance and business development for Ryder System, Inc. from 1993 to 1998, and served as chief financial officer for EDIFEX & VTA Communications from 1988 through 1993. Prior to that, Mr. Bales was an accountant for PwC (formerly Price Waterhouse) from 1986 to 1988.
Brian DelGhiaccio was named Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer in June 2020. Mr. DelGhiaccio has over 20 years of experience in a variety of roles of increasing responsibility. He was named Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer in June 2019. Before that, Mr. DelGhiaccio served as Vice President, Investor Relations from 2012 to 2014, progressed to Senior Vice President, Finance from 2014 to 2017 and then to Senior Vice President, Business Transformation in 2017. Prior to his time at Republic Services, Mr. DelGhiaccio was a senior consultant with Arthur Andersen.
Catharine D. Ellingsen was named Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary in June 2016. Ms. Ellingsen joined Allied as Corporate Counsel in August 2001 and has experience in a variety of roles of increasing responsibility. She was named Managing Corporate Counsel in January 2003, Director, Legal and Associate General Counsel in January 2005, and Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in June 2007. Ms. Ellingsen continued as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Republic following the Allied acquisition in December 2008. She was then named Senior Vice President, Human Resources in August 2011 and served in that position until June 2016. Before joining Allied, Ms. Ellingsen was an attorney at Steptoe & Johnson LLP from 1996 to 2001 and at Bryan Cave LLP from 1993 to 1996.
Jeffrey A. Hughes was named Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer in December 2008. Before that, Mr. Hughes served as Senior Vice President, Eastern Region Operations for Allied from 2004 until the Allied acquisition in December 2008. Mr. Hughes served as Assistant Vice President of Operations Support for Allied from 1999 to 2004 and as a District Manager for Allied from 1988 to 1999. Mr. Hughes has over 29 years of experience in the solid waste industry.
Tim Stuart was named Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer in May 2019. Prior to his current role, Mr. Stuart served as Executive Vice President, Operations from January 2016 to May 2019, where he was responsible for maximizing field performance, executing the operating plan, and achieving financial and operational results across the Company. Mr. Stuart previously served as the Company’s East Region President from September 2013 to January 2016. He joined Republic in April 2006 as Director of Operations, and has held a variety of roles with the Company, including Area President, Vice President of Customer Experience, and Region Vice President. Mr. Stuart has over 20 years of experience in the waste industry.
Jon Vander Ark was named President in May 2019, and is responsible for overseeing the Company’s operations, sales, marketing and business development. Mr. Vander Ark served as the Company’s Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer from January 2018 to May 2019. Prior to that, Mr. Vander Ark served as the Company’s Executive Vice President, Operations from March 2016 to January 2018. Mr. Vander Ark joined the Company in January 2013 as Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining the Company, he served as a partner at McKinsey & Company’s Detroit office, managing clients across a variety of industries, including transportation, logistics, manufacturing and consumer products.
Our local and area management teams have extensive industry experience in growing, operating and managing environmental services companies and have substantial experience in their local geographic markets. This allows us to quickly respond to and
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meet our customers’ needs and stay in touch with local businesses and municipalities. We believe our strong area management teams allow us to effectively and efficiently drive our initiatives and help ensure consistency throughout the organization. Our area management teams and area presidents have extensive authority and responsibility over operations within their respective geographic markets. As a result of retaining experienced managers with extensive knowledge of and involvement in their local communities, we are proactive in anticipating customers’ needs and adjusting to changes in our markets. We also seek to implement the best practices of our various business units throughout our operations to continue improving our operations and our operating margins.
Integrated Operations
We have a strong, national, vertically-integrated operating platform that allows us to compete more effectively and efficiently in the local markets in which we operate. Where appropriate, we seek to achieve a high rate of internalization by controlling material streams from the point of collection through recycling processing or disposal. During the year ended December 31, 2020, approximately 68% of the total solid waste volume we collected was disposed at landfills we own or operate (internalization). Our fully integrated markets generally have a lower cost of operations and more favorable cash flows than our markets that are not fully integrated. Through acquisitions, landfill operating agreements and other market development activities, we create market-specific, vertically-integrated operations typically consisting of one or more collection operations, transfer stations and landfills. We also operate recycling processing centers in markets where diversion of waste is a priority, customers are willing to pay for the service, and we can earn an appropriate return on our investment.
Our operations primarily consist of providing environmental services, including the collection and processing of recyclable materials, collection, transfer and disposal of non-hazardous solid waste, and other environmental solutions.
Collection Services
We provide residential, small-container, and large-container collection services through 345 collection operations. In 2020, approximately 75% of our total revenue was derived from our collection business, of which approximately 23% of our total revenue related to residential services, approximately 31% related to small-container services, and approximately 22% related to large-container services.
Our residential collection business involves the curbside collection of material for transport to transfer stations, or directly to landfills or recycling processing centers. We typically perform residential collection services under contracts with municipalities, which we generally secure through competitive bids, which give us exclusive rights to service all or a portion of the homes in the municipalities. These contracts usually range in duration from one to five years, although some of our exclusive franchises are for significantly longer periods. We also perform residential services on a subscription basis, in which individual households contract directly with us. The fees received for subscription residential collection are based primarily on the market, collection frequency, type of service, the distance to the disposal facility and the cost of disposal. In general, subscription residential collection fees are paid quarterly in advance by the customers receiving the service.
In our small-container business, we supply our customers with recycling and waste containers of varying sizes. We typically perform small-container collection services under one- to three-year service agreements, and fees are determined based on a number of factors including the market, collection frequency, type of equipment furnished, type and volume or weight of the material collected, transportation costs and the cost of processing or disposal. Our small-container services are typically offered to small business complexes, multi-family housing and strip malls, and include industries such as restaurants, retail, real-estate, and professional and other services.
Our large-container collection business includes both recurring and temporary customer relationships. For the recurring portion, we supply our customers with recycling and waste containers of varying sizes and rent compactors to large generators of material. We typically perform the collection services under one- to three-year service agreements, and fees are determined based on a number of factors including the market, collection frequency, type of equipment furnished, type and volume or weight of the material collected, transportation costs and the cost of disposal. Our recurring large-container services are typically offered to larger facilities, hotels and office buildings, and include industries such as manufacturing, retail, hospitality, professional and other services.
For the temporary portion of our large-container collection business, the majority of the material relates to construction and demolition activities and is typically event-driven. We provide temporary collection services on a contractual basis with terms ranging from a single pickup to one-year or longer.
Transfer Services
We own or operate 220 transfer stations. Revenue at our transfer stations is primarily generated by charging tipping or disposal fees, which accounted for approximately 6% of our revenue during 2020. Our collection operations deposit material at these transfer stations, as do other private and municipal haulers, for compaction and transfer to disposal sites or recycling processing
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centers. Transfer stations provide collection operations with a cost effective means to consolidate material and reduce transportation costs while providing our landfills with an additional mechanism to extend their geographic reach.
When our own collection operations use our transfer stations, this improves internalization by allowing us to retain fees we would otherwise pay to third-party disposal sites. It also allows us to manage costs associated with material disposal because: (1) transfer trucks have larger capacities than collection trucks, allowing us to deliver more material to the landfill or processing center in each trip; (2) material is accumulated and compacted at strategically located transfer stations to increase efficiency; and (3) we can retain volume by managing the material to one of our own landfills or processing centers rather than to a competitor’s.
Landfill Services
We own or operate 186 active landfills. Our tipping fees charged to third parties accounted for approximately 13% of our revenue during 2020. As of December 31, 2020, we had 38,481 permitted acres and total available permitted and probable expansion disposal capacity of 5.0 billion in-place cubic yards. The in-place capacity of our landfills is subject to change based on engineering factors, requirements of regulatory authorities, our ability to continue to operate our landfills in compliance with applicable regulations, and our ability to successfully renew operating permits and obtain expansion permits at our sites. Some of our landfills accept non-hazardous special waste, including utility ash, asbestos and contaminated soils.
Most of our active landfill sites have the potential for expanded disposal capacity beyond the currently permitted acreage. We monitor the availability of permitted disposal capacity at each of our landfills and evaluate whether to pursue an expansion at a given landfill based on estimated future waste volumes and prices, market needs, remaining capacity and the likelihood of obtaining an expansion. To satisfy future disposal demand, we are seeking to expand permitted capacity at certain landfills; however, we cannot assure you that all proposed or future expansions will be permitted.
Republic is committed to harnessing landfill gas, the natural byproduct of decomposing waste, and converting it to energy. The use of landfill gas provides economic and environmental benefits, including reducing air pollution through the capture and use of methane. As of December 31, 2020, we operated 75 landfill gas and renewable energy projects. The majority of these projects were developed and are owned by a third party.
We also have responsibility for 128 closed landfills, for which we have associated closure and post-closure obligations.
Recycling Services
We own or operate 76 recycling processing centers. These centers generate revenue through the processing and sale of old corrugated containers (OCC), old newsprint (ONP), aluminum, glass and other materials, which accounted for approximately 3% of our revenue during 2020. Approximately 78% of our total recycling processing center volume is fiber based and includes OCC, ONP and other mixed paper. During 2020, we processed and sold 2.1 million tons, excluding glass and organics, from our recycling processing centers. An additional 2.2 million tons were collected by us and delivered to third parties.
Changing market demand for recycled commodities causes volatility in commodity prices. At current volumes and mix of materials, we believe a $10 per ton change in the price of recycled commodities will change both annual revenue and operating income by approximately $12 million.
In certain instances, we issue recycling rebates to our municipal or large-container customers, which can be based on the price we receive upon the final sale of recycled commodities, a fixed contractual rate or other measures. We also receive rebates when we dispose of recycled commodities at third-party processing facilities.
As consumer demand for recycling services has increased, we have met that demand by integrating recycling components to each of our collection service offerings. Our goal is to provide a complete material stream management solution to our customers in a vertically integrated, environmentally sustainable way.
We continue to invest in proven technologies to control costs and to simplify and streamline recycling for our customers. For example, robotics and advanced sorting equipment, such as disk screens, magnets and optical sorters, identifies and separates different kinds of paper, metals, plastics and other materials to increase efficiency and maximize our recycling efforts.
Environmental Solutions
In addition to certain of our landfill disposal sites, we own or operate 6 treatment, recovery and disposal facilities, 9 salt water disposal wells and 7 deep injection wells. Environmental solutions volume is generated from the by-products of oil and natural gas exploration and production activity. Additionally, it is generated by the daily operations of industrial, petrochemical and refining facilities, including maintenance, plant turnarounds and capital projects. We provide these customers with environmentally responsible solutions to manage their waste needs including disposal of solid and liquid materials and in-plant services, such as transportation and logistics. In 2020, approximately 1% of our revenue was derived from environmental solutions.
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Other Services
Other revenue consists primarily of National Accounts revenue generated from nationwide or regional contracts in markets outside our operating areas where the associated material handling services are subcontracted to local operators. Consequently, substantially all of this revenue is offset with related subcontract costs, which are recorded in cost of operations.
Competition
We operate in a competitive industry. Competition in the environmental services industry comes from a few other large, national publicly-owned companies, several regional publicly- and privately-owned companies, and thousands of small privately-owned companies. In any given market, competitors may have larger operations and greater resources. In addition, we compete with municipalities that maintain material collection or disposal operations. These municipalities may have financial advantages due to the availability of tax revenue and greater opportunities for tax-exempt financing.
We compete for collection accounts primarily based on our product offering, quality of service and price. From time-to-time, our competitors reduce the price of their services in an effort to expand market share or to win a competitively bid municipal contract. Our ability to maintain and increase prices in certain markets may be impacted by our competitors’ pricing policies. This may have an effect on our future revenue and profitability.
Seasonality and Severe Weather
Our operating revenues tend to be somewhat higher in the summer months, primarily due to higher volumes of construction and demolition waste. The volumes of large-container and residential recycling and waste in certain regions of the country also tend to increase during the summer months. Our second and third quarter revenues and results of operations typically reflect this seasonality.
Our operations can be adversely affected by periods of inclement or severe weather, which could increase the volume of material collected under our existing contracts (without corresponding compensation), delay the collection and disposal of material, reduce the volume of material delivered to our disposal sites or delay the construction or expansion of our landfill sites and other facilities. Our operations also can be favorably affected by severe weather, which could increase the volume of material in situations where we are able to charge for our additional services.
Regulation
Our facilities and operations are subject to a variety of federal, state and local requirements that regulate, among other things, the environment, public health, safety, zoning and land use. Operating and other permits, licenses and other approvals generally are required for landfills and transfer stations, recycling centers, certain solid waste collection vehicles, fuel storage tanks and other equipment and facilities that we own or operate. These permits are subject to denial, revocation, modification and renewal in certain circumstances. Any revocation, modification or denial of permits could have a material adverse effect on us. Federal, state and local laws and regulations vary, but generally govern wastewater or storm water discharges, air emissions, the handling, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste, and the remediation of contamination associated with the release or threatened release of hazardous substances. These laws and regulations provide governmental authorities with strict powers of enforcement, which include the ability to revoke or decline to renew any of our operating permits, obtain injunctions, or impose fines or penalties in the event of violations, including criminal penalties. The U.S. EPA and various other federal, state and local authorities administer these regulations.
In order to comply with these regulations, we must incur substantial capital expenditures relating to our vehicles, landfills, transfer stations, and recycling processing centers, and in connection with our capping, closure, post-closure and environmental remediation activities. Compliance with existing and future legal and regulatory requirements, including changes relating to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (commonly referred to as PFAS) and other chemicals of emerging concern, and limitations or bans on disposal of certain types of wastes or on the transportation of waste, could increase our costs to operate or require additional capital expenditures.
A decrease in regulation may lower barriers to entry for our competitors. Further, we compete with counties and municipalities that operate their own collection and disposal facilities, have the benefits of tax revenue, and greater opportunities for tax-exempt financing.
We strive to conduct our operations in compliance with applicable laws, regulations and permits. However, from time to time we have been issued citations or notices from governmental authorities that have resulted in the need to expend funds for remedial work and related activities at various landfills and other facilities or in the need to expend funds for fines, penalties or settlements. We cannot assure you that citations and notices will not be issued in the future despite our strong regulatory compliance efforts. We have established final capping, closure, post-closure and remediation reserves that we believe, based on currently available information, will be adequate to cover our current estimates of regulatory costs; however, we cannot assure you that actual costs will not exceed our reserves.
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Federal Regulation
The following summarizes the primary federal, environmental, and occupational health and safety-related statutes that affect our facilities and operations:
The Solid Waste Disposal Act, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). RCRA establishes a framework for regulating the handling, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste, and requires states to develop programs to ensure the safe disposal of solid waste in sanitary landfills.
Subtitle D of RCRA establishes a framework for regulating the disposal of municipal solid waste. Regulations under Subtitle D currently include minimum comprehensive solid waste management criteria and guidelines, including location restrictions, facility design and operating criteria, final capping, closure and post-closure requirements, financial assurance standards, groundwater monitoring requirements and corrective action standards. All of the states in which we operate have implemented permit programs pursuant to RCRA and Subtitle D. These state permit programs may include landfill requirements that are more stringent than those of Subtitle D. Our failure to comply with any of these environmental requirements at any of our locations may lead to temporary or permanent loss of an operating permit, which would result in costs in connection with securing new permits, reduced revenue from lost operational time, and increased third party disposal costs.
All of our planned landfill expansions and new landfill development projects have been engineered to meet or exceed Subtitle D requirements, as applicable. Operating and design criteria for existing operations have been modified to comply with these regulations. Compliance with Subtitle D regulations has resulted in increased costs and may in the future require substantial additional expenditures in addition to other costs normally associated with our waste management activities.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). CERCLA, among other things, provides for the cleanup of sites from which there is a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance into the environment. CERCLA may impose strict joint and several liability for the costs of cleanup and for damages to natural resources upon current owners and operators of a site, parties who were owners or operators of a site at the time the hazardous substances were disposed of, parties who transported the hazardous substances to a site, and parties who arranged for the disposal of the hazardous substances at a site. Under the authority of CERCLA and its implementing regulations, detailed requirements apply to the manner and degree of investigation and remediation of facilities and sites where hazardous substances have been or are threatened to be released into the environment. Liability under CERCLA is not dependent on the existence or disposal of only hazardous wastes, but also can be based upon the existence of small quantities of more than 700 substances currently characterized by the EPA as hazardous, many of which are found in common household waste. The EPA may also designate additional substances as hazardous. Among other things, CERCLA authorizes the federal government to investigate and remediate sites at which hazardous substances have been or are threatened to be released into the environment, or to order persons potentially liable for the cleanup of the hazardous substances to do so themselves. In addition, the EPA has established a National Priorities List of sites at which hazardous substances have been, or are threatened to be, released and which require investigation or cleanup.
CERCLA liability is strict liability. It can be founded upon the release or threatened release, even as a result of unintentional, non-negligent or lawful action, of hazardous substances, including very small quantities of such substances. Thus, even if we have never knowingly transported or received hazardous substances, it is possible that hazardous substances have been deposited or released at landfills or other facilities that we presently or historically have owned or operated, or at properties owned by third parties to which we have transported waste. Therefore, we could be liable under CERCLA for the cost of cleaning up, or protecting against the release of, such hazardous substances at such sites and for damages to natural resources, even if those substances were deposited at our facilities before we acquired or operated them. The costs of a CERCLA cleanup can be very expensive and can include the costs of disposing of hazardous substances at appropriately-licensed facilities. Given the difficulty of obtaining insurance for environmental impairment liability, any such liability could have a material effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (the Clean Water Act). This act regulates the discharge of pollutants from a variety of sources, including solid waste disposal sites, into streams, rivers and other waters of the United States. Runoff from our landfills and transfer stations that is discharged into surface waters through discrete conveyances must be covered by discharge permits that generally require us to conduct sampling and monitoring, and, under certain circumstances, to reduce the quantity of pollutants in those discharges. Storm water discharge regulations under the Clean Water Act require a permit for certain construction activities and for runoff from industrial operations and facilities, which may affect our operations. If a landfill or transfer station discharges wastewater through a sewage system to a publicly-owned treatment works, the facility must comply with discharge limits imposed by that treatment
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works. In addition, states may adopt groundwater protection programs under the Clean Water Act or the Safe Drinking Water Act that could affect the manner in which our landfills monitor and control their waste management activities. Furthermore, if development at any of our facilities alters or affects wetlands, we may be required to secure permits before such development starts. In these situations, permitting agencies may require mitigation of wetland impacts.
The Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act imposes limitations on emissions from various sources, including landfills. In March 1996, the EPA promulgated regulations that require large municipal solid waste landfills to install landfill gas monitoring systems along with landfill gas control systems unless emissions are below established thresholds. These regulations apply to landfills that commenced construction, reconstruction or modification on or after May 30, 1991, and, principally, to landfills that can accommodate 2.5 million cubic meters or more of municipal solid waste. The regulations apply whether the landfills are active or closed. The date by which each affected landfill must have a gas collection and control system installed and made operational varies depending on calculated emission rates at the landfill. On July 14, 2016, the EPA issued final amendments to its regulations that require large landfills that commenced construction, reconstruction, or modification on or after July 17, 2014 to capture additional landfill gas to reduce emissions of methane and certain non-methane gases, which are recognized as greenhouse gases. In a separate rule finalized that same day, the EPA issued updates to its 1996 Emission Guidelines to reduce emissions of landfill gas from existing active landfills. Both actions were part of the Obama Administration's Climate Action Plan - Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions. These and other efforts to curtail the emission of greenhouse gases and to ameliorate the effect of climate change may require our landfills to deploy more stringent emission controls and monitoring systems, with resulting capital or operating costs. Many state regulatory agencies also currently require monitoring systems for the collection and control of certain landfill gas. Certain of these state agencies are also implementing greenhouse gas control regulations that would also apply to landfill gas emissions. See Item 1A, Risk Factors – Regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and other governmental regulations could impose costs on our operations, the magnitude of which we cannot yet estimate, in this Form 10-K.
In addition, our vehicle fleet also may become subject to higher efficiency standards or other carbon-emission restrictions. Over the past decade, the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have adopted regulations mandating the reduction of vehicle tail pipe emissions as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The regulations take the form of fuel economy standards. The EPA and the NHTSA have developed fuel economy standards in two vehicle categories: (1) passenger automobiles and light-duty trucks (collectively, light-duty vehicles); and (2) heavy-duty trucks, including solid waste collection vehicles and tractor trailers. We own and operate vehicles in both categories. For light-duty vehicles, in May 2010 the EPA and the NHTSA finalized fuel economy standards for model years 2012 through 2016. In October 2011, the EPA and the NHTSA initiated a second round of rulemaking for light-duty vehicles for model years 2017 through 2025. In 2018, the EPA and the NHTSA proposed to revise the light-duty vehicle standards for model years 2021 through 2024 to make them less stringent; final action on the proposal occurred in 2020 but has been challenged in court. In August 2011, the EPA and the NHTSA finalized standards for heavy-duty trucks, including solid waste collection vehicles and tractor trailers, for model years 2014 through 2018. On August 16, 2016, the EPA and the NHTSA jointly issued additional regulations that would impose more stringent standards for heavy-duty vehicles through model-year 2027. In issuing the proposed fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks (including tractor trailers), the government estimated that the increased equipment cost would be recouped over a period of two years for a tractor/trailer combo, and over a period of 6 years for a garbage truck, and each vehicle would continue to save fuel costs over its operating life.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA). This act authorizes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor to promulgate occupational safety and health standards. A number of these standards, including standards for notices of hazardous chemicals and the handling of asbestos, apply to our facilities and operations.
State and Local Regulation
Each state in which we operate has its own laws and regulations governing solid waste disposal, water and air pollution, and, in most cases, releases and cleanup of hazardous substances and liabilities for such matters. States also have adopted regulations governing the design, operation, maintenance and closure of landfills and transfer stations. Some counties, municipalities and other local governments have adopted similar laws and regulations. In addition, our operations may be affected by the trend in many states toward requiring solid waste reduction and recycling programs. For example, several states have enacted laws that require counties or municipalities to adopt comprehensive plans to reduce, through solid waste planning, composting, recycling or other programs, the volume of solid waste deposited in landfills. Additionally, laws and regulations restricting the disposal of certain waste in solid waste landfills, including yard waste, food waste, newspapers, beverage containers, unshredded tires, lead-acid batteries, electronic wastes and household appliances, have been adopted in several states and are being considered in others. Legislative and regulatory measures to mandate or encourage waste reduction at the source and waste recycling also
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have been considered, or are under consideration by, the U.S. Congress and the EPA.
To construct, operate and expand a landfill, we must obtain one or more construction or operating permits, as well as zoning and land use approvals. These permits and approvals may be burdensome to obtain and to comply with, are often opposed by neighboring landowners and citizens’ groups, may be subject to periodic renewal, and are subject to denial, modification, non-renewal and revocation by the issuing agency. Significant compliance disclosure obligations often accompany these processes. In connection with our acquisition of existing landfills, we may be required to spend considerable time, effort and money to bring the acquired facilities into compliance with applicable requirements and to obtain the permits and approvals necessary to increase their capacity.
Other Regulations
Many of our facilities own and operate underground storage tanks that are generally used to store petroleum-based products. These tanks can be subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations that mandate their periodic testing, upgrading, closure and removal. In the event of leaks or releases from these tanks, these regulations require that polluted groundwater and soils be remediated. If underground storage tanks we own or operate leak, we could be liable for response costs and, if the leakage migrates onto the property of others, we could be liable for damages to third parties. We are unaware of facts indicating that issues of compliance with regulations related to underground storage tanks will have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
With regard to our solid waste transportation operations, we are subject to the jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation Board and are regulated by the Federal Highway Administration, Office of Motor Carriers, and by regulatory agencies in states that regulate such matters. Various state and local government authorities have adopted, or are considering adopting, laws and regulations that would restrict the transportation of solid waste across state, county, or other jurisdictional lines. In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a law that restricts the importation of out-of-state solid waste is unconstitutional; however, states have attempted to distinguish proposed laws from those involved in and implicated by that ruling. In 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a flow control law, which attempted to restrict solid waste from leaving its place of generation, imposes an impermissible burden upon interstate commerce and is unconstitutional. In 2007, however, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of a local government to direct the flow of solid waste to a publicly-owned and publicly-operated waste facility. A number of county and other local jurisdictions have enacted ordinances or other regulations restricting the free movement of solid waste across jurisdictional boundaries. Other governments may enact similar regulations in the future. These regulations may cause a decline in volumes of waste delivered to our landfills or transfer stations and may increase our costs of disposal, thereby adversely affecting our operations and our financial results.
Liabilities Established for Landfill and Environmental Costs
We have established reserves for landfill and environmental costs, which include landfill site final capping, closure and post-closure costs. We periodically reassess such costs based on various methods and assumptions regarding landfill airspace and the technical requirements of Subtitle D of RCRA, and we adjust our amortization rates used to expense final capping, closure and post-closure costs accordingly. Based on current information and regulatory requirements, we believe that our recorded reserves for such landfill and environmental expenditures are adequate; however, environmental laws may change, and we cannot assure you that our recorded reserves will be adequate to cover requirements under existing or new environmental laws and regulations, future changes or interpretations of existing laws and regulations, or adverse environmental conditions previously unknown to us. Refer to the Contractual Obligations section of our Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations contained in Item 7 of this Form 10-K and to Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 of this Form 10-K for further information.
Liability Insurance and Bonding
The nature of our business exposes us to the possible risk of liabilities arising out of our operations, including damages to the environment, property, employees or the general public. We focus on operating safely and prudently, but occasionally we receive claims, alleging damages, negligence or other wrongdoing in the planning or performance of work, which resulted in harm to the environment, property, employees or the general public. These liabilities can be significant. We also could be subject to fines and civil and criminal penalties in connection with alleged violations of regulatory requirements. We maintain various policies of insurance that, subject to limitations, exclusions, or deductibles, provide coverage for these types of claims. While we believe the amount of insurance is appropriate for our type of business, we can neither assure you that such insurance would be adequate, in scope or amount, in the event of a major loss, nor that we will not be exposed to uninsured liabilities that could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. We also cannot assure you that we would continue to maintain the insurance should market conditions in the insurance industry make such coverage cost prohibitive.
Accruals for deductibles are based on claims filed and actuarial estimates of claims development and claims incurred but not
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reported. Due to the variable condition of the insurance market, we have experienced, and may experience in the future, increased deductible retention levels and increased premiums or unavailability of insurance. As we assume more risk through higher retention levels, we may experience more variability in our insurance reserves and expense.
In the normal course of business, we also purchase surety bonds, insurance policies, letters of credit or marketable securities deposits in connection with municipal residential collection contracts, financial assurance for closure and post-closure of landfills, environmental remediation, environmental permits, and business licenses and permits as a financial guarantee of our performance.
Availability of Reports and Other Information
Our corporate website is republicservices.com. We make available on that website, free of charge, access to our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, Proxy Statements on Schedule 14A, and amendments to those materials filed or furnished with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. We make such materials available as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically submit them to the SEC. Our corporate website also contains our Certificate of Incorporation, Bylaws, Corporate Governance Guidelines, Code of Ethics and Conduct, Political Contributions Policy, Human Rights Policy, and Charters of the Audit Committee, Management Development and Compensation Committee, Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, and Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Committee of the Board of Directors. In addition, the SEC makes available at its website (sec.gov), free of charge, reports, proxy statements, and other information regarding issuers, such as us, that file electronically with the SEC. Information on our website or the SEC website is not part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We intend to satisfy the disclosure requirements under Item 5.05 of Form 8-K and applicable New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) rules regarding amendments to or waivers of our Code of Ethics by posting this information on our website at republicservices.com.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains certain forward-looking information about us that is intended to be covered by the safe harbor for “forward-looking statements” provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. Words such as “guidance,” “expect,” “will,” “may,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “estimate,” “project,” “intend,” “should,” “can,” “likely,” “could,” “outlook” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Among other sections of this Form 10-K, the Risk Factors and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations include forward-looking statements. These statements include statements about our plans, strategies and prospects. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of our management and are subject to risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot assure you that the expectations will prove to be correct. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements are:
general economic and market conditions, including inflation and changes in fuel, interest rates, labor, risk, health insurance and other variable costs that generally are not within our control, and our exposure to credit and counterparty risk;
fluctuations in prices for recycled commodities that we sell to customers;
the effects of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and actions taken in response thereto;
whether our estimates and assumptions concerning our selected balance sheet accounts, income tax accounts, final capping, closure, post-closure and remediation costs, available airspace, projected costs and expenses related to our landfills and property and equipment, fair values of acquired assets and liabilities assumed in our acquisitions, and labor, fuel rates and economic and inflationary trends, turn out to be correct or appropriate;
competition and demand for services in the environmental services industry;
price increases to our customers, which may not be adequate to offset the impact of increased costs, including labor, third-party disposal and fuel, and may cause us to lose volume;
our ability to manage growth and execute our growth strategy;
our compliance with, and future changes in, environmental and flow control regulations and our ability to obtain approvals from regulatory agencies in connection with operating and expanding our landfills;
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the impact on us of our substantial indebtedness, including on our ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms to finance our operations and growth strategy and to operate within the limitations imposed by financing arrangements;
our ability to retain our investment grade ratings for our debt;
our dependence on key personnel;
our dependence on large, long-term collection, transfer and disposal contracts;
the capital intensive nature of our business, which may consume cash in excess of cash flow from operations;
exposure to environmental liabilities or remediation requirements, to the extent not adequately covered by insurance, which could result in substantial expenses;
risks associated with undisclosed liabilities of acquired businesses;
risks associated with pending and future legal proceedings, including litigation, audits or investigations brought by or before any governmental body;
severe weather conditions, including those brought about by climate change, which could impair our financial results by causing increased costs, loss of revenue, reduced operational efficiency or disruptions to our operations;
compliance with existing and future legal and regulatory requirements, including changes relating to PFAS and other chemicals of emerging concern, and limitations or bans on disposal of certain types of wastes or on the transportation of waste, which could limit our ability to conduct or grow our business, increase our costs to operate or require additional capital expenditures;
safety and operational risks, including the risk of personal injury to our employees or third parties;
potential increases in our costs if we are required to provide additional funding to any multiemployer pension plan to which we contribute or if a withdrawal event (including our voluntary withdrawal, which we consider from time to time, or the mass withdrawal of all contributing employers from any underfunded multiemployer pension plan) occurs with respect to any such plan;
the negative impact on our operations of union organizing campaigns, work stoppages or labor shortages;
the negative effect that trends toward requiring recycling, waste reduction at the source and prohibiting the disposal of certain types of wastes could have on volumes of waste going to landfills;
changes by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other accounting regulatory bodies to generally accepted accounting principles or policies;
the impact of U.S. and international tax laws and regulations on our business;
risks related to interruptions and breaches of our information technology systems that could adversely affect, or temporarily disable, all or a portion of our operations or have a negative effect on our infrastructure;
the negative impact that a cyber-security incident could have on our business and our relationships with customers and employees; and
acts of war, riots or terrorism, including the continuing war on terrorism, as well as actions taken or to be taken by the United States or other governments as a result of further acts or threats of terrorism, and the impact of these acts on economic, financial and social conditions in the United States.
The risks included here are not exhaustive. Refer to the Risk Factors in this Item 1A for further discussion regarding our exposure to risks. You should be aware that any forward-looking statement in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the documents incorporated herein by reference or elsewhere, speaks only as of the date on which we make it. Additionally, new risk factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for us to predict all such risk factors, or to assess the impact such risk factors might have on our business or the extent to which any factor or combination of factors may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement. Except to the extent required by applicable law or regulation, we undertake no obligation to update or publish revised forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the documents incorporated by reference, as the case may be, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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Risks Related to Our Business and Operations
The environmental services industry is highly competitive and includes competitors that may have greater financial and operational resources, flexibility to reduce prices or other competitive advantages that could make it difficult for us to compete effectively.
We principally compete with large national waste management companies, numerous municipalities, and numerous regional and local companies. Competition for collection accounts is typically based on the quality of services, ease of doing business and/or price. Competition for disposal business is primarily based on geographic location, quality of operations, and price. One of our competitors may have greater financial and operational resources than we do. Further, many counties and municipalities that operate their own collection and disposal facilities have the benefits of tax revenue and greater opportunities for tax-exempt financing. Our ability to obtain solid waste volume for our landfills also may be limited by the fact that some major collection operations also own or operate landfills to which they send their waste. In certain markets in which we do not own or operate a landfill, our collection operations may have difficulty competing effectively. If we were to lose market share or if we were to lower prices to address competitive issues, it could negatively impact our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Increases in the cost of fuel or petrochemicals would increase our operating expenses, and we cannot assure you that we would be able to recover such cost increases from our customers.
We depend on fuel purchased in the open market to operate our collection and transfer trucks and other equipment used for collection, transfer and disposal. Fuel prices are unpredictable and fluctuate significantly based on events beyond our control, including geopolitical developments, actions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil and gas producers, changes in refinery operations, supply and demand for oil and gas, war, terrorism and unrest in oil-producing countries, adverse weather and regional production patterns. Due to contractual or market factors, we may not be able to offset increased fuel costs resulting from such volatility through fuel recovery fees. Our fuel costs were $271.7 million in 2020, or 2.7% of revenue, compared to $347.9 million in 2019, or 3.4% of revenue.
At current consumption levels, a twenty-cent per gallon change in the price of diesel fuel changes our fuel costs by approximately $25 million on an annual basis. Offsetting these changes in fuel expense would be changes in our fuel recovery fee charged to our customers. At current participation rates, we believe a twenty-cent per gallon change in the price of diesel fuel changes our fuel recovery fee by approximately $25 million. A substantial rise or drop in fuel costs could materially affect our revenue and cost of operations.
Over the last decade, regulations have been adopted mandating changes in the composition of fuels for motor vehicles. The renewable fuel standards that the EPA sets annually affect the type of fuel our motor vehicle fleet uses. Pursuant to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the EPA establishes annual renewable fuel volume requirements for four different categories of renewable fuels (renewable fuel, advanced biofuel, cellulosic biofuel, and biomass-based diesel). These volume requirements set standards for the proportion of refiners' or importers' total fuel volume that must contain renewable fuels (as designated by regulation). The total volume metrics for each year vary based upon a number of factors (e.g., the availability of such fuels), and it is difficult to predict the ultimate quantity that the EPA will eventually mandate for future years. These regulations are one of many factors that may affect the cost of the fuel we use.
Part of our fleet of vehicles is powered by CNG and we also operate CNG fueling stations. We have invested higher upfront capital costs in order to purchase and support our CNG vehicles and fueling stations in order to reduce our overall fleet operating costs through lower fuel expenses and to create a competitive advantage in communities that focus on protecting the environment. CNG is not yet widely adopted in North America. As the CNG industry develops, new regulations, the availability of alternative fuel technologies, fluctuations in the price or availability of CNG or reductions in tax incentives for the use of CNG vehicles could substantially affect our revenue and costs of operations and reduce the benefits sought by investing in CNG vehicles and fueling stations.
Our operations also require the use of products (such as liners at our landfills) whose costs may vary with the price of petrochemicals. An increase in the price of petrochemicals could increase the cost of those products, which would increase our operating and capital costs. Petrochemical prices, and hence our operating and capital costs, may be further affected by regulatory efforts to reduce greenhouse gases from the industries that produce such petrochemicals. We are also susceptible to increases in fuel recovery fees from our vendors.
Fluctuations in prices for recycled commodities that we sell to customers may adversely affect our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We purchase or collect and process recyclable materials such as paper, cardboard, plastics, aluminum and other metals for sale to third parties. Our results of operations may be affected by changing prices or market requirements for recyclable materials. The resale and purchase prices of, and market demand for, recyclable materials are volatile due to changes in economic
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conditions and numerous other factors beyond our control. For instance, in 2017 the Chinese government imposed strict limits on the import of recyclable materials, including by restricting the amount of contaminants allowed in imported recycled paper. These limitations significantly decreased the global demand for recyclable materials and resulted in lower commodity prices. Significant price fluctuations or increased operating costs may affect our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In 2020, approximately 78% of our recycling processing center volume was fiber based and included OCC, ONP and other mixed paper.
At current volumes and mix of materials, we believe a $10 per ton change in the price of recycled commodities would change annual revenue and operating income by approximately $12 million on an annual basis. Accordingly, a substantial rise or drop in recycled commodity prices could materially affect our revenue and operating income. Although we have entered into hedging agreements to help offset volatility in recycled commodity prices in the past, we cannot provide assurance that we will enter into these agreements in the future.
Adverse weather conditions, including those brought about by climate change, may limit our operations and increase the costs of collection, transfer, and disposal.
Our collection, transfer, and landfill operations could be adversely impacted by extended periods of inclement weather, or by increased severity of weather and climate extremes resulting from climate change, some of which we may already be experiencing. Recent studies suggest that global warming is occurring faster than previously projected, with the EPA projecting a 3° to 12° Fahrenheit temperature increase in the United States by the end of the century. In addition to sea level rise, this temperature increase is expected to result in more severe droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events. Any of these factors could increase the volume of material collected under our existing contracts (without corresponding compensation), interfere with collection, transfer station and landfill operations, delay the development of landfill capacity or reduce the volume of material generated by our customers. In addition, adverse weather conditions may result in the temporary suspension of our operations, which can significantly affect our operating results in the affected regions during those periods.
The environmental services industry is a capital-intensive industry and our capital expenditures may exceed current expectations, which could require us to obtain additional funding for our operations or impair our ability to grow our business.
Our ability to remain competitive and to grow our business largely depends on our cash flow from operations and access to capital. If our capital efficiency programs cannot offset the effect of inflation and business growth, it may be necessary to increase the amount we spend. Additionally, if we make acquisitions or further expand our operations, the amount we spend on capital, capping, closure, post-closure, environmental remediation and other items will increase. Our cash needs also will increase if the expenditures for capping, closure, post-closure and remediation activities increase above our current estimates, which may occur over a long period due to changes in federal, state or local government requirements and other factors beyond our control. Increases in expenditures would negatively impact our cash flows.
We may be unable to obtain or maintain required permits or to expand existing permitted capacity of our landfills, which could decrease our revenue and increase our costs.
We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain or maintain the permits required for our operations because permits to operate new landfills and transfer stations, or to expand the permitted capacity of existing landfills or increase acceptable volume at transfer stations, have become more difficult and expensive to obtain and maintain. Permits often take years to obtain as a result of numerous hearings and compliance requirements with regard to zoning, environmental and other regulations. These permits are also often subject to resistance from citizen or other groups and other political pressures. Local communities and citizen groups, adjacent landowners, governmental agencies and others may oppose the issuance of a permit or approval we may need, allege violations of the permits under which we currently operate or laws or regulations to which we are subject, or seek to impose liability on us for environmental damage. Such actions could also create risks related to our reputation, which may limit our ability to do business. Responding to these challenges has at times increased our costs and extended the time associated with establishing new landfills and transfer stations and expanding existing landfills. In addition, failure to receive regulatory and zoning approval may prohibit us from establishing new landfills or transfer stations or expanding existing landfills. Our failure to obtain the required permits to operate our landfills and transfer stations could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, we may have to dispose collected waste at landfills operated by our competitors or haul the waste long distances at a higher cost to one of our other landfills, either of which could significantly increase our waste disposal costs.
If we do not appropriately estimate landfill capping, closure, post-closure and remediation costs, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.
A landfill must be closed and capped, and post-closure maintenance commenced, once the landfill's permitted capacity is reached and additional capacity is not authorized. Further, we undertake remediation activities at some of our solid waste
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facilities. We have significant financial obligations relating to capping, closure, post-closure and remediation costs at our existing owned or operated landfills, and will have material financial obligations with respect to any future owned or operated landfills. We establish accruals for the estimated costs associated with capping, closure, post-closure and remediation obligations. We could underestimate such costs, and our financial obligations for capping, closure, post-closure or remediation costs could exceed the amounts accrued or amounts otherwise receivable pursuant to trust funds established for this purpose. Additionally, if a landfill must be closed earlier than expected or its remaining airspace is reduced for any other reason, the accruals for capping, closure, post-closure and remediation could be required to be accelerated. If our capping, closure, post-closure or remediation costs exceed the amounts accrued, or if such accruals are required to be accelerated, this could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Alternatives to landfill disposal could reduce our disposal volumes and cause our revenues and operating results to decline.
Most of the states in which we operate landfills require counties and municipalities to formulate comprehensive plans to reduce the volume of solid waste deposited in landfills through waste planning, composting, recycling or other programs. Some state and local governments mandate waste reduction at the source and prohibit the disposal of certain types of wastes, such as yard waste, at landfills. Further, many of our customers voluntarily are diverting waste to alternatives to landfill disposal, such as recycling and composting, while also working to reduce the amount of waste they generate. Many of the largest companies in the U.S. are setting zero-waste goals in which they strive to send no waste to landfills. Some jurisdictions have enacted extended producer responsibility regulations, which are designed to make producers fund the post-use life cycle of their products by providing recycling programs for their products or otherwise taking their post-use products back from consumers. Although such actions help to protect our environment and reduce the impact of waste on climate change, they have reduced, and will in the future reduce, the volume of waste going to landfills and may affect the prices that we can charge for landfill disposal. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will be able to operate our landfills at their current volumes or charge current prices for landfill disposal services due to possible decreases in demand for such services. If we cannot expand our service offerings and grow lines of business to service waste streams that do not go to landfills and to provide services for customers that wish to reduce waste entirely, this could have a negative effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Further, even if we can develop such service offerings and lines of business, disposal alternatives nonetheless could have a negative effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The possibility of landfill and transfer station site development projects, or expansion projects not being completed or certain other events could result in material charges to income.
In accordance with U.S. GAAP, we capitalize certain expenditures relating to development, expansion and other projects. If a facility or operation is permanently shut down or determined to be impaired, or a development, expansion or other project is not completed or is determined to be impaired, we will charge against earnings any unamortized capitalized expenditures relating to such facility or project that we are unable to recover through sale, transfer or otherwise. We also carry a significant amount of goodwill on our consolidated balance sheets, which we must assess for impairment annually, and more frequently in the case of certain triggering events. We may incur charges against earnings in accordance with this policy, or other events may cause impairments. Such charges could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
The business and assets we operate expose us to safety, operational and other risks, including the risk of personal injury to our employees or third parties.
The provision of environmental services, including the operation of landfills, CNG fueling stations, a substantial fleet of trucks and other waste-related assets, involves risks. These risks include, among others, the risk of truck accidents, equipment defects, malfunctions and failures, improper use of dangerous equipment, the release of hazardous substances, fire and explosion, any of which could result in environmental liability, personal injury, loss of life, business interruption or property damage or destruction. While we carry insurance to cover many contingencies, and seek to minimize our exposure to these risks through maintenance, training and compliance programs, any substantial losses could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may be subject to workforce influences, including work stoppages, which could increase our operating costs and disrupt our operations.
As of December 31, 2020, approximately 24% of our workforce was covered by collective bargaining agreements. If our unionized workers were to engage in strikes, work stoppages or other slowdowns, we could experience a significant disruption of our operations and an increase in our operating costs, which could have an adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Additional groups of employees may seek union representation in the future and, if successful, the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements could divert management's attention and result in increased operating costs. If a greater percentage of our workforce becomes unionized, our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely impacted due to the potential for increased operating costs.
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Risks Related to our Legal and Regulatory Environment
We are subject to costly environmental regulations and flow-control regulations that may affect our operating margins, restrict our operations and subject us to additional liability.
Complying with laws and regulations governing the collection, treatment, storage, transfer and disposal of material, air quality and emissions of greenhouse gases, water quality and the remediation of contamination associated with the release of hazardous substances is costly. Laws and regulations often require us to enhance or replace our equipment and to modify landfill operations or initiate final closure of a landfill. We cannot assure you that we will be able to implement price increases sufficient to offset the costs of complying with these laws and regulations. In addition, environmental regulatory changes, including those relating to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (commonly referred to as PFAS) and other chemicals of emerging concern, could accelerate or increase expenditures for capping, closure, post-closure and environmental and remediation activities at solid waste facilities and obligate us to spend sums in addition to those presently accrued for such purposes, which could have a negative effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations and cash flows. For example, the EPA has indicated it is considering listing certain PFAS as hazardous substances under CERCLA, which if finalized could trigger additional obligations or liabilities under CERCLA or other laws and regulations.
Our business is and will continue to be affected by state or local laws or regulations that restrict the transportation of solid waste across state, county or other jurisdictional lines or that direct the flow of waste to a specified facility or facilities. Such laws and regulations could negatively affect our operations, resulting in declines in landfill volumes and increased costs of alternate disposal.
Regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and other governmental regulations could impose costs on our operations, the magnitude of which we cannot yet estimate.
Efforts to curtail the emission of greenhouse gases and to ameliorate the effects of climate change continue to progress. Our landfill operations emit anthropogenic methane, identified as a greenhouse gas, and our vehicle fleet emits, among other things, carbon dioxide, which also is a greenhouse gas. While passage of comprehensive, federal climate change legislation appears unlikely in the near term, we expect any such legislation, if enacted, to impose costs on our operations, which could be material.
Absent comprehensive federal legislation to control greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA has taken certain actions administratively under its existing Clean Air Act authority. The EPA is compelled to issue rules by the U.S. Supreme Court's April 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA ruling that greenhouse gases are pollutants for purposes of the Clean Air Act and the EPA's December 2009 finding that continued emissions of greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. With respect to our light- and heavy-duty vehicle fleet, the EPA has finalized regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions and increasing fuel economy standards. The EPA and the NHTSA have finalized such regulations applicable to light-duty vehicles through model year 2025. In 2018, the EPA and the NHTSA proposed to revise the light-duty vehicle standards for model years 2021 through 2024 to make them less stringent; final action on the proposal took place in 2020 but has been challenged in court. On August 16, 2016, the EPA and the NHTSA issued additional regulations that would impose more stringent standards for heavy-duty vehicles through model-year 2027. These standards and further federal efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions and to increase the fuel efficiency of light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
With regard to greenhouse gas emissions from our landfills, on July 14, 2016, the EPA issued amendments to its regulations that require large landfills that commenced construction, reconstruction or modification on or after July 17, 2014 to capture additional landfill gas to reduce emissions of methane and certain non-methane gases, which are recognized as greenhouse gases. In a separate action finalized that same day, the EPA issued updates to its 1996 Emission Guidelines to reduce emissions of landfill gas from existing active landfills. Both actions were part of the Obama Administration's Climate Action Plan - Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions. The Trump Administration proposed to reconsider these rules, but its action has been subject to litigation, which is still pending. The Biden Administration has announced that climate change is one of its top priorities. If these regulations, or an amended version of them eventually goes into effect, they may require our landfills to deploy more stringent emission controls and monitoring systems, with resulting capital or operating costs. The application of these or other greenhouse gas regulations to our landfills could have a material adverse effect on our landfill operations and on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We cannot predict what other actions or regulations the current administration may undertake that would affect our industry. While increased or decreased regulations may affect our operating costs, the substantial cost of regulatory compliance reduces the ability of new competitors to enter the industry.
We may have environmental liabilities that are not covered by our insurance. Changes in insurance markets also may impact our financial results.
We may incur environmental liabilities arising from our operations or properties. We maintain high deductibles for our environmental liability insurance coverage. If we were to incur substantial liability for environmental damage, our insurance
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coverage may be inadequate to cover such liability. This could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Also, due to the variable condition of the insurance market, we have experienced, and may experience in the future, increased insurance retention levels and increased premiums or unavailability of insurance. As we assume more risk for insurance through higher retention levels, we may experience more variability in our insurance reserves and expense.
Despite our efforts, we may incur additional liability under environmental laws in excess of amounts presently known and accrued.
We are a potentially responsible party at many sites under CERCLA, which provides for the remediation of contaminated facilities and imposes strict, joint and several liability for the cost of remediation on current owners and operators of a facility at which there has been a release or a threatened release of a hazardous substance. CERCLA liability also extends to parties who were site owners and operators at the time hazardous substances were disposed, and on persons who arrange for the disposal of such substances at the facility (e.g., generators of the waste and transporters who selected the disposal site). Hundreds of substances are defined as hazardous under CERCLA and their presence, even in minute amounts, can result in substantial liability.
Notwithstanding our efforts to comply with applicable environmental laws, we may have additional liability under environmental laws in excess of our current reserves because, among other things, hazardous substances may be present in waste collected by us or disposed of in our landfills (or in waste collected, transported or disposed of in the past by businesses we have acquired), environmental laws or regulations may change, or there may be adverse environmental conditions that develop or were otherwise previously unknown to us. For example, during 2012 through 2014, we recorded an aggregate of approximately $400 million in charges relating to environmental remediation at our closed landfill in Bridgeton, Missouri. Actual costs for liabilities at Bridgeton or other sites could be significantly greater than amounts we have accrued for these purposes. Environmental liabilities in excess of our current reserves could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Currently pending or future litigation or governmental proceedings could result in material adverse consequences, including judgments or settlements.
We are and will continue to be involved in lawsuits, regulatory inquiries, and governmental and other legal proceedings. Many of these matters raise complicated factual and legal issues and are subject to uncertainties. The timing of the final resolutions to lawsuits, regulatory inquiries, and governmental and other legal proceedings is uncertain. Further, the possible outcomes or resolutions to these matters could include adverse judgments or settlements, either of which could require substantial payments and adversely affect our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
For example, we incur costs to defend against litigation brought by government agencies and private parties who allege we are in violation of our permits and applicable environmental laws and regulations, or who assert claims alleging nuisance, environmental damage, personal injury or property damage. As a result, we may be required to pay fines or judgments or implement corrective measures, or we may have our permits and licenses modified or revoked. A significant judgment against us, the loss of a significant permit or license, or the imposition of a significant fine could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We establish accruals for our estimates of the costs associated with lawsuits, regulatory, governmental and other legal proceedings. We could underestimate such accruals. Such shortfalls could result in significant unanticipated charges to income.
Risks Related to Financial Strategy and Indebtedness
We have substantial indebtedness, which may limit our financial flexibility.
As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $9 billion in principal value of debt and finance leases outstanding. This amount of indebtedness and our debt service requirements may limit our financial flexibility to access additional capital and make capital expenditures and other investments in our business, to withstand economic downturns and interest rate increases, to plan for or react to changes in our business and our industry, and to comply with the financial and other covenants of our debt instruments. Further, our ability to comply with these financial and other covenants may be affected by changes in economic or business conditions or other events that are beyond our control. If we do not comply with these covenants, we may be required to take actions such as reducing or delaying capital expenditures, reducing or eliminating dividends or stock repurchases, selling assets, restructuring or refinancing all or part of our existing debt, or seeking additional equity capital.
We may be unable to maintain our credit ratings or execute our financial strategy.
Our ability to execute our financial strategy depends in part on our ability to maintain investment grade ratings on our debt. The credit rating process is contingent upon a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control. We cannot assure you that
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we will be able to maintain our investment grade ratings in the future. If we were unable to do so, our interest expense would increase and our ability to obtain financing on favorable terms may be adversely affected.
Our financial strategy also depends on our ability to generate sufficient cash flow to reinvest in our existing business, fund internal growth, acquire other environmental services businesses, pay dividends, repurchase stock, and take other actions to enhance shareholder value. We cannot assure you that we will succeed in executing our broad-based pricing initiatives, that we will generate sufficient cash flow to execute our financial strategy, that we will be able to pay cash dividends at our present rate, or increase them, or that we will be able to continue our share repurchase program.
Weakness in the U.S. economy may expose us to credit risk for amounts due from governmental entities, large national accounts, industrial customers and others.
Weakness in the U.S. economy, including contractions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, reduces the amount of taxes collected by various governmental entities. We provide services to a number of these entities, including numerous municipalities. These governmental entities may suffer financial difficulties resulting from a decrease in tax revenue and may ultimately be unable or unwilling to pay amounts owed to us. In addition, weakness in the economy may cause other customers, including our large national accounts, or industrial or environmental services clients, to suffer financial difficulties and ultimately to be unable or unwilling to pay amounts owed to us. This could negatively impact our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our consolidated financial statements are based on estimates and assumptions that may differ from actual results.
Our consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP and necessarily include amounts based on management's estimates. Actual results may differ from these amounts. Significant items requiring management to make subjective or complex judgments that are inherently uncertain include the recoverability of long-lived assets, the depletion and amortization of landfill development costs, accruals for final capping, closure and post-closure costs, valuation allowances for accounts receivable and deferred tax assets, liabilities for potential litigation, claims and assessments, and liabilities for environmental remediation, multiemployer pension plans, employee benefit plans, deferred taxes, uncertain tax positions, insurance and our estimates of the fair values of assets acquired and liabilities assumed in any acquisition. We cannot assure you that the liabilities recorded for items such as these will be adequate to cover the costs we ultimately will face.
Our obligation to fund multiemployer pension plans to which we contribute, or our withdrawal from such plans, may have an adverse effect on us.
We participate in multiemployer pension plans that generally provide retirement benefits to participants of contributing employers. We do not administer these plans and generally are not represented on the boards of trustees of these plans. The Pension Protection Act enacted in 2006 (the PPA) requires under-funded pension plans to improve their funding ratios. Based on the information available to us, we believe that some of the multiemployer plans to which we contribute are either critical or endangered as those terms are defined in the PPA. We cannot presently determine the amount of additional funding, if any, we may be required to make to these plans. However, plan assessments could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or cash flows for a given period.
Further, under current law, upon the termination of a multiemployer pension plan, or in the event of a withdrawal by us (which we consider from time to time) or a mass withdrawal of contributing employers (each, a Withdrawal Event), we would be required to make payments to the plan for our proportionate share of the plan's unfunded vested liabilities. We cannot assure you that there will not be a Withdrawal Event with respect to any of the multiemployer pension plans to which we contribute or that, in the event of such a Withdrawal Event, the amounts we would be required to contribute would not have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
For additional discussion and detail regarding multiemployer pension plans see Note 12, Employee Benefit Plans, of the notes to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
The costs of providing for pension benefits and related funding requirements are subject to changes in pension fund values and fluctuating actuarial assumptions, and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We sponsor a defined benefit pension plan that is funded with trustee assets invested in a diversified portfolio of debt and equity securities. Our costs for providing such benefits and related funding requirements are subject to changes in the market value of plan assets. Our pension expenses and related funding requirements are also subject to various actuarial calculations and assumptions, which may differ materially from actual results due to changing market and economic conditions, interest rates and other factors. A significant increase in our pension obligations and funding requirements could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
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Risks Related to Our Growth Strategy
We may be unable to manage our growth effectively.
Our growth strategy places significant demands on our financial, operational and management resources. To continue our growth, we may need to add administrative, managerial and other personnel, and may need to make additional investments in operations and systems. We cannot assure you that we will be able to find and train qualified personnel, or do so on a timely basis, or to expand or otherwise modify our operations and systems to the extent, and in the time, required.
We may be unable to execute our acquisition growth strategy.
Our ability to execute our growth strategy depends in part on our ability to identify and acquire desirable acquisition candidates and on our ability to successfully integrate acquired operations into our business. The integration of our operations with those of acquired companies may present significant challenges to our management. In addition, competition for acquisition candidates may prevent us from acquiring certain acquisition candidates. Thus, we cannot assure you that:
desirable acquisition candidates exist or will be identified;
we will be able to acquire any of the candidates identified;
we will effectively integrate and manage companies we acquire; or
any acquisitions will be profitable or accretive to our earnings.
If any of these factors force us to alter our growth strategy, our growth prospects could be adversely affected.
Businesses we acquire may have undisclosed liabilities.
Our due diligence investigations of acquisition candidates may fail to discover certain undisclosed liabilities. If we acquire a company with undisclosed liabilities such as environmental, remediation or contractual liabilities, as a successor owner we may be responsible for such undisclosed liabilities. We try to minimize our exposure to such liabilities by conducting due diligence, by obtaining indemnification from each seller of the acquired companies, by deferring payment of a portion of the purchase price as security for the indemnification, by obtaining representations and warranties insurance and by acquiring only specified assets. However, we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain indemnification or insurance coverage or that any indemnification or insurance coverage obtained will be enforceable, collectible or sufficient in amount, scope or duration to fully offset any undisclosed liabilities arising from our acquisitions.
Risks Related to Technology and Intellectual Property
Our strategy includes an increasing dependence on technology in our operations. If any of our key technology fails, our business could be adversely affected.
Our operations are increasingly dependent on technology. Our information technology systems are critical to our ability to drive profitable growth through differentiation, continue the implementation of standardized processes and deliver a consistent customer experience. One of our three differentiating capabilities is to enable our customers to do business with us through more channels and with better access to information and, accordingly, we have made substantial investment in our e-commerce platform. Problems with the operation of the information or communication technology systems we use could adversely affect, or temporarily disable, all or a portion of our operations. Inabilities and delays in implementing new systems can also affect our ability to realize projected or expected revenue or cost savings. Further, any systems failures could impede our ability to timely collect and report financial results in accordance with applicable laws.
Emerging technologies, including those that are used to recycle and process waste as an alternative to disposal of waste in landfills, represent risks, as well as opportunities, to our current business model. The costs associated with developing or investing in emerging technologies could require substantial capital and adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows. Delays in the development or implementation of such emerging technologies and difficulties in marketing new products or services based on emerging technologies could have similar negative impacts. Our financial results may suffer if we are not able to develop or license emerging technologies, or if a competitor obtains exclusive rights to an emerging technology that disrupts the current methods used in the environmental services industry.
A cyber security incident could negatively impact our business and our relationships with customers.
We use information technology, including computer and information networks, in substantially all aspects of our business operations. We also use mobile devices, social networking and other online activities to connect with our employees and our customers. Such uses give rise to cyber security risks, including security breach, espionage, system disruption, theft and inadvertent release of information. Our business involves the storage and transmission of numerous classes of sensitive and/or
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confidential information and intellectual property, including customers’ personal information, private information about employees, and financial and strategic information about us and our business partners. We also rely on a Payment Card Industry compliant third party to protect our customers’ credit card information. In connection with our strategy to grow through acquisitions and to pursue new initiatives that improve our operations and cost structure, we are also expanding and improving our information technologies, resulting in a larger technological presence and corresponding exposure to cyber security risk. If we fail to assess and identify cyber security risks associated with acquisitions and new initiatives, we may become increasingly vulnerable to such risks. Additionally, while we have implemented measures to prevent security breaches and cyber incidents, our preventive measures and incident response efforts may not be entirely effective. Also, the regulatory environment surrounding information security and privacy is increasingly demanding, with the frequent imposition of new and constantly changing requirements. This changing regulatory landscape may cause increasingly complex compliance challenges, which may increase our compliance costs. Any failure to comply with these changing security and privacy laws and regulations could result in significant penalties, fines, legal challenges and reputational harm. The theft, destruction, loss, misappropriation, or release of sensitive and/or confidential information or intellectual property, or interference with our information technology systems or the technology systems of third parties on which we rely, could result in business disruption, negative publicity, brand damage, violation of privacy laws, loss of customers, potential liability and competitive disadvantage.
Other Risks Relevant to Our Business
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted, and is likely to continue to negatively impact, our business, results of operations and financial performance.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented effect on the U.S. economy, which has created significant uncertainties. These uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the potential adverse effect of the pandemic on the economy, our supply chain partners, our employees and our customers. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our costs of doing business have increased, including for the purchase of additional safety equipment and hygiene products, increased facility and equipment cleaning, meals for our frontline employees, the expansion of certain aspects of our existing healthcare programs, and the guarantee of a minimum hourly work week to certain frontline employees regardless of service decreases. Additionally, if the pandemic continues and conditions worsen or if there is a large outbreak or resurgence of COVID-19 in various regions, we expect to experience additional adverse impacts on our operational and commercial activities and our collections of accounts receivable, which adverse impacts may be material. The degree to which COVID-19 impacts our results going forward will depend on future developments, which are uncertain and cannot be predicted, including, but not limited to, the duration and spread of COVID-19, its severity, the actions to contain the virus or treat its impact, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume. Any of the foregoing factors, or other cascading effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that are not currently foreseeable, could materially increase our costs, negatively impact our business and damage our results of operations and our liquidity position, possibly to a significant degree.
Price increases may not be adequate to offset the effect of increased costs and may cause us to lose volume.
We seek to secure price increases necessary to offset increased costs, improve our operating margins and earn an appropriate return on our substantial investments in assets such as our landfills. From time to time, our competitors reduce their prices in an effort to expand their market share. Contractual, general economic or market-specific conditions also may limit our ability to raise prices. For example, many of our contracts have price adjustment provisions that are tied to an index such as the consumer price index. Particularly in a weak U.S. economy, our costs may increase in excess of the increase, if any, in the consumer price index. This may continue to be the case even when the U.S. economy recovers because a recovery in the environmental services industry historically has lagged behind a recovery in the general economy. As a result, we may be unable to offset increases in costs, improve our operating margins and obtain adequate investment returns through price increases. Price increases also might cause us to lose volume to lower-cost competitors.
The loss of key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and growth prospects.
Our future success depends on the continued contributions of several key employees and officers. The loss of the services of key employees and officers, whether through resignation or other causes, or the inability to attract additional qualified personnel, could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and growth prospects. In some of our markets, we compete with other similar businesses which may drive labor costs or reduce the amount of available qualified personnel.
The introduction of new accounting rules, laws or regulations could adversely impact our reported results of operations.
Complying with new accounting rules, laws or regulations could adversely impact our results of operations or cause unanticipated fluctuations in our results of operations or financial conditions in future periods.
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Weakened global economic conditions, including those resulting from the recent COVID-19 pandemic, may harm our industry, business and results of operations.
Our business is directly affected by changes in national and general economic factors and overall economic activity that are outside of our control, including consumer confidence and interest rates. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the global economy, disrupted global supply chains and created significant volatility and disruption of financial markets. A weak economy generally results in decreases in volumes, which adversely affects our revenues. In addition, we have certain fixed costs (e.g., facility expense associated with long-term leases, depreciation expense and accretion expense), which may be difficult to adjust quickly to match declining volume levels. Consumer uncertainty and the loss of consumer confidence may decrease overall economic activity and thereby limit the amount of services we provide. Additionally, a decline in volumes may result in increased competitive pricing pressure and increased customer turnover, resulting in lower revenue and increased operating costs. Operating in an environment of worsening economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Further, recovery in the environmental services industry historically has lagged behind recovery in the general economy. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that an improvement in general economic conditions will result in an immediate, or any, improvement in our consolidated financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
ITEM 2.PROPERTIES
Our corporate office is located at 18500 North Allied Way, Phoenix, Arizona 85054, where we currently lease approximately 145,000 square feet of office space.
Our principal property and equipment consists of land, landfills, buildings, vehicles and equipment. We own or lease real property in the states in which we conduct operations. As of December 31, 2020, we operated facilities in 41 states through 345 collection operations, 220 transfer stations, 186 active landfills, 76 recycling processing centers, 6 treatment, recovery and disposal facilities, 9 salt water disposal wells and 7 deep injection wells. In the aggregate, our active solid waste landfills total approximately 106,731 acres, including 38,481 permitted acres. We are engaged in 75 landfill gas-to-energy and renewable energy projects and had post-closure responsibility for 128 closed landfills. We believe that our property and equipment are adequate for our current needs.
ITEM 3.LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
General Legal Proceedings
We are subject to extensive and evolving laws and regulations and have implemented safeguards to respond to regulatory requirements. In the normal course of our business, we become involved in legal proceedings. Some may result in fines, penalties or judgments against us, or settlements, which may impact earnings and cash flows for a particular period. Although we cannot predict the ultimate outcome of any legal matter with certainty, we do not believe the outcome of any of our pending legal proceedings will have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
As used in the immediately following paragraph, the term legal proceedings refers to litigation and similar claims against us and our subsidiaries, excluding: (1) ordinary course accidents, general commercial liability and workers' compensation claims, which are covered by insurance programs, subject to customary deductibles, and which, together with self-insured employee health care costs, are discussed in Note 7, Other Liabilities, to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 of this Form 10-K; and (2) environmental remediation liabilities, which totaled $462.8 million at December 31, 2020 and which are discussed in Note 8, Landfill and Environmental Costs, to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
We accrue for legal proceedings when losses become probable and reasonably estimable. We have recorded an aggregate accrual of approximately $27 million relating to our outstanding legal proceedings as of December 31, 2020. As of the end of each applicable reporting period, we review each of our legal proceedings and, where it is probable that a liability has been incurred, we accrue for all probable and reasonably estimable losses. Where we are able to reasonably estimate a range of losses we may incur with respect to a matter, we record an accrual for the amount within the range that constitutes our best estimate. If we are able to reasonably estimate a range but no amount within the range appears to be a better estimate than any other, we use the amount that is the low end of such range. If we had used the high ends of such ranges, our aggregate potential liability would be approximately $10 million higher than the amount recorded as of December 31, 2020.
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Legal Proceedings over Certain Environmental Matters Involving Governmental Authorities with Possible Sanctions of $1,000,000 or More
Item 103 of the SEC's Regulation S-K requires disclosure of certain environmental matters when a governmental authority is a party to the proceedings and the proceedings involve potential monetary sanctions unless we reasonably believe the monetary sanctions will not equal or exceed a threshold which we determine is reasonably designed to result in disclosure of any such proceeding that is material to our business or financial condition. We have determined such disclosure threshold to be $1,000,000. We are disclosing the following matter in accordance with that requirement:
Pine Avenue Landfill Matter
On December 20, 2016, the EPA issued a Finding of Violation (FOV) to Allied Waste Niagara Falls Landfill, LLC (Allied-Niagara). The FOV alleges violations of the Clean Air Act and associated regulations relating to operation of Allied-Niagara’s Pine Avenue Landfill in Niagara County, New York. On October 16, 2017, Allied-Niagara received a civil penalty demand from the EPA. The demand proposes a penalty of $0.6 million or $2.5 million, depending on the results of requested sampling analysis at the site. Allied-Niagara is negotiating a resolution to the FOV, including the amount of the penalty.
ITEM 4.MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
None.
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PART II
ITEM 5.MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Market Information, Holders and Dividends
The principal market for our common stock is the New York Stock Exchange, and it is traded under the symbol RSG.
There were 547 holders of record of our common stock at February 17, 2021, which does not include beneficial owners for whom Cede & Co. or others act as nominees.
In October 2020, our Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.425 per share for shareholders of record on January 4, 2021. We expect to continue to pay quarterly cash dividends, and we may consider increasing our dividends if we believe it will enhance shareholder value.
We have the ability under our credit facilities to pay dividends and repurchase our common stock if we are in compliance with the financial covenants in our credit facilities. As of December 31, 2020, we were in compliance with those financial covenants.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table provides information relating to our purchases of shares of our common stock during the three months ended December 31, 2020:
Total Number
of Shares Purchased (a)
Average Price Paid
per Share (a)
Total Number of Shares Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced Program (b)
Dollar Value of Shares that
May Yet Be Purchased
Under the Program (c)
October 1 – 31
— $— — $605,818,899 
November 1 – 30
— $— — $605,818,899 
December 1 – 31
— $— — $605,818,899 
— — 
(a)In October 2017, our Board of Directors added $2.0 billion to the existing share repurchase authorization, which expired on December 31, 2020. In October 2020, our Board of Directors approved a $2.0 billion share repurchase authorization effective starting January 1, 2021 and extending through December 31, 2023. Share repurchases under the program may be made through open market purchases or privately negotiated transactions in accordance with applicable federal securities laws. While the Board of Directors has approved the program, the timing of any purchases, the prices and the number of shares of common stock to be purchased will be determined by our management, at its discretion, and will depend upon market conditions and other factors. The share repurchase program may be extended, suspended or discontinued at any time. As of December 31, 2020, there were no repurchased shares pending settlement.
(b)The total number of shares purchased as part of the publicly announced program were all purchased pursuant to the October 2017 authorization.
(c)Shares that may be purchased under the program exclude shares of common stock that may be surrendered to satisfy statutory minimum tax withholding obligations in connection with the vesting of restricted stock units and performance stock units issued to employees.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
There were no sales of unregistered securities during the three months ended December 31, 2020.
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Performance Graph
The following graph compares the performance of our common stock to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index (S&P 500 Index) and the Dow Jones Waste & Disposal Services Index (DJ W&DS Index). The graph covers the period from December 31, 2015 to December 31, 2020 and assumes that the value of the investment in our common stock and in each index was $100 as of December 31, 2015 and that all dividends were reinvested.
The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed "soliciting material" or to be "filed" with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.
rsg-20201231_g1.jpg
 Indexed Returns for the Years Ended December 31,
 201520162017201820192020
Republic Services, Inc.$100.00 $132.85 $160.72 $174.93 $221.47 $242.58 
S&P 500 Index$100.00 $111.96 $136.40 $130.42 $171.49 $203.04 
DJ W&DS Index$100.00 $121.15 $141.84 $142.00 $191.83 $204.42 

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ITEM 6.SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
You should read the following Selected Financial Data in conjunction with Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, which includes our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto as of and for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, in this Form 10-K.
These historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected in the future. Amounts are in millions, except per share data.
 Years Ended December 31,
 20202019201820172016
Statements of Income Data:
Revenue$10,153.6 $10,299.4 $10,040.9 $10,041.5 $9,387.7 
Operating income$1,709.1 $1,787.2 $1,735.8 $1,668.5 $1,537.5 
Net income$969.6 $1,073.8 $1,037.6 $1,279.0 $613.2 
Basic earnings per share$3.03 $3.34 $3.17 $3.79 $1.79 
Diluted earnings per share$3.02 $3.33 $3.16 $3.77 $1.78 
Cash dividends per common share$1.66 $1.56 $1.44 $1.33 $1.24 
Statements of Cash Flows Data:
Cash provided by operating activities$2,471.6 $2,352.1 $2,242.8 $1,910.7 $1,847.8 
Purchases of property and equipment$1,194.6 $1,207.1 $1,071.8 $989.8 $927.8 
Proceeds from the sale of property and equipment$30.1 $21.7 $31.6 $6.1 $9.8 
Balance Sheet Data:
Cash and cash equivalents$38.2 $47.1 $70.5 $83.3 $67.8 
Restricted cash and marketable securities$149.1 $179.4 $108.1 $141.1 $90.5 
Total assets$23,434.0 $22,683.8 $21,617.0 $21,147.0 $20,629.6 
Total debt$8,934.2 $8,688.5 $8,337.5 $8,187.4 $7,658.9 
Total stockholders' equity$8,488.8 $8,120.9 $7,929.5 $7,961.1 $7,693.7 

ITEM 7.MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
You should read the following discussion in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included in Item 8 of this Form 10-K. This discussion may contain forward-looking statements that anticipate results that are subject to uncertainty. We discuss in more detail various factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations in Item 1A, Risk Factors in this Form 10-K.
For further discussion regarding our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2018, refer to Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.
Recent Developments
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the global economy, disrupted global supply chains and created significant volatility and disruption of financial markets. The full extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operations and financial performance will depend on future developments, including the duration and spread of the pandemic, all of which are uncertain and cannot be predicted at this time.
Both national and local government agencies have implemented steps to slow the spread of the virus, including shelter-in-place orders and the mandatory shutdown of certain businesses. During this time, we continued to provide essential services to our customers. In mid-March 2020, certain customers in our small- and large-container businesses began adjusting their service levels, which included a decrease in the frequency of pickups or a temporary pause in service. In addition, we experienced a decline in volumes disposed at certain of our landfills and transfer stations. As service levels decreased, we also experienced a decrease in certain costs of our operations which are variable in nature. This decline in service activity peaked in the first half of April and gradually recovered thereafter as local economies began to gradually reopen and customers began to resume service. Large outbreaks and resurgences of COVID-19 in various regions may result in a reinstitution of certain restrictions and further adjustments in our service levels, which would negatively impact our business.
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The demand for our environmental solutions business depends on the continued demand for, and production of, oil and natural gas in certain shale basins located in the United States. During the year ended December 31, 2020, the price of crude oil and natural gas reached historic lows, resulting in a decrease in rig counts and drilling activity that led to a year-over-year decrease in revenue from our environmental solutions business. During the three months ended December 31, 2020, we recognized a $42.6 million charge as a loss on business divestitures and impairments, net in our consolidated income statement resulting from management’s decision to exit certain product offerings and geographic basins in our upstream environmental solutions business. As the carrying value of the assets associated with these operations was no longer recoverable, we impaired the entire net book value of certain assets, comprised mainly of equipment, vehicles, and containers. On at least a quarterly basis, we will continue to monitor the effect of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic on our business and review our estimates for recoverability of assets.
In April 2020, we launched our Committed to Serve initiative to help our employees, customers and communities across the United States. We committed $20 million to support frontline employees and their families, as well as small business customers in the local communities where we serve. In addition to this initiative, we have experienced an increase in certain costs of doing business as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including costs for additional safety equipment and hygiene products and increased facility and equipment cleaning. These costs are intended to assist in protecting the safety of our frontline employees as we continue to provide an essential service to our customers. We also incurred incremental costs for guaranteeing certain frontline employees a minimum hourly work week regardless of service decreases. In the fourth quarter, we recognized our frontline employees for their commitment and contributions to their communities during the pandemic with a $500 award that was paid in January 2021. In 2020, we incurred costs of $68.4 million as a direct and incremental result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we incurred incremental costs associated with expanding certain aspects of our existing healthcare programs. We expect to incur similar costs throughout 2021, and potentially into future years, although we expect the annual amount of such costs to be less than those incurred in 2020.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business are described in more detail in the Results of Operations discussion in this Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
2021 Financial Guidance
In 2021, we will focus on driving profitable growth, making disciplined acquisition investments, maintaining an inclusive and engaging culture for our people, and advancing technology to empower our employees, increase connectivity with our customers and drive operational excellence. Our team remains focused on executing our strategy to deliver consistent earnings and free cash flow growth, and improving return on invested capital. We are committed to maintaining an efficient capital structure, preserving our investment grade credit ratings and increasing cash returned to our shareholders.
Our guidance is based on current economic conditions and does not assume any significant changes in the overall economy in 2021. Specific guidance follows:
Revenue
We expect an increase in average yield of approximately 2.5% and volume growth to be in a range of 1.5% to 2.0%.
Adjusted Diluted Earnings per Share
The following is a summary of anticipated adjusted diluted earnings per share for the year ending December 31, 2021 compared to the actual adjusted diluted earnings per share for the year ended December 31, 2020. Adjusted diluted earnings per share is not a measure determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP:
(Anticipated)
Year Ending
December 31, 2021
(Actual)
Year Ended
December 31, 2020
Diluted earnings per share$ 3.61 to 3.68$3.02 
Loss on extinguishment of debt and other related costs
— 0.23 
Withdrawal costs - multiemployer pension funds— 0.08 
Restructuring charges0.04 to 0.050.05 
Loss on business divestitures and impairments, net— 0.21 
Bridgeton insurance recovery— (0.03)
Adjusted diluted earnings per share$ 3.65 to 3.73$3.56 
We believe that the presentation of adjusted diluted earnings per share, which excludes loss on extinguishment of debt and other related costs, multiemployer pension fund withdrawal costs, restructuring charges, loss on business divestitures and impairments, net, and Bridgeton insurance recoveries provides an understanding of operational activities before the financial
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effect of certain items. We use this measure, and believe investors will find it helpful, in understanding the ongoing performance of our operations separate from items that have a disproportionate effect on our results for a particular period. We have incurred comparable charges and costs in prior periods, and similar types of adjustments can reasonably be expected to be recorded in future periods. Our definition of adjusted diluted earnings per share may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies.
Overview
Republic is one of the largest providers of environmental services in the United States, as measured by revenue. As of December 31, 2020, we operated facilities in 41 states through 345 collection operations, 220 transfer stations, 186 active landfills, 76 recycling processing centers, 6 treatment, recovery and disposal facilities, 9 salt water disposal wells, and 7 deep injection wells. We are engaged in 75 landfill gas-to-energy and renewable energy projects and had post-closure responsibility for 128 closed landfills.
Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2020 decreased by (1.4)% to $10,153.6 million compared to $10,299.4 million for the same period in 2019. This change in revenue is due to decreased volumes of (3.1)%, fuel recovery fees of (0.7)%, and environmental solutions of (0.9)%, partially offset by increases in average yield of 2.6%, acquisitions, net of divestitures of 0.4%, recycling processing and commodity sales of 0.3%, and one additional workday as compared to 2019.
The following table summarizes our revenue, costs and expenses for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 (in millions of dollars and as a percentage of revenue): 
 20202019
Revenue$10,153.6 100.0 %$10,299.4 100.0 %
Expenses:
Cost of operations6,100.5 60.1 6,298.4 61.2 
Depreciation, amortization and depletion of property and equipment
1,015.9 10.0 985.8 9.6 
Amortization of other intangible assets
21.2 0.2 20.4 0.2 
Amortization of other assets38.8 0.4 34.3 0.3 
Accretion82.9 0.8 81.9 0.8 
Selling, general and administrative1,053.0 10.4 1,091.9 10.6 
Withdrawal costs - multiemployer pension funds
34.5 0.3 — — 
Loss (gain) on business divestitures and impairments, net
77.7 0.8 (14.7)(0.1)
Restructuring charges20.0 0.2 14.2 0.1 
Operating income$1,709.1 16.8 %$1,787.2 17.3 %
Our pre-tax income was $1,142.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $1,295.8 million in 2019. Our net income attributable to Republic Services, Inc. was $967.2 million, or $3.02 per diluted share for 2020, compared to $1,073.3 million, or $3.33 per diluted share, for 2019.
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During 2020 and 2019, we recorded a number of charges, other expenses and benefits that impacted our pre-tax income, net income attributable to Republic Services, Inc. (net income – Republic) and diluted earnings per share as noted in the following table (in millions, except per share data). Additionally, see our Results of Operations section of this Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for a discussion of other items that impacted our earnings during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. For comparative purposes, prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to current year presentation.
 
Year Ended December 31, 2020
Year Ended December 31, 2019
 Pre-tax
Income
Net
Income -
Republic
Diluted
Earnings
per
Share
Pre-tax
Income
Net
Income -
Republic
Diluted
Earnings
per
Share
As reported$1,142.7 $967.2 $3.02 $1,295.8 $1,073.3 $3.33 
Loss on extinguishment of debt and other related costs
99.1 73.0 0.23 — — — 
Restructuring charges20.0 14.8 0.0514.2 10.4 0.04
Loss (gain) on business divestitures and impairments, net
77.7 65.5 0.21 (14.7)(8.7)(0.03)
Withdrawal costs - multiemployer pension funds
34.5 25.5 0.08 — — — 
Fire-damage related costs— — — 7.7 5.7 0.02 
Bridgeton insurance recovery
(10.8)(8.2)(0.03)(24.0)(18.3)(0.06)
Incremental contract startup costs - large municipal contract (1)
— — — 0.7 0.5 — 
Total adjustments220.5 170.6 0.54 (16.1)(10.4)(0.03)
As adjusted$1,363.2 $1,137.8 $3.56 $1,279.7 $1,062.9 $3.30 
(1) The aggregate impact to adjusted diluted earnings per share totals to less than $0.01 for the year ended December 31, 2019.
We believe that presenting adjusted pre-tax income, adjusted net income – Republic, and adjusted diluted earnings per share, which are not measures determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, provide an understanding of operational activities before the financial impact of certain items. We use these measures, and believe investors will find them helpful, in understanding the ongoing performance of our operations separate from items that have a disproportionate impact on our results for a particular period. We have incurred comparable charges and costs in prior periods, and similar types of adjustments can reasonably be expected to be recorded in future periods. Our definitions of adjusted pre-tax income, adjusted net income – Republic, and adjusted diluted earnings per share may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies. Further information on each of these adjustments is included below.
Loss on extinguishment of debt and other related costs. During 2020, we incurred a loss on the early extinguishment of debt and other related costs related to the early extinguishment of our $600.0 million 5.250% senior notes due November 2021 (the 2021 Notes) and our $850.0 million 3.550% senior notes due June 2022 (the 2022 Notes), and to redeem $250.0 million of the $550.0 million outstanding 4.750% senior notes due May 2023 (the 2023 Notes). We paid total cash premiums of $99.1 million and incurred non-cash charges related to the proportional share of unamortized discounts and deferred issuance costs of $2.8 million. The unamortized proportional share of certain cash flow hedges reclassified to earnings as non-cash interest expense was $1.8 million, and the proportional share of our fair value hedges (related to the 2023 Notes) that were dedesignated and recognized in earnings as a reduction to non-cash interest expense was $4.7 million. During 2019, we did not incur any losses on the early extinguishment of certain financing arrangements.
Restructuring charges. In 2019, we incurred costs related to the redesign of certain back-office software systems, which continued into 2020. In addition, in July 2020, we eliminated certain back-office support positions in response to a decline in the underlying demand for services resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. During 2020, we incurred restructuring charges of $20.0 million which primarily related to these restructuring efforts. During 2019, we incurred restructuring charges of $14.2 million, which primarily related to the redesign of certain of our back-office software systems. We paid $15.5 million and $10.6 million during 2020 and 2019, respectively, related to these restructuring efforts.
In 2021, we expect to incur additional restructuring charges of approximately $15 million to $20 million primarily related to the redesign of certain of our back-office software systems. Substantially all of these restructuring charges will be recorded in our corporate segment.
Loss (gain) on business divestitures and impairments, net. During 2020, we recorded a net loss on business divestitures and impairments of $77.7 million which was due to business divestitures and asset impairments in certain markets, including $42.6 million resulting from management’s decision to exit certain product offerings and geographic basins in our upstream environmental solutions business. During 2019, we recorded a net gain on business divestitures and impairments of $(14.7) million.
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Withdrawal costs - multiemployer pension funds. During 2020, we recorded charges to earnings of $34.5 million for withdrawal events at multiemployer pension funds to which we contribute. As we obtain updated information regarding multiemployer pension funds, the factors used in deriving our estimated withdrawal liabilities will be subject to change, which may adversely impact our reserves for withdrawal costs.
Fire-damage related costs. During the three months ended December 31, 2019, certain of our owned and operated facilities in our Group 1 segment were impacted by separate fire-related events. Although our business may incur fire-related damage to our leased or owned property, plant and equipment from time to time, we specifically identify in the table above fire-damage related costs of $7.7 million incurred during 2019, due to its magnitude.
Bridgeton insurance recovery. During 2020 and 2019, we recognized insurance recoveries of $10.8 million and $24.0 million, respectively, related to our closed Bridgeton Landfill in Missouri, which we recognized as a reduction of remediation expenses in our cost of operations.
Incremental contract start-up costs - large municipal contract. Although our business regularly incurs startup costs under municipal contracts, we specifically identify in the table above the startup costs with respect to an individual municipal contract (and do not adjust for other startup costs under other contracts in 2020 or 2019). We do this because of the magnitude of the costs involved with this particular municipal contract and the unusual nature for the time period in which they were incurred. During 2019, we incurred costs of $0.7 million related to the implementation of this large municipal contract. These costs did not meet the capitalization criteria prescribed by Accounting Standards Update 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) and Other Assets and Deferred Costs-Contracts with Customers (Subtopic 340-40).
Results of Operations
Revenue
We generate revenue by providing environmental services to our customers, including the collection and processing of recyclable materials, collection, transfer and disposal of non-hazardous solid waste, and other environmental solutions. Our residential, small-container and large-container collection operations in some markets are based on long-term contracts with municipalities. Certain of our municipal contracts have annual price escalation clauses that are tied to changes in an underlying base index such as a consumer price index. We generally provide small-container and large-container collection services to customers under contracts with terms up to three years. Our transfer stations and landfills generate revenue from disposal or tipping fees charged to third parties. Our recycling processing centers generate revenue from tipping fees charged to third parties and the sale of recycled commodities. Our revenue from environmental solutions consists mainly of fees we charge for disposal of non-hazardous solid and liquid material and in-plant services, such as transportation and logistics. Environmental solutions waste is generated from the by-product of oil and natural gas exploration and production activity. Additionally, it is generated by the daily operations of industrial, petrochemical and refining facilities, including maintenance, plant turnarounds and capital projects. Other non-core revenue consists primarily of revenue from National Accounts, which represents the portion of revenue generated from nationwide or regional contracts in markets outside our operating areas where the associated material handling is subcontracted to local operators. Consequently, substantially all of this revenue is offset with related subcontract costs, which are recorded in cost of operations.
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The following table reflects our revenue by service line for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 (in millions of dollars and as a percentage of revenue):
 20202019
Collection:
Residential$2,309.0 22.7 %$2,271.9 22.1 %
Small-container3,106.8 30.6 3,170.0 30.8 
Large-container2,148.9 21.2 2,249.6 21.8 
Other51.5 0.5 46.1 0.4 
Total collection
7,616.2 75.0 7,737.6 75.1 
Transfer1,349.4 1,318.7 
Less: intercompany(745.9)(748.1)
Transfer, net603.5 5.9 570.6 5.5 
Landfill2,298.1 2,324.2 
Less: intercompany(1,018.5)(1,024.1)
Landfill, net1,279.6 12.6 1,300.1 12.6 
Environmental solutions127.7 1.3 191.7 1.9 
Other:
Recycling processing and commodity sales
297.1 2.9 273.3 2.7 
Other non-core229.5 2.3 226.1 2.2 
Total other526.6 5.2 499.4 4.9 
Total revenue$10,153.6 100.0 %$10,299.4 100.0 %
The following table reflects changes in components of our revenue, as a percentage of total revenue, for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019:
20202019
Average yield2.6 %2.8 %
Fuel recovery fees(0.7)— 
Total price1.9 2.8 
Volume(3.1)(0.4)
Recycling processing and commodity sales0.3 (0.3)
Environmental solutions(0.9)(0.3)
Total internal growth(1.8)1.8 
Acquisitions / divestitures, net0.4 0.8 
Total