Synagro’s History

Synagro is North America’s leader in the safe, reliable, environmentally responsible recycling of biosolids.

Our company began with a small group of passionate environmentalists responsibly partnering with our customers to find recycling and beneficial use for biosolids to comply with new clean water regulations.  Along the way, we combined Bio Gro’s portfolio of land application, thermal dryers and composting facilities with Synagro’s experience in land application, thermal reduction and rail movement of biosolids.  This combination yielded the only company of its kind, constantly striving to provide more environmentally sound solutions for our customers and the communities we serve and in which we live.

Timeline Key:

Legislative and Regulatory

Bio Gro

Synagro (Pre-Acquisition)

Synagro (Combined Entities)

1970

Born in the wake of elevated concern about environmental pollution, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is established on December 2, 1970 to consolidate in one agency a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection.

1974

The Clean Water Act passes, removing biosolids from water treatment plant discharges, dramatically increasing the production of biosolids.​

1978

Bio Gro is founded to help municipalities find biosolids solutions driven by the passage of The Clean Water Act.

1986

Synagro is founded in Houston, Texas.

1988

Congress enacts the Ocean Dumping Ban Act, including prohibition of at-sea disposal of industrial and medical wastes. The U.S. EPA phases out at-sea dumping of sewage sludge.

1990

Bio Gro has become the leading provider of beneficial use biosolids management services in North America, recycling more than 5 million wet tons of biosolids and other organic by-products annually for over 275 generators across the U.S. and Canada.

1991

Bio Gro joins the Waste Management family as a division of Wheelabrator Water Technologies, Inc. linking Bio Gro’s large land application and biosolids services strength with Wheelabrator’s excellence in in-vessel composting.

1991

Wheelabrator purchases Enviro-Gro Inc., a Baltimore-based company that is a leader in thermal drying technologies for biosolids.  The combined entities became the only biosolids management company with a national footprint and industry-leading expertise in biosolids services, composting and thermal drying.

1991-1993

Bio Gro’s biosolids experts work in partnership with the U.S. EPA to craft the landmark Federal “503” regulations, ensuring the environmentally conscious and safe disposal and recycling of biosolids nationwide.​

1993

The Standards for the Use or Disposal of Sewage Sludge (40 CFR 503) becomes effective.

2000

Synagro rapidly expands its biosolids management business with the purchase of Rehbein, Inc., giving Synagro a strategic presence in the Midwest, and the biosolids operations of Whiteford Environmental Services, a Maryland-based biosolids services company.

2000

​Synagro acquires Bio Gro from Wheelabrator, creating a clear industry leader in U.S. and Canada biosolids management and recycling.

2000

Synagro acquires NETCO, adding three biosolids incinerators to Synagro’s portfolio of facilities.

2000

Synagro adds Environmental Protection & Improvement Company, Inc. (EPIC) to the portfolio.  EPIC’s fleet of approximately 150 high-capacity railcars and 1,300 containers are used to transport biosolids by rail for disposal or land application for beneficial reuse. ​

2011

HYPEX, a world-class centrifuge repair and maintenance facility, is added to Synagro.

2013

Synagro is purchased by EQT, mainland-Europe’s largest private equity firm, beginning a period of significant investment in Synagro’s infrastructure.

2016

The acquisition of the large Nursery Products Composting facility bolsters Synagro’s leading position in West Coast composting.

2017

Synagro enters Canada, winning the contract to design, build, own and operate a new thermal drying facility in Hamilton, Ontario. Later wins in operating the Windsor, Ontario dryer (2018) and leading the design, build, ownership and operation of a world-class biosolids drying facility in Victoria, British Columbia, to become operational in 2021 affirms Synagro’s leadership in the Canadian biosolids market.

2019

Synagro experiences a period of aggressive organic growth, and adds to its extensive portfolio with two acquisitions.  Adding Old Line Environmental, Inc. bolsters Synagro’s biosolids management footprint in the Mid-Atlantic, and brings more than a dozen employees, each with more than 20 years of biosolids experience.

2020

Synagro acquires Pace Dewatering Systems, an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada supplier of centrifuge technology, expanding its position as North America’s largest and most capable biosolids management company. The acquisition adds 13 centrifuges, a centrifuge-repair unit, and personnel with more than 30 years of biosolids dewatering experience.