Richard Wyatt • 800-804-3520
When Waste Haulers was founded by Pat Sperduto
in 2006, it was just another small waste hauler in the small
state of Rhode Island. Today, the company is the third largest
commercial waste hauler in the state according to Richard Wyatt,
the company’s CFO.
Wyatt started his waste hauling career 18 years ago in Toronto,
where he worked in the accounting department for a small waste
hauling company. That company was subsequently bought by a larger
company, which led to several moves around the country for Wyatt,
along with promotions. Eventually he decided that he wanted to
get out of accounting and into operations.
Waste Haulers was still a small company when Wyatt got the call.
“Pat reached out to me,” he said, and he found that working for
a smaller company is sometimes easier because “there are no layers
to go through. I pretty much touch everything.”
Even though Waste Haulers is small compared to the large national
haulers, “we have a corporate mindset in a small company,” Wyatt
said. The management understands how large corporations run,
and those policies are implemented on a smaller scale for their
The accounting department has also seen some improvements in
the two years that Wyatt has been with the company. The department
is now “a little more structured.”
Right now, there are about 55 employees and 30 to 35 trucks on
the road every day, and the company has been running a transfer
station for the town of South Kingston since 2008. “Pat sat down
with the town manager to set up the program,” Wyatt said. The
program was designed to help increase recycling rates and reduce
While landfills are reaching capacity all over the country, Rhode
Island is in better shape than many. While there is only one
landfill for the entire state, the life of the landfill was greatly
extended when two of the national waste haulers decided to landfill
their waste outside the state.
Besides the landfill, some of the state’s municipal waste ends
up at one of the four “burn plants” in the state, where the material
is incinerated. The plants “create energy and sell it back to
the grid,” Wyatt said.
As far as customers, the biggest portion of waste that Waste
Haulers picks up comes from commercial accounts, although the
company also services about 2,000 residential customers.
Wyatt said that the largest commercial account is Brown University,
and the interesting thing about that contract was that Waste
Haulers wasn’t the lowest bidder. “We won it from our interview,
and not from our numbers,” he explained.
But it’s not all about snagging the biggest customers. Waste
Haulers has a sales staff that talks to all the potential customers,
“from the university to the local mom-and-pops.”
A recent innovation for the company was the installation of a
baler for cardboard and paper last November, “so we can sell
it,” rather than filling the landfill. Wyatt said that the landfill
is already recycling incoming glass and metals, but that Waste
Haulers is “one of the only private companies that pushes recycling
to our customers.”
Wyatt said that the waste handling business will change when
single-stream recycling is implemented in the state. When that
happens, the landfill will buy the necessary equipment and do
all the sorting. Right now, Waste Haulers is sorting the material
that comes in from Brown University, “but we couldn’t do it for
all our customers.”
Meanwhile, Waste Haulers is recycling in another sense. The entire
fleet of trucks was converted to biodiesel several months ago.
“It’s a little more expensive,” Wyatt said, “but it’s better
for the environment.” He also said this change hasn’t affected
the customers’ pricing.
Wyatt said that while Waste Haulers is big in the state, it’s
not a large company compared to others in the country, but, “we
have aspirations of growth,” although he said that it’s likely
the company will stay in the northeast, “but grow geographically.”
Growth brings about change, but that’s one thing Wyatt enjoys
about the business. “Change is important,” he said. “You have
to embrace it.”