Wheelabrator Technologies is an industry leader in the safe and environmentally sound conversion of everyday residential and business waste - and other renewable waste fuels - into clean energy. Wheelabrator pioneered the energy-from-waste industry in the U.S. when it designed, built and operated the first commercially successful facility in 1975.


Wheelabrator develops the airless centrifugal wheel, a rapidly spinning wheel designed to hurl abrasives at steel, concrete, and other industrial surfaces needing cleaning. Coined as the "Wheel + Abrator," the invention of the airless centrifugal wheel, leads to the birth of the Wheelabrator Corporation. (The Wheelabrator triangle logo is a stylized version of that device.)


In the late 1960s, Wheelabrator and Frye Industries, a print ink and copy paper manufacturer, merges and becomes Wheelabrator-Frye Inc.


The passage of the Federal Clean Air Act spurs on the demand of Wheelabrator's air-pollution control equipment. The Act also mandates the discovery of alternative technologies to replace old, pollution waste incinerators. In 1972, after several small acquisitions, Wheelabrator-Frye acquires Rust Engineering Company, a leading designer and builder of pulp and plants. This move proves to be the most pivotal in creating the Wheelabrator of today. The acquisition of Rust, which holds licenses with the Swiss engineering firm, Von Roll AC, helps Wheelabrator become a pioneer in the waste-to-energy industry.


Decades of growth leads to a merger with The Signal Companies, Inc., based in La Jolla, California. Hampton, New Hampshire, becomes the headquarters of Signal Engineered Products Group, one of the two main operating units of the company. Midwest operations of Signal, Universal Oil Products (UOP), holds U.S. licenses with a German company for waste combustion furnace and grate technologies that rivals Wheelabrator's system. As a result of the merger, Wheelabrator acquires several former UOP waste-to-energy projects and the UOP German licenses were divested.


Signal merges with Allied Corporation to create Allied Signal Inc., which later decided to streamline its operations by spinning off some assets into a new company, The Henley Group, Inc.


Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. emerges as a publicly traded company offering leading waste-to-energy services. These services include: full-service engineering and construction services; diverse manufacturing capabilities; large- and small-scale air quality control systems; independent power plant development; coal handling and transportation projects; and water and wastewater treatment operations and equipment.

Late 1980's

Wheelabrator enters the independent power production (IPP) market with the construction and operation of small power plants primarily using waste fuels such as wood. In July 1988, Wheelabrator and Waste Management Inc., North America's leading provider of integrated environmental solutions, enters into a merger agreement to acquire common stock shares of WTI amounting to a 22% ownership interest.


Wheelabrator becomes a majority-owned subsidiary of Waste Management.


Wheelabrator is acquired by energy-focused private equity firm, Energy Capital Partners.


Headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Wheelabrator creates clean energy from everyday residential and business waste. Wheelabrator has a platform of 16 energy-from-waste facilities, three independent power-producing facilities, four ash monofills and three waste transfer stations. Wheelabrator has an annual waste processing capacity of over 7.5 million tons, and a total combined electric generating capacity of 825 megawatts - enough energy to power more than 771,000 homes. Wheelabrator facilities also recover metals for recycling into commercial products.