Both firms operate a so-called "asset-light" approach that connects waste and recyclable material generators with other companies that can provide landfill diversion solutions.
S3 has operated for the past 17 years as a division of Sonoco Products Co. of Hartsville, S.C., which continues to operate its Sonoco Recycling LLC unit that directly handles more than 3 million tons of recyclables, including plastics, each year, through material recovery facilities.
The separate S3 business serves multi-facility manufacturers and distributors in the food, consumer packaged goods and industrial sectors, Northstar said in announcing the acquisition.
While Sonoco Recycling handles recyclables directly through the company's network of MRFs, the S3 business approach involves working with other companies to find solutions for waste and recyclable streams on a case-by-case basis.
"S3 and Northstar have shared the same mission for many years, which is to help develop innovative and executable strategies for companies to reduce their environmental footprints and increase their sustainability efforts by turning material waste into a material resource," said Palace Stepps, president of Sonoco Recycling, in a statement. "S3's combination with a market leader like Northstar elevates and further substantiates the important work that the S3 team has been pursuing for nearly two decades."
Northstar, based in East Longmeadow, Mass., is owned by private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners of Charlotte, N.C.