Financial results for 2011 are in for seven of the waste and recycling industry’s biggest companies, and the majority of the showings were strong. But there were plenty of black clouds as well.

Four companies posted higher profits for both the calendar fourth quarter and year. Waste Management Inc. reported lower results for the final quarter but higher for the year. Clean Harbors Inc. did the opposite.

Progressive was one waste company that reported a  net loss for the quarter and year.

Casella Waste Systems Inc. continued to lose money in its fiscal quarter and nine months ended Jan. 31, and Sims Metal Management Ltd.’s North American recycling operations was in the red for its first half.

Impairment charges reassessing asset values were the most common negative.

Republic Services

Republic Services Inc. posted substantial increases in net income for its fourth quarter and year.

The Phoenix-based firm’s net income climbed 29.1 percent to $191 million for the quarter. For the year, net income rose 16 percent to $589.2 million.

Revenue for the fourth quarter inched up 0.2 percent to $2.03 billion, and for the year it rose 1.1 percent to $8.19 billion.

Read more details on Republic's 2011 financials

Stericycle

Medical waste firm Stericycle Inc. reported stronger net profits for its fourth quarter and 2011 year.

The Lake Forest, Ill.-based firm posted a 28.6-percent increase in net earnings to $64.3 million. For the year it climbed 12.9 percent to $234.8 million.

Revenue for the fourth quarter rose 13.5 percent to $446.6 million and jumped 16.4 percent for the year to $1.68 billion.

Read more details about Stericycle's 2011 financials

Waste Connections

Waste Connections Inc. reported higher net income for its fourth quarter and year, on the strength of various revenue increases and cost controls.

The Woodlands, Texas-based company said net income rose 5 percent to $38 million in its final period. For all of 2011, net income increased 2 percent to $165.2 million.

Revenue for the fourth quarter climbed 13 percent to $379.8 million, and for the year it jumped 14.1 percent to $1.51 billion.

Read more details about Waste Connections' 2011 financials

Covanta

Higher waste and recycling volume and pricing helped Covanta Holding Corp. achieve higher net income for its fourth quarter and year.

Net income from continuing operations for the Morristown, N.J.-based company increased 27 percent to $80 million for the quarter, and for the year it jumped 41 percent to $218 million.

Revenue advanced 3 percent to $430 million for the final quarter and rose 4 percent to $1.65 billion.

Read more details about Covanta's 2011 financials

Waste Management

Waste Management posted lower net income for its fourth quarter but still higher for the year.

The Houston-based firm said that net income for the quarter fell 5.3 percent to $266 million, hurt by litigation, impairment and restructuring charges. For the year net income inched up 0.8 percent to $961 million.

Revenues for the 2011 quarter climbed 6.9 percent to $3.41 billion. For all of 2011 revenues advanced 6.9 percent to $13.4 billion.

Read more details about Waste Management's 2011 financials

Clean Harbors

Clean Harbors posted strong net income gains for its fourth quarter, fueled by acquisitions and organic growth.

The Norwell, Mass.-based company reported that net income for the most recent period rose 63.9 percent to $38.2 million.

For the year, net income fell 2.5 percent to $127.3 million.

Revenue for the 2011 fourth quarter climbed 30.9 percent to $545.9 million. For the year it increased 14.5 percent to $1.98 billion.

Read more details about Clean Harbors' 2011 financials

Progressive Waste

Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. said its struggling operations in the Northeast United States led to a net loss for its fourth quarter and year.

The Vaughan, Ontario-based company reported a net loss of $296.2 million for the 2011 fourth quarter, resulting from an impairment charge. In the 2010 fourth period Progressive had a net profit of $21.7 million.

For the year, Progressive had a net loss of $196.1 million compared with a profit of $82.1 million in 2010.

Revenue for the quarter rose 6.4 percent to $457.2 million. For the year revenue increased 28.7 percent to $1.84 billion.

Read more details about Progressive Waste's 2011 financials

Sims Metal Management

Sims Metal Management’s North American recycling operations lost more than $600 million in its fiscal first half, primarily because of a one-time charge and tough recycling business for the company.

New York-based Sims, subsidiary of the Sydney-based parent company, reported a loss for its first half of AUD $577.8 million (($618 million U.S.) on earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), largely resulting from an impairment charge.

Revenue rose 18 percent for North America from the year-ago period to AUD $3 billion ($3.21 billion U.S.).

Read more details about Sims' 2011 financials

Casella

Casella Waste Systems reported a net loss for its fiscal third quarter and nine months, hurt by falling commodity and energy prices, and impairment charges.

The Rutland, Vt.-based company said the net loss attributable to common shareholders totaled $24.6 million, compared with a loss of $6.37 million in the year-ago period. For the nine months, Casella weathered a net loss of $28.5 million compared with a loss of $10.4 million a year earlier.

Revenue for the quarter rose 2.6 percent to $114.6 million. for the nine-month period, revenue increased 4 percent to $371.6 million.

Read more details about Casella's 2011 financials