Weekly News Bulletin: Sep. 5-11, 2002


EPA Kicks Off Two Major Reduction Efforts

In a move urging Americans to take renewed responsibility for their individual impact on the environment, the EPA has announced the kickoff of a campaign challenging Americans to meet or beat two goals by 2005: boosting the national recycling rate from 30 percent to at least 35 percent and curbing by 50 percent the generation of 30 harmful chemicals normally found in hazardous waste. To help meet the goals of the "Resource Conservation Challenge," EPA also announced 12 new innovative projects that will test creative approaches to waste minimization, energy recovery, recycling and land revitalization...Read More »



Senate Votes To Ban Sale of Mercury Thermometers

The Senate has voted to ban the sale of mercury fever thermometers in order to curb a source of environmental contamination. Without dissent, the Senate sent The Mercury Reduction and Disposal Act to the US House of Representatives for concurrence. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates medical mercury thermometers contribute about 17 tons of mercury to solid waste per year, said Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican and chief sponsor of the measure. The bill calls for a nationwide ban on the sale of such thermometers as well as a grant program to help consumers exchange them for digital models or other alternatives...Read More »



Houston Waterway Named To Superfund List

A polluted waterway that flows into the Houston, Texas Ship Channel has been added to the list of federal Superfund hazardous waste sites requiring priority cleanup. Patrick Bayou, surrounded by petrochemical plants, was added to the Superfund National Priorities List this past week. With the new additions, the priorities list now contains 1,238 cleanup sites, the Environmental Protection Agency said. Chemicals in sediment from the bayou and adjacent areas include pesticides, aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury and other metals, according to tests by city and state agencies and the EPA. The bayou includes wetlands that provide habitat for wildlife, waterfowl and migratory birds, and large numbers of fish and shellfish congregate at its confluence with the ship channel. The EPA says fishermen harvest blue crab and catfish along the channel near Patrick Bayou despite state Health Department restriction on eating such seafood because of high levels of dioxin...Read More »



EPA Announces Plans For Remote Atoll Cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the Army's plan to close a chemical weapon disposal facility on a remote Pacific island. The plan includes methods of cleanup and treatment of waste and address concerns about health and ecological risks at the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agency Disposal System. The facility was designed to incinerate military weapons containing blister agent and chemical nerve agent. Beginning in 1990, the Army destroyed 4 million pounds of chemical agent and chemical weapons stored on Johnston Atoll. In 2000, the Army finished destroying the remaining chemical weapons stored there. After closure activities are complete, the atoll will remain a wildlife refuge as established in 1926 and will be turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The atoll, an unincorporated U.S. territory, is about 825 miles southwest of Hawaii...Read More »



Fort Worth Negotiates With Four Trash Companies

The city of Fort Worth, Texas will negotiate with four solid waste companies for separate pieces of its garbage business, altering its decades-old system in which one firm handled most trash pickup and disposal. Of the seven companies that responded to the city's request for bids, Waste Management, the city's current collector, is the top choice to negotiate a contract for all collection-related services, city officials have said. Trinity Waste Services is the top pick to operate and manage the city's southeast landfill. At least two other companies will enter negotiations with the city for contracts to process recyclables, green waste, and environmental collection site dropoffs. Other companies that bid on the program were Republic Waste Services/Duncan Disposal; IESI Solid Waste Services of Haltom City; Community Waste Disposal, which holds a contract in Dallas; Onyx Waste Services; and Abitibi Consolidated, a Canadian recycling firm...Read More »



Casella Announces First Quarter Results

Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CWST) has reported financial results for the first quarter of its 2003 fiscal year. For the quarter ended July 31, 2002, the company reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and minority interest (EBITDA) of $23.7 million; revenue for the quarter was $115.9 million. Pro forma net income for the quarter was $2.6 million. Casella Waste, headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, provides collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services primarily in the northeastern United States...Read More »



EPA, Fort Lauderdale At Odds Over Closed Composting Plant

After malfunctioning from its beginnings, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida composting plant was shut down, and has remained closed for the last 12 years. Now it is the focus of a fight between the city of Fort Lauderdale and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is seeking $14.3 million that helped build the plant, arguing that the city's failure to operate it violated the terms of its grant. Fort Lauderdale officials are not willing to pay, saying they had done the best they could with experimental technology the EPA had forced the city to use. Instead, the city wants the EPA's permission to sell the plant and its 28-acre site...Read More »



Greenman Signs Deal To Produce Shingles From Tires

GreenMan Technologies Inc. (Lynnfield, MA) has signed an agreement with US Century LLC (San Antonio, TX) whereby GreenMan will be the sole producer of roofing shingles made from US Century's FlexShake technology. The agreement with US Century "underscores our 'slaughterhouse' business plan, in which our goal is to recycle over 90% of each tire and therefore realize value from almost all components," said Bob Davis, GreenMan's President and CEO. "In the case of FlexShake, we will produce not only shingles but also value-added playground materials and alternative fuel chips from the remainder of the tire."...Read More »


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