Office Depot, Inc., (NYSE: ODP), the world's largest seller of recycled paper products, has announced its plans to work with environmental groups, customers and suppliers to develop a comprehensive environmental policy to guide how it conducts business. It will encompass paper procurement, but also a commitment to recycled products throughout our lineup as well as energy conservation measures. One of the company's efforts will be its business relationship with GreenOrder, an environmental auditing firm that helps customers select the most environmentally responsible products from the large assortment available at Office Depot. Office Depot currently offers more than 2,000 products containing recycled content, and has introduced new items such as the 100% post-consumer waste content paper...Read More »
Health Care Without Harm has announced the winners of its international contest for innovative non-incineration technologies to treat medical waste in developing areas. First place and $5,000 went to a team from the University of Sydney, Australia, for a solar-powered autoclave system named Prometheus, which is portable and can be used in any weather conditions. Second place and $1,500 went to a team from Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals, United Kingdom, for a simple system that combines mechanical grinding with boiling water to treat medical waste. Third place and $1,000 was awarded to a team from Mississippi State University for a proposal to treat waste through the heat generated by a chemical reaction involving lime and subsequent hardening of the waste into a cement-like material.
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Moody's Investors Service has boosted the credit ratings of Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WMI) to investment grade from junk status, citing the firm's improved liquidity and strong cash generation despite a weak environment. Moody's raised Waste Management's long-term debt and liquidity ratings to "Baa3," its lowest investment grade rating, from "Ba1," its highest junk bond rating. The action affects about $7.8 billion in debt. The rating agency also assigned the company a "stable" outlook.
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KBF Pollution Management, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: KBFP), which recycles and mines metallic commodities from industrial wastes, has announced the acquisition of Vulcan Waste Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of industrial and hazardous waste processing equipment, and the execution of a purchase and sale agreement for the acquisition of the Environmental Services Division of R.M. Jones & Co., Inc. The Vulcan acquisition brings two brand-new state-of-the-art hazardous waste incineration facilities built at a total cost of over $22 million. Each plant is expected to have an annual processing capability of more than three times that of KBF's existing hazardous waste recycling facility, based in Paterson, New Jersey, and can be used either on-site or for centralized waste processing.
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Capital Environmental Resource Inc. (Nasdaq: CERI) has reported financial results for its year ended December 31, 2002. For the year, net income was $2.1 million, compared to a net loss of $19.7 for the comparable period in 2001. Revenue for 2002 increased 6.0% to $98.8 million from $93.2 million last year. EBITDA for 2002 increased 37.2% to $20.3 million, or 20.5% of revenue, from adjusted EBITDA of $14.8 million or 15.9% of revenue for 2001. Operating income for 2002 was $9.6 million or 9.7% of revenue compared to a loss of $8.7 million for the comparable period last year...Read More »
A suit aiming to block the proposed 236-acre Kankakee Regional Landfill in Illinois has been shot down by the Kankakee County Circuit Court. In a ruling filed by Circuit Court Judge Gregory Householter, the judge said the Minnie Creek Drainage District does not have standing to challenge Kankakee's annexation of the landfill property in Otto Township. The district argued the city violated state laws through previous improper annexations and therefore this annexation was improper. District officials previously stated that the drainage district would be irreparably harmed if the landfill were sited. Householter ruled that whether the drainage district is harmed or not, that has nothing to do with the annexation proceedings...Read More »
A few miles from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee is a rather unique experiment--a pond of nuclear waste that has been frozen for six years. The waste area was artificially frozen in 1997 to stop the leakage of strontium-90 and other radioactive materials into nearby waterways. Arctic Foundations Inc., an Alaskan firm, was hired in the 1990s to set up an experimental system. The company installed thermoprobes at the site, 75 feet by 80 feet, and froze the soil, water and all other contents to a depth of about 30 feet. The probes extend well into the area's bedrock. According to Arctic Foundations, once the soil around the cooling pipes reaches 0 degrees Celsius, frozen water in the area "bonds soil particles together as an impermeable mass." Additional cooling is applied, which expands the frozen zone outward until it reaches the designed shape and size.
Bechtel Jacobs will seek bids later this year on a contract to excavate the 4,200 cubic yards of contaminated material from the site.
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Waste Management Inc. has filled its vacant chief financial officer post with an internal hire, David P. Steiner, who most recently served as Waste Management's senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. Analysts have generally greeted the move optimistically, but some have said investors anticipating an outsider with a strong cost-cutting track record could be disappointed...Read More »