Weekly News Bulletin: Aug. 28-Sep. 3, 2006


California Hits 50% Recycling Goal At Long Last

California state officials recently announced attainment of its long-sought 50% recycling goal. One they set out to conquer 17 years ago with passage of Integrated Waste Management Act in 1989, a time when many feared that landfill space was running out. It mandated that communities establish 50% diversion of all recyclable waste by the year 2000. The state now diverts about 52 percent of the 76 million tons of municipal solid wastes (MSW) generated annually. That represents significant progress since 1990 when the state recycling rate was just 10% and when only 35 curbside programs existed in the state. There were widespread cheers in 1994 when the state reached the 25% mark but that was muted by claims that the economic recession had more to do with it and concerns over diminishing returns that might prevent the state from ever reaching its ultimate goal. Real progress began when more businesses began to participate especially in the construction sector where such wastes account for 20% of the state's waste. Determining how much waste is actually being recycled is a delicate and controversial task. The state uses a complex formula that takes into account economic and demographic factors to estimate how much waste would be dumped at landfills without recycling and recently changed its formula, resulting in a slight improvement in the reported recycling rate...Read More »



Norcal Loses Contract in the Wake of San Jose Scandal

The City Council of San Jose recently voted unanimously to reject a bid by Norcal Waste Systems to renew its contract to haul the city's waste. The action is the latest in a saga begun on June 21 when the district attorney indicted city Mayor Ron Gonzales and Norcal for allegedly engineering a deal to secretly compensate Norcal for the additional costs to hire Teamsters instead of Longshoremen at a city recycling plant...Read More »



Solid Waste Industry Seeks To Expand Senate Bill

The solid waste industry seeks to expand legislation pending before the U.S. Senate. On July 13th Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT) introduced the Recycling Investment Saves Energy (RISE) Act, S. 3654. This act gives federal tax credits to municipalities for the use and financing of recycling equipment. In a letter to Jeffords, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) expressed concern that RISE would not provide incentive to federal tax-exempt municipalities and suggested adding language to the bill that would provide alternative financial incentives to these government organizations...Read More »



US EPA Accused of Suppressing the Risks of 9-11 Cleanup Dust

According to the New York Times, a senior scientist with the US EPA accuses the agency of concealing health risks associated with 9-11 cleanup efforts. The scientist, Cate Jenkins of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, has been a frequent critic of the agency in recent years. In a recent letter to the New York Delegation, she points to a US Geological Survey study conducted a few months after the attack that found especially high levels of pH or alkalinity in the dust particles generated by cleanup efforts rendering them caustic or as corrosive as drain cleaner in some cases...Read More »



Chesapeake Lawsuit With SPSA Throws Klieg Light on Complexity of Regional Alliances

The City of Chesapeake VA, which filed a lawsuit on June 30 to extricate itself from a contract requiring it to send 95% of its waste to the Southeastern Public Service Authority (SPSA), has received offers from four waste firms should it succeed. One of the firms is Waste Industries which proposes to take the city's waste at a significantly lower rate than is now paid to SPSA...Read More »



US EPA Requests Comments on Portions of MACT Rule

The US EPA requests comments on some aspects of the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAPs) for new and existing hazardous waste combustors. The current standards, which were published Oct. 12, 2005, address emissions of hazardous pollutants, including lead, mercury, arsenic, dioxin and furans, and hydrogen chloride and chlorine gas based on then maximum achievable control technology (MACT). MACT in turn, is based on the lowest emission levels achieved by the better performing sources within the group...Read More »



Halton Considers Waste-to-Energy Solution That Could Help Toronto

Officials for the Halton Region in Ontario west of Toronto are considering plans to construct a waste-to-energy plant that could handle as much as 70 percent of the waste disposal needs of the Greater Toronto Area. The officials are studying various plans that range in cost and capability, from $250 million to suit local needs through 2050 to $700 million that could accommodate waste from surrounding areas...Read More »



Public Disclosure of Dairy-Waste Plans

The Idaho Supreme Court ruled on Monday, August 21st that the state Department of Agriculture must fill public-records requests for some dairy-waste plans filed with the Department by feedlot operators, even though the plans already had been returned to the feedlot operators...Read More »



U.S. Navy to Remove Tires from Ocean Floor

The U.S. Navy is to begin a pilot program using divers to remove as many as two million tires scattered over thirty acres of Osborne Reef in the 1970s in an attempt to create artificial reefs...Read More »



Waste Management, Inc. Announces Cash Dividend

Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WMI) announced the declaration of a quarterly cash dividend of $0.22 per share payable September 22, 2006 to stockholders of record on September 5, 2006...Read More »



Waste Management Firm Raises $8.5 Million from Advantage Capital, Southwest Bank

Waste Remedies, a consulting firm that enables companies to outsource waste disposal at sharply lower costs, has received $8.5 million in investment from Advantage Capital Partners, Southwest Bank of St. Louis and management. The funds will be used to establish company management in St. Louis and provide capital for growth...Read More »


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