Weekly News Bulletin: Dec. 11-17, 2007


Recycling Now Officially Part of Climate Change Bill

Recycling is now officially part of the Climate Security Act, which The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee recently approved by an 11-8 vote and will advance to the floor next year. An amendment by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) requires states to apply some of their pollution credits to recycling, allows certain recycling projects to qualify as offset credits and commissions a study to specify and verify how recycling can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Advocates argue that recycling helps to avoid the exploitation of natural resources, thereby reducing energy consumption and pollution generated in the process. The amendment received broad support from industry advocacy groups...Read More »



House Passes Energy Bill Which Faces White House Veto

Congress recently passed an energy bill that would boost vehicle fuel economy standards by 40% BY 2020, raise ethanol use and impose $13 billion in new taxes on energy companies. However, the Energy Independence and Security Act faces resistance in the Senate and almost certain veto by the White House. Analysts say the bill is unlikely to survive in its current form, especially the provision that utilities be required to get 15 percent of their power from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2020, which is opposed by Senate Republicans and the Bush administration...Read More »



CH Energy to Build Waste-to-Energy Plant in Upstate New York

CH Energy Group entered into a 15-year contract to supply the City of Auburn, NY with a portion of its electricity needs by constructing and operating a 3-megawatt plant there that will use the city's landfill and wastewater treatment plant as sources for biofuel. The company through its subsidiary CH-Auburn will invest up to $9.75 million in the project, which will include an anaerobic digester to convert wastewater sludge for electric generation and the sale of resulting low-cost electricity to the city. Construction of the plant is expected next spring. At the end of the contract, the city will have the option to acquire the plant...Read More »



Casella Second Quarter Earnings Grow Despite Slow Housing

Casella Waste Systems reported a near doubling of second quarter earnings buoyed by a 6.2% rise in revenues to $151.4 million from $142.5 million last year. Net income rose to $2.8 million, or $0.11 per share, from $1.5 million, or $0.06 per share. A slowdown in housing hurt the performance of the company's joint venture with building-materials supplier Louisiana-Pacific, GreenFiber, which operates insulation plants and a mulching business. Meanwhile, management continues to streamline operations and reposition the company through strategic divestitures with increased emphasis on MSW, such as the recently won permit expansions of the company's Hakes and Ontario landfills. Casella also said that their chief financial officer, Richard A. Norris, is retiring in January...Read More »



Allied Waste Adds Two More Landfill-gas-to-energy Projects in Virginia

Allied Waste Industries commenced operation of two more landfill-gas-to-energy projects in Virginia, bringing its total number of projects in the country to 52. The Brunswick County Landfill in Lawrenceville, VA is an 8-megawatt facility while the King & Queen County Landfill in Little Plymouth, VA is a 12-megawatt facility. Collectively, they will produce enough to power 12,500 homes. Both operations were developed with Ingenco based in Richmond, VA. "Allied Waste's current portfolio of more than 50 gas-to-energy facilities is performing well, and we are looking forward to bringing online several additional alternative-energy projects that are in various stages of approval and development," said Donald W. Slager, president and chief operating officer for Allied...Read More »



Transload Formally Opens Its Landfill in Central Ohio

Innovative waste-by-rail company TransLoad America Inc. formally opened its 1,400-acre Central Waste Inc. landfill in Smith Township, Ohio. Transload, which acquired the facility in October 2006, hopes to complete infrastructure improvements by early next year that will allow it to operate as a balefill accepting shrink-wrapped baled waste via rail cars originating from the northeast. $45 million in revenue bonds issued by the Western Reserve Port Authority and the Mahoning county, allowed Transload to borrow at relatively low interest. In exchange, Transload will pay a 35-cent-per-ton host fee that is expected generate $196,000 in revenue for the county in the first year, growing eventually to $1 million annually...Read More »



STB Orders Small Waste "Transloader" to Cease Operations

The Surface Transportation Board has ordered a small waste-by-rail company JP Rail of Carroll Township, PA, to cease operations and remove waste-containing rail cars from the small rail line there. Despite not receiving an exemption approval, JP Rail had already begun to ship construction and demolition (C&D) wastes from its facility in Pleasantville, NJ via rail to Carroll Township where they were transloaded into trucks destined for the Westmoreland landfill three miles away. JP Rail, which asserts that the transaction was exempt from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), will have to reply by December 17 to petitions from PWIA, NJDEP, and PaDEP. Most environmentalists and industry advocates agree that many similar businesses have established waste "transloading" facilities along rail property to profit from federal exemption from state and local regulatory oversight...Read More »



Veolia to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Join Climate Exchange

Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp. pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by the year 2010 as part of its commitment to join the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), a voluntary, greenhouse gas emissions registry, reduction and trading program. A baseline from which reductions are made is established by averaging annual emissions for 1998-2001. Under CCX cap-and-trade system, those who reduce below the targets have surplus allowances to sell or bank while those who emit above the targets must purchase CCX Carbon credits. According to Denis Gasquet, CEO of Veolia Environmental Services, "By joining CCX, and in line with the strategy . . . it is our goal to become a pioneer in greenhouse gas management . . . extending the strategy implemented in other markets [including] Europe [where] VES has a great deal of experience in the cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emissions."...Read More »



Los Angeles Sanitation Districts Begin Using Liquefied Natural Gas in Trucks

The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County have begun using five liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks to transfer MSW from transfer stations to their landfills. The ultimate goal of its clean fuels program is to convert all wastewater and solid waste vehicles to compressed natural gas or LNG. According to Steve Maguin, Chief Engineer and General Manager for the Sanitation Districts, "The LNG trucks emit about 35% less oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter than equivalent diesel vehicles." Much of the financing for the vehicles came from public agencies such as South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Energy Commission...Read More »



Another Connecticut Waste Company Owner Heads for Jail

The owner and operator of a Middletown, CT-based waste business has been sentenced to three months prison for concealing his knowledge that others were participating in a racketeering scheme. Philip Armeta, 76, who is the owner of Dainty Rubbish, was portrayed by his attorney as a hard working man clouded by poor judgment while under intense business duress. He is a relatively bit player among 29 people named in an indictment that alleges that mob-backed carters used violence and extortion to eliminate competition and drive up consumer prices, predominantly in western Connecticut and eastern New York state...Read More »


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