Weekly News Bulletin: Feb. 12-18, 2008


Wastewater Industry May Have to Spend Millions if EPA Applies MACT Standards

The wastewater treatment industry could face millions in additional compliance costs if the EPA, which is said to be revisiting Clean Air Act (CAA) regulations for biosolids incinerators, decides to apply the maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard, under CAA section 129, to them. The EPA is moving in response to a court ruling last year which overturned less stringent air rules for industrial solid waste incinerators. However, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), which represents the wastewater sector, argues that biosolids burned in the incinerators pose significantly less risk than emissions from medical waste or industrial burners. Nearly 20 percent of wastewater treatment plants have a biosolids burner, and upgrading burners to meet a MACT standard could cost each plant millions to achieve. That would likely result in the closure of a number of plants which would necessitate the diversion of the biosolids otherwise burned to landfills...Read More »



Lautenberg is working to Close Waste handling Exemption for Railroads

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and others are working to close the waste handling exemption for railroads. The goal is a legislative fix to make permanent a provision in the fiscal year 2008 omnibus appropriations law that prohibits the processing and transfer of solid waste at rail facilities without meeting the strict environmental requirements that normally apply to all other waste sites. Companies owning and using rail transfer facilities have claimed that they are not subject to federal, state and local environmental requirements because they can apply for exemption under language in the 1995 Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (ICCTA)...Read More »



Waste Connections Posts Very Strong Fourth Quarter

Waste Connections Inc. reported a 28% increase in net income driven by a 16.3% growth in revenue last year compared to 2006. The Folsom-based company also projected its revenue to grow 10% this year, to between $1.05 billion and $1.06 billion. For the year ended Dec. 31, net income grew to $99.1 million, or $1.42 per share, from $77.4 million, or $1.10 per share last year. Revenue rose to $985.5 million in 2007, from $824.4 million in 2006. According to CEO Ronald J. Mittelstaedt, "Internal growth exceeded our expectations, and operating results in the quarter were quite strong, despite the approximate 100 basis point ($2.7 million) margin impact from higher than expected fuel prices and the labor disruption in El Paso."...Read More »



Republic Services Forecasts Positive Gains for 2008

Republic Services said it expects higher prices this year to capitalize on demand for residential and commercial collection services. The company may raise prices as much as 4% this year on higher demand for residential, commercial and industrial collection according to company CEO James O'Connor. This overshadows lower demand for construction debris removal, where he said that a decline in residential construction may cut sales volume by as much as 1.5%. The company has forecast earnings of between $1.78 and $1.82 for 2008...Read More »



Ohio EPA Proposes Firebreak at Republic's Countywide Landfill

Republic Services has been frustrated by delays from the Ohio EPA which has taken until now to decide that a firebreak should be employed at the company's Countywide Recycling & Disposal Facility. Construction is likely to result in the release of offensive odors which could have been minimized had the EPA approved the plan earlier such that construction could have begun during the early winter months. The EPA now proposes that a 950 feet long, 70-foot-deep trench be dug resulting in the removal and reburial of some 385,000 cubic yards of waste. SCS Engineers, which is consulting on the project, says that it will take two to four months. It is postulated that problems at the landfill stem from an underground chemical reaction between aluminum wastes and landfill liquids, originally thought to be an underground fire...Read More »



NC A.G. Defends State's More Stringent Landfill Regulations

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office denies that a recent more stringent state landfill law is unconstitutional as declared in a lawsuit filed by Waste Industries, filed last December. At issue is $13.5 million that the company has already spent on a landfill project in Camden County. Camden County signed a contract with Waste Industries subsidiary Black Bear Disposal in November 2002 to build a landfill that could accept as much as 10,000 tons of waste per day from other states. It would have been the largest landfill in the state. Waste Industries bought the 1,060-acre site for $6.5 million in 2004...Read More »



Plaintiff Withdraws Lawsuit Objecting to Waste Industries Buyout

Waste Industries USA Inc. said that a plaintiff has filed a voluntarily dismissal, without prejudice, of a lawsuit against the company related to the proposed buyout of the firm. In a lawsuit filed on Dec. 19, the shareholder had alleged breach of fiduciary duties by Waste Industries and its five directors in their approval of the transaction and sought to stop the deal. Earlier that month, the company agreed to be acquired for about $544 million, or $38 a share by a private investor group led by Waste Industries founder and Chairman Lonnie C. Poole Jr., President and Chief Executive Jim W. Perry and financial partners Macquarie Infrastructure Partners and Goldman Sachs...Read More »



American Ecology Reports Record Revenue, Income and Volume

Boise, Idaho-based radioactive and industrial waste company American Ecology posted robust fourth quarter results. Net income increased 28% to $4.9 million, or $0.27 per share, from $3.8 million, or $0.21 per share, in the year-ago quarter. Quarterly revenues rose 21% to $45.9 million from $37.9 million in the earlier quarter on a 21% increase in waste volumes delivered to the company's Nevada and Texas waste facilities which received a record 280,000 tons during the quarter. The company says that it expects to earn between $1.17 and $1.23 per share in 2008...Read More »



Half of GM Vehicles to Run on Ethanol by 2012

General Motors announced that half its U.S. vehicle volume will run on ethanol by 2012. The company has partnered with Warrenville, Ill.-based Coskata Inc. which is building its first ethanol plant slated to open in late 2010. That plant and another which will be announced soon are based on an engineering process developed by ICM Inc. which is currently employed in over half of all U.S. ethanol production. Coskata said it will be able to mass-produce ethanol at the plant for less than $1 per gallon using a process that converts feedstock, biomass, agricultural waste or municipal solid waste to ethanol...Read More »



Smurfit-Stone Reaches Record 7 Million Tons Recycled

Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. boasts that it broke a company record by collecting more than 7 million tons of recyclables in 2007. The Chicago-based company has traditionally been one of the largest paper recyclers, but has lately been expanding into the areas of glass, aluminum, plastic, steel and scrap metal recycling. "We are pursuing an aggressive growth strategy, with investments in technologically advanced sorting systems and plastics collection, and we expect to see continued performance improvement in 2008," said Michael R. Oswald, Smurfit-Stone senior vice president, recycling. "Our export business is solid, and we continue to grow domestically."...Read More »



Stericycle Posts Fourth Quarter Impacted by Settlement Charge

Medical waste management company Stericycle Inc. reported fourth quarter profits that were impacted by a hefty contract arbitration settlement in Australia. The company earned $24.1 million, or $0.27 per share, compared with a profit of $29 million, or $0.32 per share, during the same period a year ago. Excluding the charges, the company would have earned $0.38 per share which would have beat analysts' expectations. Revenues rose strongly by 21% to $251.6 million from $208.7 million. For the year, revenue rose to $932.8 million from $789.6 million and the company earned $118.4 million, or $1.32 per share, compared with a profit of $105.3 million, or $1.16 per share, in 2006...Read More »



Converted Organics Delivers First Organic Waste Recycling Unit

Boston, MA-based Converted Organics Inc. says it has delivered its first fully automated organic waste recycling system to Folsom State Prison in California. The system converts biodegradable waste into an organic-based fertilizer, the company said. Folsom will use the system as part of a plan to reduce its waste diversion by 50%...Read More »



BFI Canada to Announce Fourth Quarter on Mar. 6

BFI Canada plans to release fourth quarter and year-end results at the close of market on Thursday, March 6, 2008 and will host a conference call the following day at 8:30 a.m. (ET) to discuss those results...Read More »



WCA Waste Corp. to Release Fourth Quarter Earnings on Mar. 4

WCA Waste Corp. plans to announce fourth quarter and year-end financial results at the close of the market on Tuesday March 4, 2008. The company will host a conference call the following day at 8:30 a.m. (ET)...Read More »



EPA Calculator Puts Greenhouse Gas Savings in Everyday Terms

The US EPA has produced a calculator on its website to help people translate greenhouse gas savings into everyday terms. For example, the calculator equates "metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents" with savings that would result from driving less, burning a particular amount of gasoline, powering a particular number of homes for a year, growing trees across a particular number of acres for a year, recycling so many tons of waste, etc...Read More »


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