Weekly News Bulletin: Apr. 23-29, 2008


Environmentalists and Industry Sue EPA over RCRA Oil Waste Exemption

Environmentalists and some industry groups have filed a host of legal challenges against EPA over a rule exempting waste generated by the petroleum refining industry from regulation under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) if the waste is generated as fuel, saying the exemption violates the law's requirements to regulate facilities that produce or burn fuel from hazardous waste. Earthjustice, on behalf on the Sierra Club and the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, filed an April 1 petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking for review of EPA's regulation for oil-bearing hazardous secondary materials from the petroleum refining industry processed in a gasification system to produce synthetic gas. Industry groups are also challenging the rule, with the Environmental Technology Council -- which represents the hazardous waste recycling, treatment and disposal industry -- filing an April 1 petition for review...Read More »



Republic Services First Quarter Earnings up by 41%

Republic Services posted strong first quarter financial results even though revenues for the period ending March 21 grew at only a modest 1.8% to $779.2 million from $765.6 million in last year's period. However, internal growth during the period was 3.7%, with a 6.2% increase from price, partially offset by a 2.5% decrease from volume. Net income increased by 41% to $76.1 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, from $53.9 million, or $0.28 per diluted share last year. According to company's Chairman and CEO James E. O'Connor, "During the first quarter, we expanded operating margins despite reduced temporary construction volume and record high fuel prices. I remain pleased with the Company's success in implementing its pricing strategy, together with our focus on operating efficiency, customer service and cost control..."...Read More »



Waste Industries Expects to Stop Trading its Shares on May 9

Waste Industries USA, Inc. will officially stop trading its shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market on May 9. The action follows the company sale to private investors consisting of management and financial partners Macquarie Infrastructure Partners and Goldman Sachs. They announced in December their intention to buy the company for $38 per share in a deal valued at $544 million. The Raleigh, NC-based company provides solid waste management services in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia. Separately, the company said that it will announce first quarter financial results at the close of market on Thursday, May 1. Management will host a conference call the following day at 2 p.m. (EDT) to discuss...Read More »



Waste Connections Posts Strong First Quarter as Expected

Waste Connections Inc. reported that first quarter earnings increased by 3.3% to $0.34 per share in line with Wall Street expectations. Revenues, driven by robust pricing and increased sales rose 14.3% to $250.3 million from $219 million a year ago. According to Citigroup Research analyst Leone Young, "Bottom line, we believe it was a very solid quarter operationally, particularly given the fuel and weather headwinds, with most of the upside stemming from the gross margin line." She went on to say that the company is successfully withstanding weakness in the US economy with advantageous geographic exposure and its drive to grow through strategic acquisitions...Read More »



Plan to Build Waste-to-Energy Plant in Hawaii in Jeopardy

A plan to build a $125.5 million Waste-to-Energy plant in Hilo, Hawaii recently faced extinction when the county finance committee there voted 6 to 3 against the proposal. After a decade and having spent $1 million, Hawaii County ultimately decided on a proposal by Texas-based Wheelabrator Technologies to construct and operate a facility that would replace the county's aging South Hilo landfill in eastern Hawaii which is expected to reach capacity by 2012. For the measure to survive, two of the council members who voted against the proposal must reverse their decisions when it goes before the nine-member council on May 7...Read More »



Waste Services First Quarter Earnings Back in the Black

Acquisitions and strong pricing growth outpaced a drop in volumes to push Waste Services, Inc. first quarter profits into the black. The Burlington, Ontario-based solid waste management company earned $12.7 million, or $0.28 per share, on revenue of $116.6 million compared to a loss of $3.67 million, or $0.08 per share, on revenue of $95 million for the first quarter of 2007. Revenues grew largely as a result of $18.2 million in acquisitions net of divestitures but internal growth added 0.8%. 3.9% pricing increases and 1.9% net fuel surcharge increases offset a 5% decline in volumes. "We are happy to report that pricing remains strong in the current environment and all of our regions are on track to meet expectations going into our seasonally strong second quarter," said David Sutherland-Yoest, chairman and CEO...Read More »



Waste Management Opens another Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project in Virginia

Waste Management, Inc. opened its latest landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) facility at the company's Bethel Landfill in Hampton, VA. The plant is expected to produce 4.8 megawatts (MW) of electricity and represents the company's first such facility in Virginia as a solo venture. The company previously announced plans to construct two more LFGTE plants at their landfills in King George County and the Middle Peninsula Landfill in Gloucester County. Together they will generate an additional 19.2 megawatts of electricity. These projects are part of Waste Management's national initiative to build 60 new renewable energy facilities over the next five years...Read More »



Veolia Develops 3.2 MW Landfill Gas Project in Southwestern Indiana

Veolia Environmental Services is partnering with Energy Systems Group (ESG) to develop a 3.2 Megawatt landfill gas-to-energy project at Veolia's Blackfoot landfill in southwestern Indiana. Energy Systems Group, which is a subsidiary of Vectren Corp., will design, build, own and operate the power generation facility. ESG will also sell the electricity to the power grid. It is ESG's third LFGTE project and Veolia's tenth. "We are proud to play a role in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions into the environment," said Richard Burke, president and CEO of Veolia ES Solid Waste, Inc...Read More »



Stericycle First Quarter Revenues Helped by Acquisitions

Medical waste services company Stericycle posted 21% gains in first quarter revenues helped by acquisitions over the last 12 months. Revenues grew to $254.8 million from $211.0 million in the same quarter last year. Net income was $31.7 million, or $0.35 per share, compared with $29.4 million, or $0.32 per share, for the same quarter last year. A lawsuit settlement charge reduced net income by $3.3 million or $0.04 per share. Higher fuel costs and acquisition mix also put a crimp on earnings but these were helped by slightly lower interest expenses and a lower share count due to share repurchases. Recently the company issued and sold $100 million in senior notes to nine institutional purchasers according to a filing with the SEC...Read More »



Clean Harbors to Offer 2.5 Million Common Shares

Clean Harbors, Inc. filed a shelf registration with the SEC for a proposed follow-on public offering of 2.5 million shares of its common stock. Goldman Sachs is the underwriter for the offering and is granted 375,000 over-allotment options. Proceeds from the offering for the waste management services provider are expected to reach more than $200 million and will be used for acquisitions, debt repayments, or working capital. Separately, the company said it will host a conference call on May 7 at 9 a.m. (EDT) to discuss first quarter financial results...Read More »



EIA Renews Partnership with Penton Media

The Environmental Industry Associations (EIA), the national trade association for the waste services and equipment industry, and Penton Media, Inc. recently renewed their partnership agreement. Under the 5-year agreement, Penton will continue to produce, market and manage WasteExpo, while EIA will have primary responsibility for WasteExpo educational sessions. Penton Media, Inc. is considered to be the largest independent business-to-business media company in the U.S., serving over six million professionals every month...Read More »


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