Weekly News Bulletin: Jun. 4-10, 2008


Conn. Trash Kingpin Pleads Guilty; Empire Falls

James Galante, the owner of several Danbury, CT-based waste businesses and the central figure in a conspiracy to inflate prices and deceive the IRS, pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering, defrauding the Internal Revenue Service, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He faces 70 to 87 months in prison when sentenced later this summer. He also agreed to forfeit his stake in 25 waste hauling and recycling companies to the federal government, and promised to never work in the business again. Galante is among 33 people indicted in 2006 for participating in a price-fixing scheme that involved organized crime...Read More »



Allied Waste Gets Positive Report Card

Investment rating agency Fitch Ratings recently upgraded its outlook for Allied Waste Industries. The agency believes that Allied's strong cash flow, pricing discipline, and efforts to reduce debt have improved the company's credit profile. Despite the continuing decline in volumes, estimated to be between 1.5%-3% in 2008 due to the slowing U.S. economy, pricing is expected to remain firm and projected to increase by 4.5% in 2008. Pricing strength appears to be holding across the industry, as virtually all of Allied's major competitors are now focusing more on return on invested capital (ROIC) and margins, rather than on volumes and market share when making pricing decisions. This is especially true with stronger landfill pricing which drives pricing up the chain including collection and processing...Read More »



Best Buy Rolling Out Free E-Waste Recycling Program

The nation's largest consumer electronics retailer Best Buy is rolling out a free electronic waste program where consumers will be able to bring in up to two items per day at participating Best Buy stores. It is believed to be the most extensive electronics recycling program by any retailer to date and is naturally being haled by the Consumer Electronics Association. The trial covers 117 Best Buy stores across eight states that will collect a wide variety of old electronics at no charge. Results of the trial will determine whether they expand the recycling program to all 922 stores in the US. The company agreed to set up the recycling trial under pressure from "As You Sow," a social responsibility group, which had threatened a shareholder intervention...Read More »



Plasco Energy Proposes to Build $125 Million Plasma Plant for Ottawa, Ont.

Plasco Energy Group has offered to build a $125 million waste-to-energy plant for the City of Ottawa, Ont. Under the proposed deal, Plasco would cover the cost of construction and in return, the city would enter a long-term contract to supply the plant with post-recycled waste paying Plasco about $8 million a year in fees. The city generates about 300 thousand tonnes of waste per year but with new recycling systems set to begin next year, hopes to divert as much as 60% of that stream. The Plasco plant would take the rest: about 400 tonnes of garbage per day, or about 136 thousand tonnes per year. With Ontario government approval, Plasco says the plant could be operational by 2010...Read More »



Trade Groups Press EPA on Greenhouse Reporting Requirements

Two of the waste industry's biggest trade groups are urging the US EPA to consider much of the progress already made by the industry to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions before proceeding with its rulemaking. In a joint letter to the U.S. EPA, the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) commented on the agency's draft mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting and its potential impact on municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. Specifically the groups want the EPA to consider the industry's already substantial success in reducing GHG emissions, establish a protocol for estimating fugitive landfill emissions, account for carbon sequestration in estimating GHG emissions from landfills, and exclude biogenic GHG emissions from reporting requirements...Read More »



New Landfill-Gas-to-Energy Project for Brevard County, Fla.

Brevard County, Florida's Central Disposal Facility (Cocoa Landfill) last month began converting its gas to energy. The $11 million system employs six 1.6-megawatt Caterpillar engines to produce enough electricity (9.6 MW) to power more than 6,000 homes. Michigan-based Landfill Energy Systems funded the project which includes a 6,000-square-foot plant. In return for the rights to the gas, the county is to receive a cut of the estimated annual revenues of $400,000 over the 20-year contract. Landfill Energy Systems, meanwhile, earns federal tax credits for producing green energy...Read More »



Renewable Fuel Developer BioGold Enters Alliance

BioGold Fuels said that it executed a strategic alliance with Colwich, Kan.-based ICM, Inc. to engineer, design, and build BioGold's municipal solid waste (MSW) to energy plants. Under the agreement, ICM will have exclusive and preferred rights to engineer and construct all future facilities. BioGold is developing technologies to recycle MSW into electricity, synthetic diesel fuel and other renewable fuels...Read More »



SCS Engineers is a Founding Reporter of The Climate Registry

SCS Engineers said it has been named a Founding Reporter of "The Climate Registry," a non-profit organization established to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in a common, accurate and transparent manner consistent across industry sectors and borders. Thirty-nine U.S. states, six Canadian provinces, among others initiated the organization. According to Gina McCarthy, Chair of The Climate Registry, "SCS has demonstrated exemplary environmental leadership by courageously stepping forward to support The Climate Registry in its preliminary stages."...Read More »



OneSteel Adds $25 Million Steel Scrap Facility at Port of Tampa

Australian steelmaker OneSteel Recycling recently opened another steel scrap processing facility at Port of Tampa Florida. OneSteel, formerly known as Smorgon Steel, expanded its operation with the additional 9.4 acre facility, as well as the investment of about $25 million for a new shredder. It is expected to process around 150,000 tons of scrap its first year...Read More »


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