Weekly News Bulletin: Jun. 18-24, 2008


Allied Waste and Republic Weigh Possible $6.77 Billion Merger

Republic Services said that it is in talks to acquire its much larger rival Allied Waste Industries in an all stock transaction worth about $6.77 billion. Both companies confirmed the talks in a mutual press release last week. A merger between the number two ranked Allied and number three ranked Republic would create a formidable competitor (with $9.3 billion in combined revenues) to number one ranked Waste Management which had revenues of $13.4 billion last year. Allied's roughly 22,000 employees operate a network of 300 collection companies, 164 transfer stations, 169 active landfills and 53 recycling facilities in 37 states and Puerto Rico. Republic employs about 13,000 and operates about 135 hauling companies in 21 states where it also has 93 transfer stations, 59 solid-waste landfills and 33 recycling facilities. Together the companies would own 228 landfills and 257 transfer stations and 86 recycling facilities. The merger is especially interesting because Republic does not add many new markets to Allied's existing portfolio. The notable exception is Las Vegas where Republic has a very strong presence in that rapidly growing area and Florida, from which Allied had retreated in recent years. Rather, the combination appears to present an opportunity for both firms to better integrate existing markets, especially in Indiana and Ohio which are important for their proximity to the Northeast...Read More »



Casella Reports Fourth Quarter Loss but Revenue Gain

Casella Waste Systems reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of $7.8 million or $0.31 per share, compared to a loss of $20.3 million or $0.80 per share in last year's fourth quarter. However revenues for the quarter rose to $139.6 million from $126.7 million last year, exceeding analysts' expectations. "This was an exciting year for our team. We made great progress on all of the operational and financial goals we set at the beginning of the year, even in the face of a weak economy in the Northeast," John W. Casella, chairman and CEO. The company is optimistic for fiscal year 2009 in which they estimate revenues of between $610 million and $628 million...Read More »



Integrated Waste Services Assoc. Challenges Study on Zero Waste

Last week we reported on a study called "Stop Trashing the Climate," which criticized waste-to-energy for contributing to climate change. Ted Michaels of the Integrated Waste Services Association has countered that in addition to erring on the facts, the groups miss the big picture, especially since waste-to-energy is a net reducer of greenhouse gas emissions. On average, communities that utilize waste-to-energy have higher recycling rates than the national average. He also points to Europe which has achieved the world's highest recycling rates by either banning or severely restricting landfill use and using waste-to-energy to manage whatever cannot be recycled...Read More »



Report Says Biomass to Play Big Role in European Market

A new study suggests that biomass will play a significant role in the European energy market and will be crucial for attaining 20% renewables use there by 2020. The study entitled "Strategic Assessment for European Biomass Energy Markets," by Frost & Sullivan describes rising energy costs and the need to reduce carbon emissions as driving demand for biomass feedstocks where it already represents two-thirds of all renewables. Currently biomass accounts for about 5% of total European energy consumption but is as much as 15-20% in countries such as Finland, Sweden and Austria where it is supported with specific policies. High capital costs and poor fuel quality remain as the principal challenge...Read More »



Virginia Waste Imports Down Slightly in 2007

The good news for Virginia is that out-of-state waste imports decreased by 2% in 2007; however, the amount of in-state waste declined by 9% meaning that imports as a percentage of all waste disposed actually increased. They are now about half of all waste disposed according to the report by the Virginia DEQ. Maryland, New York, Washington, D.C., North Carolina and New Jersey represent the top five exporters...Read More »



Delaware Senate Rejects Recycling Fee Deemed Unfair

The Delaware Senate recently rejected a bill passed by the house which would have added a $3 per ton fee to all landfilled waste to support statewide recycling programs. As usual, the devil was in the details. For example, municipalities already recycling would be exempt but as Alice Jacobsohn, director of the Maryland and Delaware Solid Waste Association points out, "These new taxes would be assessed unequally...many Delaware residents who recycle on their own, would not be exempt and would be forced to pay, nor would the exemption be offered to local businesses that already have recycling programs." Others pointed out that the fee would have created more administrative overhead and been a burden to residents already struggling with higher fuel and energy and other costs...Read More »



Electronics Industry Challenges Maine's E-Waste Program

The Electronic Industries Alliance is challenging Maine's two-year old electronics recycling law, saying that it violates federal law governing the transportation of hazardous wastes. The group, which represents manufacturers and recyclers, has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to effectively strike down Maine's first-in-the-nation program. Other states have similar programs which could be challenged in the same way...Read More »



New EPA Guide Helps Businesses Confront Climate Challenge

The US EPA has produced a guide for businesses committed to addressing the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. It features profiles of climate-change related partnership programs, indexed to various industries so that companies can find those which are most suited to their particular criteria. The guide also describes benefits such as environmental performance benchmarking, public recognition, professional training and networking, and preparation for regulatory developments...Read More »



Waste Management Creates Website to Connect People to Environment

Waste Management in its ongoing eco-friendly makeover, launched a website that aims to create an online interactive environmental community called Greenopolis.com. The idea is to connect people and businesses on green issues and teach them about ways that they can help the environment...Read More »



Renewable Energy Group Acquires U.S. Biodiesel Group

Houston TX-based Renewable Energy Group will purchase U.S. Biodiesel Group from the private equity fund U.S. Renewables Group for about $80 million. The transaction will provide REG with a 35 million gallon per year biodiesel plant in Texas and a storage terminal in California. These assets "will offer REG access to strategic locations with deepwater, pipeline, and rail accessibility," said REG Chairman and CEO Jeff Stroburg. REG currently has a network of seven biodiesel production facilities with a total combined capacity of more than 220 million gallons per year...Read More »



Thomas Morgan Resigns from Waste Management Board

Waste Management disclosed this week that Thomas I. Morgan has resigned from the board to accepted a position as chief executive of a private business organization. Morgan's resignation is effective immediately, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission...Read More »


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