Weekly News Bulletin: Oct. 21-27, 2008


Republic and Allied Complete Merger Integration Plans

Republic Services and Allied Waste said that their merger integration plans are mostly complete. They are to kick in during the fourth quarter of this year upon closing of the transaction. Management is confident of achieving $150 million in cost savings within three years of that date. "As we move through the planning process and get closer to the completion of this merger, we are very confident that we will be able to achieve value for our shareholders by building on both companies' foundations of profitable growth," said Jim O'Connor, Chairman and CEO of Republic Services. He will also head the combined company which will keep the Republic name. "Our strategic focus remains on realizing merger savings, improving return on invested capital, reducing debt and generating higher levels of free cash flow..." Shareholders are scheduled to vote on the merger proposal on Nov. 14...Read More »



Right to Regulate Waste Sites on Rail Lines Becomes Law

President Bush recently signed into law the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 which allows states to regulate solid waste processing facilities along rail lines. Previously, waste facilities on rail property had been exempt from state and local regulation largely as a result of an unintended loophole in the federal law that governs the nation's railroads. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), who authored the recent law, was among many critics of what he and others charged were sham operators who set up shop on rail lines specifically to avoid costly compliance with state and local laws and more rigorous permitting procedures...Read More »



SPSA is a Mess Says Virginia's Auditor

A new special report by Virginia's state auditor says the Southeastern Public Service Authority (SPSA) is adrift, lacking a clear business plan while it faces heavy debt and suffers poor leadership with little public oversight. However, the report found no evidence of wrongdoing or illegal activity. SPSA manages the waste management needs of its eight member municipalities over an area that is larger than the state of Delaware. Political infighting has hampered efforts to deal with mounting debts, plan for future expenses, or deal with out-of-state waste imports. The agency owes about $234 million and will have to pay $314 million including interest by 2018 when its charter expires. Auditors suggest the total could reach nearly $500 million by then. In order to boost revenues, the agency proposed to receive more out-of-state waste, but this led to a lawsuit from one of its members, the city of Chesapeake. Without waste imports, SPSA had to raise its waste handling fees from $57 two years ago to $104 per ton currently. Now it appears that will not be enough and the agency is again proposing to borrow another $21 million this fiscal year, while setting aside less cash than promised...Read More »



Waste Connections Profits Off Despite Revenue Gains

Waste Connections Inc. reported a slight decline in third-quarter profit which it blamed on high fuel prices and a weakening economy. Net income was $28.3 million compared with $28.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Although, per share earnings were $0.41 in both periods. However, revenue rose a robust 8.7% to $272.7 million from $250.8 million. "Pricing strength and operational improvements continue to help us offset most of the impact of higher fuel costs and a weakening economy," said Ronald J. Mittelstaedt, chairman and CEO. "While that has been the theme for 2008, we now look ahead and are both encouraged by declining fuel costs and extremely pleased with the building blocks now in place for future growth." The company recently acquired LeMay Enterprises, one of the largest privately owned solid waste services companies in the Northwest, its largest single transaction with revenue of approximately $100 million. The deal is expected to close in November...Read More »



Record Third Quarter for Waste Services, Inc.

Waste Services, Inc. reported third quarter net income of $3.47 million or $0.08 per share, in comparison with a net loss of $5.02 million or $0.11 per share in the same quarter last year. Revenue for the third quarter rose to $125.7 million from $123.7 million in the corresponding quarter a year-ago. The company forecasts revenues of between $470 and $490 million for the year and earnings of $0.30 and $0.35 per share. Last week, the company appointed Michael DeGroote as its new Chairman...Read More »



Connecticut Supreme Court Hears CRRA Appeal

The Connecticut Supreme Court is considering whether the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA) should pay $36 million to 70 towns that claim the agency overcharged them to recoup losses incurred from a bad loan to now defunct Enron Corp. CRRA is appealing a Waterbury Superior Court judge's ruling in favor of the towns last year. There, the judge held that the quasi-public waste authority breached its contract with the towns and gained "unjust enrichment" by raising disposal fees to cover losses from its failed $220 million loan to Enron, which went bankrupt soon after the deal was made in 2001. The CRRA managed to recoup most of the money it lost through legal settlements, but had to borrow $21.5 million to fill the remaining loss gap. That loan was paid off earlier this year. CRRA argues that the Enron deal was a legitimate exercise of the agency's authority to manage its finances as it sees fit...Read More »



New $18 Million CNG from Landfill Gas Facility in Ohio

The Solid Waste Association of Central Ohio (SWACO) just opened an $18 million compressed natural gas (CNG) facility in Grove City, Ohio. The facility, a partnership with FirmGreen Fuels of Newport Beach, Calif., will convert landfill gas from SWACO's Franklin County landfill into CNG equivalent to 250,000 gallons of gasoline including enough for its own operation. The Center will reduce carbon emissions by an amount equal to more than 15,000 barrels of oil or 630,000 gallons of gasoline per year. There is currently a 30-year supply of gas in the landfill...Read More »



Clean Harbors to Release Third Quarter Results on Nov. 5

Clean Harbors will announce third quarter financial results and host a conference call on Wednesday, November 5. Company president and CEO Alan McKim and EVP and CFO James Rutledge plan to discuss those results, the business outlook and growth strategy for the environmental and hazardous waste services company...Read More »



American Ecology to Release Third Quarter Results on Oct. 28

American Ecology Corp. will announce third quarter results prior to the open of the market on Tuesday, October 28 and later host a conference call at 11 a.m. (Eastern) to discuss those results...Read More »


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