Weekly News Bulletin: Nov. 12-18, 2008


Environmentalists Criticize EPA's Voluntary E-Waste Guidelines

Environmental groups have been widely critical of the EPA's recently released voluntary Responsible Recycling (R2) guidelines for recycling of electronic waste (e-waste), calling the guidelines too lax and exploitable through loopholes. EPA waste chief Susan Bodine said in an Oct. 31 statement that the guidelines "will help assure Americans that their used electronics will be recycled safely and responsibly." However, environmental groups including the Basel Action Network (BAN), recently featured on CBS' "60 Minutes," say the EPA has backed away from language that would prohibit the use of prison labor or ban incineration...Read More »



Republic to Deliver Plan to Build Firebreak at its Countywide Landfill

Republic Services will soon deliver a plan to the US EPA whose approval will allow work to begin on a huge firebreak at Republic's troubled Countywide landfill in Stark County Ohio. The $6 million project involves digging a trench some 700 feet long, 400 feet wide, and 70 feet deep, and removing 400,000 cubic yards of buried trash that is expected to prevent the further spreading of fires at the 258-acre landfill. The excavation will be tricky since the digging will release methane gases and could introduce oxygen to smoldering underground waste. Construction could begin in December and be completed by spring of next year. The underground fires having been burning there for two years and are thought to be caused by aluminum dross disposed at the older portion of the site long before Republic assumed control of the facility. The company has already spent tens of millions addressing the problem, including the installation of a synthetic cap over much of the original 88 acre portion of the site...Read More »



California Aims to Become Major Carbon Trading Center

Officials with the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) which verifies the legitimacy of greenhouse gas (GHG) "offset" projects, want to jumpstart their program by linking to a major commodities exchange, a move that could establish it as a leading carbon-trading center under future Western or federal mandatory climate change programs. Through the application of a set of stringent project protocols, the registry provides a "seal of approval" to offset projects which enhances the validity and viability of the market...Read More »



Water Regulation and Infrastructure Seen as Priority under Obama

US EPA efforts to improve water-treatment infrastructure, regulate emerging contaminants and protect wetlands are likely to grow in the Obama administration which has vowed to make climate change a top priority. The president-elect said last week that passage of a $60 billion to $100 billion economic stimulus package would be a top priority following his inauguration, especially if President Bush and Congress fail to come to an agreement in the interim. Democrats have proposed using water and other infrastructure projects as an economic stimulus. Environmentalists and water-industry experts acknowledge a dire need for federal funding of water infrastructure which has fallen off by as much as 70% in the last two decades. Environmental groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council are also seeking tighter regulation of perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, which causes numerous ill health effects and the disposition of pharmaceuticals in drinking water, particularly following reportsthat prescription drugs were affecting hormone levels in some fish. The NRDC is also pushing for passage of a controversial wetlands protection bill, S. 1870 which widens the purview of the Clean Water Act by expanding the definition of "navigable waters."...Read More »



Merger Creates Special Waste Services Company with 27 Sites in Nine States

Two companies are merging to create a more comprehensive full service environmental services company that will have 27 locations across nine states. Eagle Construction & Environmental Services LP is merging with Southern Waste Services Inc. The combined company will offer turn-key environmental services including remediation, emergency response, hazardous waste removal, industrial services, demolition, training, technical services and nuclear services. Marc Walraven, of Eagle and who has been named president of the new company, said that "when called upon, we will also be able to mobilize a large, coordinated response to any disaster within the continental United States."...Read More »



Covanta Reopens Tulsa Waste-to-Energy Plant

Covanta Holding Corp. announced that it reopened an Oklahoma waste-to-energy facility acquired earlier this year from the CIT Group. The Walter B. Hall Resource Recovery Facility, which had been in service since 1986, had closed in June 2007 owing to financial difficulties at the time. Covanta reopened the site after making environmental, safety, and operational improvements to the plant. It can process up to 1,125 tons of municipal solid waste per day, generating 240,000 pounds per hour of steam which will be sold to local refineries for generating electricity...Read More »



BFI Canada Reports 23% Third Quarter Revenue Growth

BFI Canada which is in the process of converting from an income trust to a corporation reported positive third quarter financial results. Six acquisitions in the last nine months, five of which were tuck-in's, along with organic growth of 11% helped overall revenues grow by 23% to $238.5 million. Free cash flow available for distribution increased 3.6% to $49.7 million. The figures would have been slightly higher were it not for the negative effect of foreign currency translation. Keith Carrigan, Vice Chairman and CEO said that he expects the company's strong financial position to be offset slightly by lower commodities prices of late during the fourth quarter. On a more positive note, the company which has been expanding its New York City infrastructure reported having renewed its two Brooklyn transfer contracts with the City of New York for another three year term...Read More »



RecycleBank Expands Recycling Reward Program Westward

RecycleBank reports that its incentive-based recycling program is converting millions of U.S. households into avid recyclers. Emboldened by its success in cities across the east coast and with $30 million in Series B funding secured in April 2008, the company is expanding in the south, mid-west and western states: Ohio, South Dakota, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Kansas, New Mexico and Tennessee. The program works by rewarding members points based on the weight of materials set out in their recycling carts. The cash-like points can be redeemed at various retailers that have partnered with the company. Municipalities working with RecycleBank report dramatically increased recycling rates, sometimes double what they were, lower landfill fees and increased revenues from the sale of recyclable materials...Read More »



EnergySolutions Posts 7.7% Third Quarter Revenue Gain

EnergySolutions Inc., which is in its first year as a publicly-traded company, reported higher revenues and earnings for its third quarter. Net income jumped to $10.9 million, or $0.12 per share, compared with $200,000 in the same period last year. Revenues rose 7.7% to $419 million from $389 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2007. Revenues were down for disposal facilities in Tennessee, South Carolina and Utah's Tooele County. The mile-square Tooele County landfill accepts about 99 percent of the nation's low-level radioactive waste. International revenues were off by $18.6 million due to a decline in the pound sterling exchange rate. "In summary, our core business remains strong in spite of the effects of the current turmoil in the financial markets," CEO R Steve Creamer said. "Our capital structure is sound, our debt levels are manageable and we have over $100 million of cash and undrawn lending commitments from our banks." The company expects to earn between $0.50and $0.60 per share for the year...Read More »



National Demolition Association to Host C&D Recycling Symposium

The National Demolition Association is planning an inaugural International Symposium on the State of C&D (Construction & Demolition) Recycling, to be held in Chicago in the fall of 2009. "This gathering of government regulators, industry professionals, and members of academia is designed to provide a forum to discuss ways to increase the amount of construction waste and demolition debris being recycled globally," said Michael R. Taylor, NDA executive director. The conference will address storm water management, diesel emissions, the impacts on global warming, hazardous materials handling, and ways to maximize the reuse of the recovered commodities...Read More »


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