Weekly News Bulletin: Nov. 19-25, 2008


Shareholders Approve Allied - Republic Merger

As expected, shareholders of Republic Services Inc. and Allied Waste Industries approved their companies' merger to create a $9.24 billion rival to industry leader Waste Management, which had sales of $13.3 billion last year. The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, must still win U.S. Department of Justice approval. That is likely to result in at least some asset divestitures in overlapping markets. As it now stands, the newly combined company, which will keep the Republic name and Waste Management, will together control close to 60% of total US landfill capacity. The significance is not lost on the 95% of shareholders that approved the deal on the premise that the combined entity would enjoy greater pricing power while also achieving operating economies-of-scale that are expected to yield $150 million in savings over the next three years. The deal became a bit of a soap opera when Waste Management made an offer to buy Republic for $6.73 billion. Republic's rejection of twooffers and the mounting credit crisis discouraged Waste Management enough to withdraw its offer last month...Read More »



Organization Urges DOJ to Scrutinize Allied Republic Merger

A public interest group is calling for further scrutiny of the proposed merger of Allied Waste Industries and Republic Services. The Center for a Competitive Waste Industry, led by Peter Anderson, is concerned that the merger furthers a disturbing trend towards concentrating valuable landfill assets in too few hands. As it gets harder to develop and build new landfills, and as older landfills close, those with landfills gain increasing leverage over market pricing, a trend that is compounded by industry consolidation. Anderson would like the U.S. Department of Justice to craft a remedy that would maintain competition and protect smaller players; however, he is concerned that the traditional remedy of requiring asset divestitures would fail because other large waste firms would likely get to those assets first. "Independent haulers are usually too small to afford packages of disgorged landfill and transfer station assets, so they are scooped up by other members of the oligopoly in a game of musical chairs. Instead, small competing haulers, on whom any hope of retaining competition in an oligopoly industry depends, should be given the right to purchase long term rights for airspace in Republic's landfills at fair rates," Anderson said. His report alleges that 78 of 96 markets involved in the merger "would be so greatly consolidated that over time significant prices increases would be inevitable."...Read More »



EPA Expected to Finalize Waste-to-Fuel Rules exempting them from RCRA

The US EPA is expected to finalize a controversial proposal to increase the number of hazardous wastes that can be burned as fuel without being subject to Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) rules. The Office of Management & Budget (OMB) received the EPA proposal in June 2007 but later extended its review after chemical industry lobbying to allow even more wastes be burned as fuel than originally proposed. Specifically, industry wants regulatory relief for "fuel-like" wastes in the DSW rule. But EPA last month finalized the DSW rule without the exemptions for "fuel-like" wastes that industry had sought, making the comparable fuels rule a method of last resort. However, some industry groups, including the cement kiln industry, are opposed to efforts to broaden the comparable fuels rule for fear that it would shift recovery efforts away from legitimate and more regulated facilities within their industry toward less regulated facilities in other industries. Environmentalists such as activist law firm EarthJustice also oppose the comparable fuels rule as articulated in a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson and signed by 25 House lawmakers discussing the potential for numerous environmental problems...Read More »



White House Clears EPA Proposal to Relax Pharmaceutical Waste Rules

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cleared an EPA proposal to relax waste rules for pharmaceuticals, reclassifying them as "universal waste," in an effort to encourage take-back programs and ease disposal requirements for health care facilities. It is part of a larger EPA effort to discourage consumers from disposing of old medicine into the wastewater stream where it wreaks ecological havoc. Under current Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations, many chemicals found in pharmaceuticals are subject to hazardous waste rules which make it very expensive to handle them thereby discouraging pharmacies, hospitals, and municipalities from taking possession of these wastes in the first place...Read More »



Potential Competition Among Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Registries

Competition among greenhouse gas (GHG) emission registries seems to be heating up, especially as President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office and promises bold initiatives to curb climate change. Many companies, likely to be regulated under a U.S. EPA-administered cap-and-trade program, are seeking an efficient and pragmatic approach to future compliance. The search begins with choosing a GHG registry to report and track their emission reductions. Operators of a 10-year-old registry, the Greenhouse Gas Registry, is re-positioning itself as the "American Carbon Registry," in an effort to become an EPA 'feeder' GHG registry of choice," according to their statement. It was originally founded in 1997 by the Environmental Defense Fund and Environmental Resources Trust (ERT). The registry and ERT joined Winrock International in 2007 to expand its team of climate change, forestry, clean energy, agriculture and carbon market experts...Read More »



EPA Increases Renewable Fuel Standard for 2009

The US EPA has established a renewable fuel standard (RFS) of 10.21% to ensure that at least 11.1 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into transportation gasoline. The agency is acting in accordance with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) which set an overall target of 36 billion gallons of by 2022. The EPA must calculate a percentage-based standard by November 30 for the following year. Refiners and importers use that standard to determine the quantity of renewable fuel necessary to comply with the law. The 2008 standard was 7.76%, equating to roughly 9 billion gallons...Read More »



Waste Pro and Advanced Disposal Win Big in Georgia

Gwinnett County Georgia, with 180,000 households recently assigned responsibility for managing its waste services to a not-for-profit agency Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful. The agency in turn, awarded equal contracts to Longwood, FL-based Waste Pro USA, and Jacksonville, FL-based Advanced Disposal Services. Under the agreement, residents are to pay $17.86 per month which equates to annual revenue of $19.3 million for each of the companies. Waste Pro has offered to employ Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) collection vehicles, thereby reducing emissions by 90% with that of diesel fuel. Both companies are great success stories. Advanced which started as recently as 2000 is owned by AIG Highstar Capital and now commands a fleet of 550 trucks serving 25,000 commercial customers and 485,000 residential customers throughout Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. Waste Pro started in 2001 with two trucks, now commands a fleet of 700 with 1,300 employees serving 720,000 homes in Alabama, Florida, Georgia,and South Carolina...Read More »



Liberty Tire Services Buys GreenMan Technologies

Liberty Tire Services of Ohio LLC said it has completed its acquisition of GreenMan Technologies Inc.'s scrap tire recycling businesses for $27.5 million in cash. The divestiture means Savage, Minn.-based GreenMan is completely out of the Minnesota and Iowa scrap tire collection and processing business. It will instead focus on building its two remaining subsidiaries, Welch Products and GreenMan Renewable Fuel and Alternative Energy Inc., said Lyle Jensen, president and CEO. Pittsburgh, PA-based Liberty Tire Services was itself acquired last week by American Securities, a New York-based middle-market private equity firm...Read More »


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