Weekly News Bulletin: Feb. 24-Mar. 2, 2009


Virginia Governor Pledges to Prevent SPSA Collapse

The Governor of Virginia has sent a letter to the troubled Southeastern Public Service Authority's (SPSA) eight member municipalities pledging financial support that would help them to avoid default on more than $129 million in state-backed loans. The governor's letter and offer is the latest twist in an ongoing struggle to save SPSA from collapse. The agency, which has handled most local trash and recycling for the past 30 years, owes creditors about $240 million and faces a $16 million budget deficit this year. It currently spends 40 percent of its annual budget on debt service. The Governor, Timothy M. Kaine, said that allowing SPSA to default on loans from the Virginia Resources Authority, a state lending agency, could "trigger a sequence of events that would be unfavorable to the Commonwealth, SPSA member communities and all Virginia localities." A Spillover effect would likely be to harm the state's AAA bond rating...Read More »



Waste Industry Wants Exemption from California's Cap & Trade Program

Wastewater and solid waste industry representatives are pressing California's Air Resources Board (ARB) not to include their activities in the state's greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade program. They argue that GHG emissions from these facilities are already sufficiently regulated under existing regimes and that including them in the cap-and-trade program would have adverse economic and other implications. They are concerned that California's program that was created under the 2006 state law AB 32 will ultimately serve as a model for much of the rest of the country, specifically the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), a regional cap-and-trade program, that covers seven states and four Canadian provinces. Of concern is how ARB will define biomass and to what extent facilities that burn biomass will be required to report their emissions, including whether some of these facilities should fall under potentially different cap-and-trade reporting requirements. ARB may further explore facilities that burn biomass and waste-derived fuels when activities or emissions exceed the cap-and-trade threshold. These apparently could include facilities that combust industrial and municipal wastes...Read More »



Waste Management Sells $800 Million of Senior Notes

Waste Management Inc. sold $800 million of senior notes that was divided between $350 million of six-year 6.375 percent notes and $450 million of 10-year 7.375 percent debt. Both securities priced to yield 462.5 basis points more than similar-maturity U.S. Treasuries. The Company plans to use the proceeds of the offering to repay $500 million of senior notes that mature in May 2009 and use the remainder of the proceeds for general corporate purposes, which may include repaying some or all of the borrowings outstanding under its credit facility. Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and RBS Greenwich Capital managed the sale. The company last sold debt on March 3, 2008, issuing $600 million of 6.1 percent notes that priced to yield 260 basis points more than comparable maturity Treasuries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg...Read More »



EPA Solid Waste Rule Could Conflict With States' Preemption

An advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to define non-hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) is drawing fire from all sides. The EPA has been attempting to rewrite vacated air rules on boilers and incinerators ever since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2007 vacated EPA's boiler and incinerator maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards, along with the definition of solid waste (DSW) rule. The court rejected EPA reclassification of some incinerators as boilers based on whether they burned waste for energy recovery. The EPA now says "any unit combusting any 'solid waste' at all must be regulated [under the stricter section 129] as a 'solid waste incineration unit,' regardless of the function of the combustion device." The problem now is whether EPA's rule should preempt existing state rules governing solid waste. While EPA promulgates criteria for waste facility permitting programs, it is the states that implement those programs and their own laws. However, the EPA says that a federal definition is now necessary to establish MACT standards for units that combust secondary materials. Several industry associations are concerned that EPA regulations could interfere with existing state and local laws involving beneficial use determinations, renewable portfolio standards, and other energy programs...Read More »



Waste Services Posts 4Q Loss Mostly Due to Non-Operational Items

Waste Services, Inc. reported a wider loss for the fourth quarter, negatively impacted by several non-operational items. The net loss from continuing operations for the quarter was $14.79 million or $0.32 per share, wider than a net loss of $.843 million or $0.02 per share last year. Excluding restructuring costs, deferred acquisition costs and other items, earnings were $0.07 per share in the latest quarter. Quarterly revenue slipped 17% to $102.4 million from $123.3 million a year ago mostly due to foreign exchange rates. Waste Services completed a restructuring of corporate overhead and other administrative cost-cutting initiatives in December, including the elimination of 65 jobs, a hiring and wage freeze through 2009, lower administrative costs and office closings. For the full year, the company posted a profit of $9.6 million, or $0.21 per share, compared with a loss of $23.1 million, or $0.50 per share, in the previous year. Revenue for the year increased to $473 million from $461.4 million...Read More »



Hugo Neu to Invest in WeRecycle! Which Filed Chapter 11

Recycling giant Hugo Neu has proposed to invest in electronics firm WeRecycle! Inc., based in Meriden, Conn., just as that company filed a petition to restructure under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Subject to bankruptcy court approval, Hugo Neu's plan would provide interim resources, if necessary, to help finance WeRecycle!'s reorganization. In return, Hugo Neu would acquire a controlling interest in WeRecycle! and would make further investments in technology and downstream recycling processes to ensure the company remains a leader in environmentally responsible electronics recycling. WeRecycle! grew 30 percent in 2008, adding a new plant in Mount Vernon, N.Y. but has had difficulty obtaining loans in light of the credit crunch...Read More »



Republic Services and Renewable Solutions Open High Btu Landfill Gas Facility

Republic Services Inc. in partnership with Renewable Solutions Group has opened a new landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project at Republic's Oak Grove landfill near Atlanta, GA. Once at full capacity of over 2,500 dekatherms per day, it will supply enough fuel to heat 10,500 homes. "With the Oak Grove plant now operational, Republic Services and Renewable Solutions Group have together achieved a significant goal to initiate and complete this innovative landfill gas beneficial use project," said Bill Held, director of landfill gas projects for Republic Services. "We realize the environmental and economic value of these types of projects." "The landfill gas has been converted from a costly waste stream to a renewable energy source for Georgia residents," said David Wentworth, president of Renewable Solutions Group, which developed the project...Read More »



KKR and EDF Partnership Helps Companies Save Over $16 Million

Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. announced that a partnership deal to make three of its portfolio companies more environmentally friendly has saved $16.4 million. The partnership, started in May with the nonprofit organization Environmental Defense Fund, reduced fuel and emission costs at food distributor U.S. Foodservice Inc., publisher Primedia Inc. and bedmaker Sealy Corp. 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were avoided last year from the deal. KKR plans to extend the plan to four more of its portfolio holdings: medical device companies Accellent and Biomet, retailer Dollar General and hospital operator HCA...Read More »



Industrial Services of America Finalizes Purchase of Ventures Metals, LLC

Louisville, KY-based Industrial Services of America, Inc., a waste management and recyclable commodity business, said that it had completed its $1.5 million acquisition of metal recycler Ventures Metals, LLC originally announced on January 20. "We're pleased to add these stainless steel and high-temperature metals recycling lines to ISA, and we look forward to the numerous opportunities ahead in this business," said Brian Donaghy, ISA's President and Chief Operating Officer. The transaction was funded through a $12.0 million Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T) non-revolving funding facility. As previously reported, ISA has contracts to market a substantial amount of the purchased stainless steel scrap inventory during the first quarter of fiscal 2009...Read More »



Michigan Company Seeks Deep Well Injection Waste License

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that a Michigan based oil and gas company is applying for state and federal license to pump waste liquids from cherry processing about 2,000 feet underground. The company, O.I.L. Energy Corp., wants to pump fruit waste liquids into a deep-injection well it operates in Grand Traverse County's Whitewater Township. The well currently is used to dispose of salt wastewater from oil and gas operations. Some nearby residents are apprehensive of the plan...Read More »



WCA Waste Corp. to Release Fourth Quarter Earnings on March 11

WCA Waste Corporation will report fourth quarter and full year earnings at the close of the market on March 11. The Houston, TX-based company will host a conference call the following day at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern)...Read More »


Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin