Weekly News Bulletin: Mar. 24-30, 2009


Waste Connections Buys Big California Landfill From Republic

Waste Connections, Inc. is buying a large Northern California landfill from Republic Services. The big 2,900 ton per day Potrero Hills Landfill, located about halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento has at least 43 years of remaining capacity. Republic Services is being required to sell the landfill and other assets as a condition of approval for its merger with Allied Waste Industries, Inc. from the US Department of Justice in order to maintain competition in certain markets where both Allied and Republic have operations.

In a previous deal, Waste Connections said it would pay about $313 million for other Republic assets, including six landfills, six collection operations and three transfer stations in seven markets. It is likely the company will have spent twice that amount before it is through making acquisitions this year...Read More »



EPA Under Pressure to Expand Scope of Coal Ash Beyond Utilities

Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and some environmentalists are calling on the US EPA to expand the scope of regulating coal combustion waste (CCW) out of fear that the agency too focused on utilities' coal ash surface impoundments and not other disposal sites. On March 9, the EPA launched a study of the estimated 300 surface impoundments, where the ash is mixed with water and left to settle in a pond, to learn more about other mishaps possibly similar to one that occurred at a TVA site in Tennessee. Sen. Cardin is concerned about an incident earlier this month in which a leaking pipe from a paper producer discharged approximately 4,000 gallons of coal ash slurry into the Potomac River near Luke, MD. He fears that the EPA's focus on the 95% of coal ash produced by utilities will overlook paper mills, grain processors and other companies that also use coal for energy. Similarly, the Natural Resource Defense Council in a recent position paper said that it intends to "make sure the administrationgathers all necessary data and fully addresses all forms of coal waste that pose environmental or health threats." Many believe that regulations will ultimately look similar to [RCRA Part] 258 municipal solid waste standards and include design standards, landfill liners, groundwater monitoring and other provisions similar to those for MSW...Read More »



House Dems Introduce Bill for EPA to Research E-Waste

A group of House Democrats has introduced legislation to authorize the EPA to research into better recycling technologies and the use of more environmentally sensitive materials to address the growing amount of electronic waste. House Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) introduced H.R. 1580, which would authorize U.S. EPA to give grants for e-waste reduction research and development. The problem of disposing of discarded electronics such as computers and televisions has been growing as new products rapidly come on the market and consumers discard old models. According to U.S. EPA, there were 1.9 million to 2.2 million tons of used or unwanted electronics in 2005, of which only 345,000 to 379,000 tons were recycled...Read More »



EQT Infrastructure and Fortistar to Buy Midland Cogeneration Venture

Sweden-based EQT Infrastructure, in partnership with New York-based Fortistar, agreed to buy a 1,560 MW gas-fired Midland Cogeneration Venture in Michigan, one of the largest in the US. The purchase price was not disclosed. EQT Infrastructure will own about 65 percent interest in Midland with the remaining held by Fortistar. The deal is expected to be complete by the second quarter. Most of Midland's generation capacity is sold through a long-term power purchase agreement with Consumers Energy Co. MCV also sells steam and power to Dow Chemical Co. It is Fortistar's fourth U.S. cogeneration investment and second major acquisition in the last twelve months...Read More »



Hilo Hawaii Weighs $125 Million Waste-to-Energy Plant

Hilo Hawaii is considering a $125 million waste-to-energy project, which if approved by Hawaii County Council, would be designed, built and operated by Wheelabrator Technologies. The plant would be built near the island's Hilo landfill, completed in four years, and be designed to burn 230 tons of waste per day to produce 3.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 3,500 homes. The plant would eliminate waste that would otherwise have to be hauled across the island to the Pu'uanahulu landfill in North Kona, or sent off the island on barges, and avoid having to build a new landfill in the Hilo area and reduce imports of diesel fuel by about 19,000 barrels per year...Read More »



Waste Management to Build Landfill Gas to Energy Plant in Arkansas

Waste Management Inc. plans to build Arkansas' second gas-to-energy plant near its Tontitown landfill. The plant will convert methane gas to generate about 5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 5,000 homes for about 30 years according to company spokesman George Wheatley. It will be a partnership with the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Corp., which will receive a 5 percent discount off its current rate for buying electricity from the new power plant. The company hopes to begin construction this summer and be operational within a year from now...Read More »



Industrial Services of America Lowers Earnings Expectations on Poor Market

Louisville, KY-based Industrial Services of America, Inc. said it expects to post a fourth-quarter loss of $0.66 to $0.71 per share. This compares to net income of $0.16 per share in the fourth quarter of 2007. The company attributed the loss to lower demand for its recyclable metals, a $1.2 million charge to adjust the value of its ferrous- and non-ferrous metals inventory at lower market prices and a $990,000 reserve for the previously announced settlement of a lawsuit. "Due to the worldwide economic downturn, the demand for recycled products and commodities came to a standstill in the fourth quarter of 2008, and we responded by cutting overhead and reducing staff," Industrial Services president and CEO Brian Donaghy said in a press release. For the full year, the company expects earnings of $0.40 to $0.45 on revenue of about $100 million, compared with earnings of $0.71 per share on revenue of $77 million a year ago. ISA processes and markets recyclable metals and offers waste-management equipment and services...Read More »



Perma-Fix to Announce Fourth Quarter on Monday, March 30

Perma-Fix Environmental Services will host a conference call to discuss fourth quarter financial results on Monday, March 30 at 11 a.m. (Eastern). The company which provides mixed waste and industrial waste management services, has recently increased its focus on nuclear services including radioactive and mixed waste treatment services. The company recently won approval to destroy radioactive Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) at its Diversified Scientific Services, Inc. (DSSI) facility in Kingston, TN...Read More »



Avalon Holdings Reports Fourth Quarter Decline in Net Income

Avalon Holdings Corp., which provides waste management services in northeastern Ohio, said that fourth quarter revenues increased to $12.6 million from $10.4 million in last year's quarter but that net income slipped to $62,000 or $.02 per share from $196,000 or $.05 per share in the fourth quarter of 2007. During 2008 the company recorded a $.1 million, or $.03 per share charge for discontinued operations...Read More »


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