Weekly News Bulletin: Jun. 2-8, 2009


New Report Details US Waste Industry and Reveals First Volume Decline in 20 Years

A new study by Waste Business Journal details the first decline in residential waste generation in more than twenty years. The study also details an even more significant decline in commercial and industrial waste generation, particularly the 20% decline in construction and demolition wastes (C&D) that are closely tied to the economy. In the report called Waste Market Overview & Outlook 2009, WBJ estimates that 505 million tons of municipal wastes (MSW) were generated last year in the US. This was down slightly from 510 million tons in 2007. Collecting, processing and disposing of these wastes generated $55.7 billion in industry revenue during 2008...Read More »



BFI Canada Changes Name, Offers 13 Mil. Shares of Stock in US

BFI Canada Ltd., which has lately changed its name to IESI-BFC Ltd. that better reflects its 2004 merger with IESI Corp., is planning to sell 13 million shares of common stock in the United States to repay debt. Underwriters will have an option to purchase an additional 1.95 million shares of stock. The company also applied to have its shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BIN. Shares are already listed under that symbol on the Toronto Stock Exchange...Read More »



EPA Considers Measures to Toughen Definition of Solid Waste Rule

The EPA is considering measures that would make its controversial rule amending the definition of solid waste (DSW) under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) more stringent. In answer to critics, the agency, which finalized the rule late last year in an effort to promote recycling, is considering a more precise definition of how industry must "contain" recyclable materials in order to qualify for an exemption from strict hazardous waste requirements. Moreover, companies seeking to take advantage of the exemptions will likely need to notify the agency earlier and meet the definition of "legitimate" recycling. "EPA does not plan to repeal the rule," the agency says in a May 27 Federal Register notice which is bound to disappoint environmentalists who have fought against the new regulation. In response to an administrative lawsuit filed by environmentalists, the Obama EPA initially announced on May 5 that it would host a public meeting June 30 to discuss possible revisions to the rule...Read More »



Committee Releases Revisions to Waxman Climate Bill

The House Energy & Commerce Committee has released a brief summary of key revisions to climate legislation by Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and energy and environment subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey (D-MA), which includes clarifying emission allocations and dropping provisions for national vehicle standards. Key changes, according to the document, include a compromise definition of the term renewable biomass as it relates to the renewable electricity standard; a revision to alter "provisions related to new source review under the Clean Air Act to clarify that these requirements would not apply going forward for greenhouse gas emissions from new or modified power plants and other sources"; language that "provides for a one-time updating of the formula for allocating allowances to electricity local distribution companies based on emissions to be done in 2013"; and changes that reflect "that the Administration is establishing a national harmonized standard for autoemissions."...Read More »



Enerkem Awarded Permit to Build Waste-to-Biofuels Facility

Montreal, Quebec-based Enerkem said that a subsidiary had been granted a permit to begin construction of a commercial facility to produce biofuels and green chemicals from sorted municipal solid waste in Edmonton, Alberta. This will be North America's first unconditional commercial permit to produce advanced biofuels from sorted municipal solid waste, according to Vincent Chornet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enerkem. In 2008, EGAB entered into a 25-year agreement with the City of Edmonton to build and operate a waste-to-biofuels facility on municipal land and to receive the City's sorted municipal solid waste as feedstock, which amounts to about 100,000 tons per year. Construction of the biofuels facility is expected to begin by the end of 2009, at a total cost of approximately C$70 million...Read More »



EPA Study of Waste Management Practices to Limit Greenhouse Gases

The US EPA is working on a "foundation paper" to help states focus on waste management practices as a way to control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, finding that materials and land management activities account for a significant percentage of GHG emissions. The foundation paper finds that materials management accounts for roughly 40 percent of GHG emissions, while land management activities account for roughly 15 percent of GHG emissions. Traditionally, GHG emissions are counted by sector, such as commercial, residential, transportation, agriculture and electric power. But the EPA paper breaks down existing GHG emissions data into systems. EPA is in the process of a cost-benefit analysis to determine which mitigation efforts, including recycling, reuse of materials from demolition and enhanced land management policies, justify additional expense, as guidance for states, which bear the majority of solid waste management duties. Several states have already moved forward with their own programs to mitigate the GHG effects of landfilling, including California and Oregon. Oregon, which established an advisory group in 2004, found that recycling has a tremendous impact on reducing GHG emissions...Read More »



Pennsylvania's Largest Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project Commences

Republic Services announced that the company along with partners UGI Utilities, Inc. and Granger Energy opened Pennsylvania's largest landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project to date. The project captures 4,000 cubic feet of gas per minute from Republic's Conestoga Landfill in Berks County and the Lanchester Landfill in Narvon, PA. The gas is sold to manufacturers including Dart, advanced food products, L&S Sweeteners, New Holland Concrete, Tyson Foods, Case New Holland, and H.R. Ewell. The annual reduction of greenhouse gases attributable to the project is about the same as that from nearly 86,711 passenger vehicles, and the carbon dioxide emissions from more than 1,101,024 barrels of oil consumed...Read More »



Ameresco Wins $795 Million DOE Biomass Contract

The Department of Energy (DOE) selected Ameresco Federal Solutions Inc. to construct a biomass-fired power plant that the department is calling one of the largest facilities of its kind in the US. The $795 million project, located at DOE's Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina, will replace a deteriorating coal-fired facility and oil-fired boilers and save SRS approximately $34 million per year in energy and operations and maintenance costs. The department said that the contract to Ameresco is the largest Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) it has ever awarded. The new biomass facility is expected to be operational by December 2011...Read More »



EQT Infrastructure and Fortistar Close Acquisition of Midland Cogeneration

EQT Infrastructure Fund and FORTISTAR said that they have completed the acquisition of Midland Cogeneration Venture Limited Partnership. MCV is one of the largest gas fired cogeneration projects in the US, capable of producing up to 1,560 megawatts of electricity and up to 1.35 million pounds per hour of process steam for industrial use. MCV's electrical capacity represents approximately 10% of the power consumption for Michigan's Lower Peninsula. WestLB, Union Bank N.A., Espirito Santo Investment, New York Branch, Cobank, Credit Suisse, GE unit GE Energy Financial Services, SEB and U.S. Bank jointly arranged the financing...Read More »



Activists and Recyclers Criticize Loopholes in E-Waste Export Bill

Activists and some electronics recyclers are criticizing House Democrats' bill to ban the export of electronic waste (e-waste) to developing nations, saying it includes a number of "loopholes" and exemptions that will allow continued exports of the waste. The bill, introduced by Reps. Gene Green (D-TX), Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) on May 21, is meant to ban the export of e-waste, consistent with a House resolution last year, still allows for the export of broken or non-functional electronics if they are slated for repair and reuse. The Electronics TakeBack Coalition, in a may 20 letter to members of Congress who supported last year's resolution, said that the bill, H.R. 2595, does not live up to the spirit of the resolution because it includes exemptions that will allow the continued exports of waste, and encourages lawmakers not to support it. "By passing a law that only appears to restrict exports to developing countries without actually doing so, the bill would undermine those recycling companies which are in fact managing their e-waste responsibly, and providing jobs here at home," the coalition says in a statement. "This bill fails in serious and even critical ways."...Read More »



ReCellular Appoints New CEO

ReCellular which collects and processes used cell phones has appointed Stephen Manning as Chief Executive Officer. Chuck Newman, the founder and current CEO, will remain with the firm in the role of Chairman of the Board. Manning served as SVP of Business Development at Solectron Corporation, a billion dollar enterprise that was acquired by Flextronics International. "Stephen's extensive experience in reverse logistics and the cell phone industry will be a tremendous asset to ReCellular," said Chuck Newman, Chairman of ReCellular Inc. "We look forward to leveraging his skills as our business continues to grow and evolve."...Read More »



Senator Proposes Bill to Promote Waste-to-Energy

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said he plans to introduce legislation that aims to encourage waste-to-energy projects through creation of a $250 million competitive grant program that would provide up to $5 million to individual projects. His Rubbish to Renewables Act of 2009 would require that the U.S. Department of Energy oversee the funding program. "One man's trash can be another man's source of clean energy," Brown said...Read More »


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