Weekly News Bulletin: Jul. 21-27, 2009


Waste Industry Fighting to Retain Offsets, Credits in Senate Climate Bill

The waste management industry is working to ensure that the upcoming Senate version of greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade legislation includes favorable provisions that allow landfills capturing GHGs to receive carbon offsets and allow waste incinerators and biogas plants to receive renewable fuel credits. They hope that these provisions which are included in the House-passed climate bill will remain intact within the Senate version to be floated later this month. Some states however are worried that the offset and renewable fuel provisions could discourage recycling, which they view as one of the most efficient means of reducing GHGs.

Smaller landfills, such as those operated by municipalities, have the most to gain from the offsets because they would not be subject, under the bill, to mandatory GHG reduction measures such as those implemented under the Clean Air Act's new source performance standards (NSPS). Therefore, anything they do such as flaring methane or converting it to energy would likely qualify for carbon offsets...Read More »



Waste Connections Posts Second Quarter Gains in Profit and Revenue

Waste Connections, Inc. posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by stabilizing volumes and cost control measures, including a 10 percent workforce reduction. Net income in the three months to June 30 grew 19 percent to $30.4 million, or $0.38 per share, from $25.6 million, or $0.38 per share, a year ago. A recent share offering increased the number of outstanding shares negating the per-share earnings growth. Revenue also beat expectations by growing 13 percent to $302.8 million, up from $267 million a year ago. The company reduced its headcount by about 10 percent, including a company-wide reduction in force in April, and instituted a number of other wage and cost controls...Read More »



Bipartisan Group of Senators Urge EPA Not to Regulate Coal Waste as Hazardous

A number of both Democratic and Republican senators are urging EPA not to regulate coal combustion waste as a hazardous substance. Instead, they would like the agency which has promised to propose rules for the waste by the end of the year, to regulate coal waste as non-hazardous under subtitle D of the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA). In a June 26 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, 25 senators, nine Democrats and 16 Republicans, urged "a balanced approach to ensure the cost-effective management of [coal waste] that is protective of human health and the environment, while also continuing to promote and encourage [the waste's] beneficial use."

Western Maryland was the site of a March 9 spill from a coal waste pipeline, which prompted Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) to co-sponsor a resolution introduced in March by Senate environment committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Thomas Carper (D-DE) urging EPA to "comprehensively" regulate coal waste. Maryland officials have said there has to be some measure of federal regulation for coal waste, but it does not necessarily need to be regulated as a hazardous waste.

The senators' letter says that states have the regulatory infrastructure in place to ensure the safe management of coal waste under subtitle D of RCRA rather than as hazardous waste under subtitle C of the law. The letter also says that regulation as a non-hazardous waste would continue to encourage the beneficial reuse of coal ash in products such as cement, while hazardous waste designation would discourage its reuse...Read More »



Walmart Leads Way to Sustainable Product Index; a Universal Standard

Wal-Mart, which has been venturing into environmentally sustainable products and business methods for the last few years, unveiled an ambitious plan to develop a worldwide sustainable product index. The idea is to create an electronic indexing system to label products based on their sustainability and thus inform customer choice akin to nutrition facts on food products. It would also create a universal metric to help manufacturers design more environmentally friendly products. Initially, the company plans to gather information from its suppliers about the sustainable practices of their companies. Scholars at the University of Arkansas and the University of Arizona would use this data to build a system of metrics in order to evaluate the life cycle of products. Wal-Mart does not want to own or maintain the index; rather it would be overseen and managed by a consortium of universities that will collaborate with suppliers, retailers, NGOs and government. Ultimately, the index will be used to create a simple rating system for consumers to compare the sustainability of various products and provide them some transparency into the quality and history of those products...Read More »



Waste Management Unveils Landfill Gas to Energy Facility in Kansas

Waste Management Inc. plans to develop a gas-to-energy project at its Rolling Meadows landfill in Shawnee County, KS. The 6 megawatt facility is expected to deliver electricity to Westar, the state's largest electric utility, by 2010. Waste Management is the largest operator of LFGTE facilities in North America, with renewable energy projects at 112 of its landfills. They expect to be generating over 700 megawatts of energy from their landfills by 2012 by which time they will have added 60 new LFGTE projects under an initiative begun in 2007...Read More »



IESI-BFC Ltd. to Announce Second Quarter Results on July 29; in US $

IESI-BFC Ltd., formerly BFI Canada, plans to report second quarter financial results on Wednesday, July 29 after the close of the market and host a conference call that day at 5 p.m. (ET). The company hopes to broaden its appeal to a wider investor audience by reporting its financials in accordance with U.S. GAAP and in U.S. dollars...Read More »



Republic Services Publishes Sustainability Report

Eager to trumpet its environmental successes as well as to state its goals, Republic Services, Inc. published its first sustainability report since its merger with Allied Waste Industries Inc. late last year. "The sustainability report was an opportunity to identify and discuss what we already do to protect the environment and to set a course to do more," said Jim O'Connor, CEO of Republic Services. "Being green is not just a philosophy at Republic. We've been doing it for years." Of course, copies of the report have been printed 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper with soy-based inks...Read More »



DANC Landfill in Rodman, NY Considers Expanding Gas-to-Energy System

The Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) is considering adding another possibly two more methane gas-to-electric generators in the near future to its landfill in Rodman, NY. That project already has three 1.6-megawatt turbines, producing 4.8 megawatts of electricity sold to the grid. Currently, the DANC is working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency to obtain a permit allowing the additional turbines. Even though more gas has is being produced than originally anticipated, the operators are concerned about future waste volumes, which have been down with economic weakness, and the need to drill additional collection wells...Read More »



American Ecology to Report Second Quarter on July 28

Special waste services provider American Ecology Corp. said it will release second quarter financial results on Tuesday, July 28 prior to the market opening. Management will host a conference call later that day at 11 a.m. (ET) to discuss the results and outlook for 2009...Read More »



Converted Organics to Raise $2 Million and Issue Stock and Warrants

Boston-based Converted Organics, which recycles food waste into organic soil amendments and fertilizer products, is raising $2 million through the sale of shares and warrants. Under terms of the transaction, the company will issue 1.961 million shares of stock and issue five-year warrants to purchase 585,000 shares of common stock exercisable at any time on or after January 15, 2010 at an exercise price of $1.25 per share...Read More »


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