Weekly News Bulletin: Aug. 18-24, 2009


Virgin Islands and Alpine Energy Partner on Waste-to-Energy Projects

The Virgin Islands has contracted with Alpine Energy Group LLC (Denver, CO) to build, own and operate two waste-to-energy facilities that will serve the residents of St. Thomas/St. John's and St. Croix. The Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (WMA) signed two 20-year solid waste management services agreements with Alpine Energy to accept waste from the islands while Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) has simultaneously signed two 20-year contracts to buy the energy produced.

The two plants, which are projected to cost $440 million, will convert an about 146,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) per year into refuse-derived fuel (RDF) using WastAway Services technology, that will combine with petroleum coke as fuel to generate steam and electric power. Each facility will divert essentially all of the MSW from landfills and provide 33 MW of electric power to St. Thomas/St. John and 16 MW of electric power to St. Croix. Construction is expected to begin May 2010 and be finished in the fourth quarter of 2012...Read More »



Waste Management Spent $220,000 Lobbying Congress on Climate Bill

Waste Management Inc. spent $220,000 in the second quarter to lobby Congress on electronic waste, landfill gas-to-energy, a gas pipeline tax credit, and other issues, according to a recent disclosure report and the Associated Press. With the Waxman-Markey climate change bill looming and its implications to reshape the economics of the waste industry, the company joined with others including the major trade associations to remind Congress about the environmental benefits of initiatives already in practice.

In particular, the industry was focused on two fronts: that waste-to-energy be exempt from a cap-and-trade system of pollution credits and that the energy produced qualify as a renewable source to meet the proposed portfolio standards in the bill. The renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requires a certain percentage of a utility's power plant capacity or generation to come from renewable or alternative energy sources. The company also lobbied lawmakers to prohibit the export of electronic waste except under more stringent conditions, partly in response to conditions abroad especially in China where e-waste recycling has had a devastating impact on human and environmental health and to protect a viable local business. The company also supports a tax credit for the production of pipeline quality gas from landfill gas...Read More »



Judge in Oklahoma Rules Poultry Litter as Solid Waste

A federal judge in Oklahoma ruled that poultry litter could be classified as a solid waste under federal environmental laws when applied in excessive amounts to farmland. In a case that has drawn national attention for its potential economic implications for other businesses across the country, the Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is suing 12 poultry companies, claiming that they are legally responsible for the handling and disposal of poultry waste that has damaged portions of the Illinois River watershed in Oklahoma.

The 1 million-acre watershed spans parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas and has 1,800 poultry houses, which produce an estimated 345,000 tons of chicken waste each year. The state claims that poultry waste is a solid waste and thus subject to federal law barring illegal disposal. On the other hand, attorneys for the poultry industry claim that "Poultry litter is a widely utilized fertilizer, which provides soil nutrients, increases crop yields and outperforms commercial fertilizers," according to a court filing. "I reject both approaches," U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell said before coming up with the compromise ruling that drew the distinction at "excessive application."...Read More »



Clean Harbors Closes $300 Million Debt Offering

Clean Harbors Inc. said it had closed an offering of $300 million senior secured notes due 2016. The offering was expanded from $250 million due to strong demand. The Company plans to use net proceeds of about $292.1 million, excluding offering expenses, to pay off debt and for general corporate purposes. The notes have an interest rate of 7.625 percent and were sold at 97.369 percent of the aggregate principal amount...Read More »



Casella Waste CFO Resigns to Take New Job

Casella Waste Systems (Rutland, VT) said that John Quinn is resigning from his post as senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer. The resignation is effective Sept. 25. Quinn is leaving the company to take a position as chief financial officer at LKQ Corp., a provider of alternative replacement parts for automobiles and trucks. Chairman and CEO John W. Casella said "While we are disappointed by John's decision, this opportunity came with a significant compensation package commensurate with the larger size of LKQ, which generates roughly $2.0 billion of annual revenue." The company has already begun the search for a new chief financial officer...Read More »



RecycleBank Brings Rewards-based Recycling to Phoenix

RecycleBank has partnered with the city of Phoenix to implement its reward-based recycling program to boost recycling rates. Under their program, households that recycle are awarded RecycleBank points that can be redeemed for goods and services from participating merchants. Initially the program will be offered to 110,000 homes in southwest Phoenix beginning on Nov. 30 and eventually expanded citywide. It is their second foray into Arizona after rolling out a similar program for the city of Mesa in June. Earlier this month Recyclebank partnered with the city of Chicago. The company currently operates in 20 states and the United Kingdom...Read More »



Allentown, PA Considering Novel Sludge to Energy Project

The mayor of Allentown, PA announced possible plans to convert the city's sewer-plant sludge into power using a novel superheating technology. The city is in discussions with TerraSalus Energy (Princeton, NJ) about serving as a test site for a $20 million first-in-the-country system that would burn up to 10 tons of sludge a day and create electricity to power the plant, saving the city a large portion of the plant's $800,000 annual electricity costs while saving $250,000 per year that would otherwise be spent to haul the sludge away. Backers say the process is nearly emissions-free.

The cost of the project would be borne by the company, which according to Robert van Naarden the chief operating officer for TerraSalus, is seeking grants from the U.S. Department of Energy that would cover at least half the cost, with the balance coming from investors. He said the technology is about five years old and is used primarily in Japan...Read More »



Industrial Services of America's 2Q Profit Down 47% Despite Higher Revenue

Industrial Services of America, Inc. (Louisville, KY) said that second quarter profit slid 47% to $922,210, or $0.26 per share from $1.7 million, or $0.46 per share, a year earlier, despite higher revenue that increased 13% to $39.1 million from $34.5 million. The company's recent acquisition of Venture Metals stainless steel recycling business added $4.6 in new sales which was offset by a $2.5 million decline in revenue from the waste-management services division. Shipments of metals were down and pricing of these materials had been off as much as 50%. The company also lost some key customers including Circuit City and Mervyn's, both of whom declared bankruptcy. However, CEO Harry Kletter said "As the economy and asset markets stabilized throughout the quarter, we saw improved commodity pricing and a solid pick-up in domestic consumer demand for scrap metals."...Read More »



Oakleaf's Steve Preston Takes Helm; New Role for Barnes

Oakleaf Waste Management (Hartford, CT) said that Steve Preston has officially assumed the post of CEO and that company founder Jim Barnes is now Chairman. As CEO, Preston will take over day-to-day business operations of the company and that will allow Barnes more time to focus on business development and strategic initiatives. Barnes hopes to spend more time with large clients, major vendors, and on examining strategic acquisitions. Preston served under President Bush as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and as Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Prior to 2006, Preston spent 9 years with ServiceMaster Company, where he was CFO and later EVP of Strategic Services...Read More »


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