Weekly News Bulletin: Oct. 20-26, 2009


Industry Fights EPA's Hybrid Approach to Regulate Coal Ash

Industry groups that reuse coal waste as an ingredient in products are lobbying the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to overrule EPA's expected plan to regulate coal ash as hazardous if discarded but non-hazardous if recycled under a novel "hybrid" approach. They complain that it would be disastrous to their business since even its potential designation as a hazardous waste would create a stigma and fear in the eyes of potential buyers. They say it would undermine its beneficial reuse, for example in cement or road building products.

EPA is under pressure from some Democrats and activists to strictly regulate coal waste following a massive ash spill last December at a Tennessee Valley Authority sludge pond that will cost more than $1 billion to clean up. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson appeared on 60 Minutes Oct. 4 to discuss the issue and said, "We're here now because coal ash at this time isn't a regulated material by the federal government."...Read More »



New San Francisco Law: Residents Must Separate Trash

The City of San Francisco's ordinance mandating that residents must separate compostable materials from their trash takes effect this week. It is the first city to have such a law and is part of Mayor Gavin Newsom's plan to divert 75% of the city's waste from landfills by 2010 and 100% by 2020. The new rule requires that residences and businesses have three color-coded bins for recycling, composting and trash. Compost includes food waste, yard trimmings, soiled paper and the like. Failing to properly sort refuse could result in a fine after several warnings. But city officials say fines, starting at $100 and potentially escalating to $1,000, will not come for months and will initially be levied only if homeowners repeatedly refuse to even sign up for composting bins, which are supplied to residents at no extra cost. Robert Reed, a spokesman for Recology, formerly Norcal Waste Systems and the city's prime contractor, said that demand for compost bins has soared since the ordinance was signed inJune and that collection of compost material has increased to 500 tons per day from 400 a year ago...Read More »



Coskata Unveils Semi-Commercial "Flex" Waste to Ethanol Facility

Coskata Inc., said it has successfully begun operating the world's first "semi-commercial flex ethanol facility" in Madison, PA. The so-called "Project Lighthouse" combines two companies' technologies to convert wood waste or other feedstocks into biofuel. On the front end, the process employs Alter NRG's Westinghouse Plasma gasification to convert waste into a syngas which is then fed into a bioreactor developed by Coskata that converts it into fuel grade ethanol. So far, the company believes it can do this for about a $1 per gallon. Moreover, the process allows for many different feedstocks including wood biomass, agricultural waste, sustainable energy crops, and construction waste. This allows similar plants to be built wherever feedstocks can be sourced and delivered without having to reinvent the wheel. Lured by the technology and hoping to boost the supply of cheaper renewable fuel, General Motors (GM) became an early investor in Coskata in early 2008.

In a press statement, Bill Roe, Coskata's President and CEO said, "We are proud that we have successfully scaled our technology to this significant level. This facility is demonstrating that our efficient, affordable and flexible conversion technology is ready for commercialization. The next step is to build full-scale facilities and begin licensing our technology to project developers, project financiers and strategic partners." Long-term, Coskata will commercialize their plants between 50-100 million gallons per year...Read More »



Kauai Island Agrees to Build 20-MW Biomass-to-Energy Plant

Hawaii's northernmost island of Kauai has plans to draw a third of its power from a biomass project that is expected to be online by 2012. The island's power utility, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), signed an agreement with Pacific West Energy, LLC (PacWest) of Vancouver, WA for a 20-Megawatt Biomass-to-Energy project that will burn both sugar cane and waste wood. Pacific West also hopes to build a plant to produce 15 million gallons of sugar ethanol per year. Both parties expect to sign a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) within 60 days upon the approval of their respective boards of directors...Read More »



Colorado Energy Company Signs 10-Year Pact For Recycled Tires

Alternative energy company Novo Energies Corp. (Montreal Quebec) signed a 10-year contract with Colorado Tire Recycling LLC (Houston, CO) which will supply them with tire chips for conversion into diesel, gasoline and possibly other fuel additives. Colorado Tire has committed to supply 6,000 tons of tire derived fuel (TDF) for the first year and a minimum of 12,000 tons of TDF per year thereafter. Novo anticipates producing about 167 gallons of diesel or gasoline for every ton of TDF which equates to about 1 million gallons during the first year and 2 million gallons each year thereafter for the remainder of the contract. Novo will also utilize residual tire materials to produce about 3,000 tons of Carbon Black and 900 tons of steel and that will generate 25,000 carbon credits in the first year alone. The plant will be located in Denver, CO and should be operational during the second quarter of 2010...Read More »



Innovative Landfill Gas Project to Power Community and Heat Prison

A new landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) project connects via pipeline a Republic Services landfill in Jefferson City, MO with a renewable energy project next to a state prison three miles away. The project, developed and owned by Ameresco, utilizes the landfill gas to generate 3.2 megawatts of electricity which it sells to Columbia Water & Light to power about 2,000 homes. Waste heat from the engines is recaptured to provide steam and hot water for the state-owned correctional center. "This project creates a clean, reliable and consistent source of energy from a naturally occurring byproduct of our landfills," said Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who cut the ribbon on the project Oct. 19...Read More »



Companies Sign Agreement to Build Sludge Waste-to-Energy Plant

Two companies have signed an agreement to construct and operate a new sludge waste to energy plant within two years in the western US. Combining their respective talents are General Environmental Management, Inc., a hazardous waste and environmental services firm, and Cake Energy LLC, which has developed a technology to treat sewer sludge capturing excess energy in the process. The process involves atomizing wet sludge so that it can be dried, deodorized and sterilized of all toxins before being burned for energy. The company claims that it can recapture up to 60% of the evaporated water. The companies plan to build a plant near a large metropolitan area where they can charge a municipality a flat fee per ton of waste processed as well as sell excess energy generated. Pilot projects conducted over the last four years have established the viability of the concept...Read More »



Waste Management Opens New 2-MW Landfill Gas Project in Ont.

Waste Management is opening a new landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) project at its Petrolia Landfill in Ontario. The 2-megawatt project is expected to provide enough electricity to power 2,500 homes. Attending a ground-breaking ceremony on Oct. 21 will be officials from the company, Bluewater Power and municipal leaders from Petrolia, Enniskillen Township and Plympton-Wyoming...Read More »



Industrial Services of America Expects Higher 3Q Earnings

Recycled commodity and waste services company Industrial Services of America, Inc. (Louisville, KY) said it expects to earn between $0.53 and $0.57 per share in its third quarter. Basic and diluted earnings for the third quarter of 2008 were $.36 per share...Read More »



American Ecology to Report Third Quarter Earnings on Oct. 27

American Ecology Corp. plans to announce third quarter financial results prior to the market opening on Tuesday, Oct. 27 and host a conference call later that morning at 11 a.m. (Eastern Time) to discuss those results and its outlook for the year...Read More »


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