Weekly News Bulletin: Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2009


Biofuels Industry Wants Exemption from Climate Cap and Trade

The biofuels industry is urging Congress to exempt the sector from climate cap-and-trade legislation over fears the fuels could face "double jeopardy" through regulation under both the bill's greenhouse gas (GHG) cap and additional GHG reduction requirements under EPA's renewable fuels standard (RFS). The RFS would require biofuels to prove they emit less GHGs over their lifecycle than conventional petroleum. So far, the House-passed Waxman-Markey climate bill would regulate GHGs from combusted fuel without exempting biofuels that are blended with conventional fuels. Biofuels industry groups and supporters sent a letter (Oct. 1) to Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) warning that failure to exempt biofuels under a cap-and-trade climate law "would impose a double GHG compliance obligation on biofuels. This regulatory burden could cripple deployment of advanced biofuels, which already face substantial commercialization challenges."...Read More »



Covanta Posts Better than Expected Third Quarter

Covanta Holding Corp. reported a decline in third quarter profits that was better than expected. Lower costs helped to offset a 7% decline in revenue that resulted from lower recycled metal, energy and waste prices. Net income fell to $40.9 million, or $0.26 per share, from $47.1 million, or $0.30 per share, a year ago. However, excluding expenses related to the acquisition of six of the seven waste-to-energy plants from Veolia Environnement in August, the company would have earned $0.28 per share. Revenue fell to $408.7 million from $439 million in the comparable quarter last year. Analysts had been expecting $0.24 per share on revenue of $387.9 million...Read More »



Waste Management Building Presence in Medical Waste with Acquisition

WM Healthcare Solutions, a subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc., has acquired another medical waste business. Although terms were not disclosed, the acquired company is called Mountain High Medical Disposal Services Inc., a medical waste collection, transportation and processing company that serves markets in the Salt Lake City, Utah area and Idaho markets. Lately Waste Management has been rebuilding its presence in the medical waste business, an arena dominated by Stericycle, Inc. (Lake Forest, IL) which has been thriving in spite of the overall economy...Read More »



Waste Connections Defies Gravity; Profit up 24%

Waste Connections said third quarter profits increased by 24% benefitting from the acquisition of divested assets from Republic Services, a company-wide reduction in headcount earlier in the year, and continuing wage and expense controls. Net income rose to $34.2 million, or 43 cents a share, compared to $27.6 million, or 40 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue was up almost 16 percent $316 million, from $272.7 million. "We are extremely pleased with our results in the quarter, as we exceeded the upper end of our expectations in a relatively stable but still challenging environment," said Ron Mittelstaedt, Waste Connections' chairman and CEO.

Mittelstaedt said the third quarter numbers included the effect of its $313.2 million purchase in April of assets divested from Republic as a result of its merger with Allied Waste. The company also closed on a deal in July to buy Sanipac Inc., the largest privately owned solid-waste provider in Oregon.

Having recently completed a $175 million sale of 10-year senior unsecured notes, and perhaps in light of operating strength and current market conditions, the company board authorized a $300 million increase to its ongoing stock repurchase program, increasing the total amount the company may buy back from $500 million to $800 million and extending it through Dec. 31, 2012...Read More »



IESI and Converted Organics Partner to Divert Food Waste from Landfills

IESI, a division of IESI-BFC Ltd. (Toronto, Ont.) formed an alliance with Converted Organics Inc. (Boston, MA) to collect food waste from its large customers for conversion into soil amendments and fertilizer products. IESI has a number of large company clients including Hearst Corp., Google, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Just Food. Jack Walsdorf, vice president of waste management for Converted Organics, explained: "Incorporating IESI into our extensive waste hauling network provides Converted Organics with another source of high-quality organic waste for the manufacture of our all-natural organic fertilizers."...Read More »



Waste Services Reports Improving 3Q Profit

Waste Services, Inc. (Burlington, Ont.) posted a record third quarter profit despite a 10% drop in revenue, the result of current economic conditions. Disciplined pricing initiatives produced core price growth of 5% that partially offset lower waste volumes, foreign exchange, and slightly declining fuel surcharges. In addition, the firm's route audits, reduced head count, and greater route efficiencies helped lower operating costs. Net income rose to $6.7 million from $3.5 million in last year's third quarter even though revenue fell to $112.5 million from $125.7 million a year ago. "The excellent results are a result of fine tuning the company's administrative and operating costs to adjust to the decline in revenue in the past year," said David Sutherland-Yost, president and CEO of Waste Services...Read More »



Waste Management Opens 6.4MW Landfill Gas Project in Virginia

Waste Management, Inc. said it officially opened a new landfill gast to energy (LFGTE) plant at its Middle Peninsula Landfill in Glenns, VA (about 40 miles east of Richmond). The 6.4 megawatt plant will produce enough energy to power approximately 6,000 homes. It is the fifth such facility in Virginia for Waste Management and a sixth is currently under construction at its King George Landfill. The company currently has over 100 beneficial-use gas projects throughout the US that produce enough energy to power 400,000 homes every day, which offsets the usage of nearly 2 million tons of coal per year...Read More »



Plastic Bottle Recycling Rate Higher in 2008

Plastic bottle recycling rose in 2008 by 3.2% to a record high of more than 2.4 billion pounds for the year, a recapture rate of 27% from 24.4% in 2007. This is according to the 19th annual National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR). HDPE rose to 29%, up three percentage points from the year earlier, helped by "vigorous collection in the first three quarters of the year," according to the report. The report said that innovations in packaging using less material called "light-weighting" allowed recyclers to process more bottles for the same weight. And, lower sales of virgin HDPE and PET resins in 2008 also made the recycling rate higher. Without the 8% decline in virgin resin sales, the all-bottle recycling rate would have improved only slightly from 24% in 2007 to 25.2% in 2008. PET and HDPE account for 99.1 percent of all plastic containers that are recycled...Read More »



Wisconsin Passes Electronics Recycling Bill; Ban from Landfills

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle signed a new "e-waste" law that requires manufacturers to arrange for recycling of electronics products, including TVs, computers and printers and bans them from landfills. In doing so, Wisconsin became the 18th state to pass an e-recycling law. The bill passed both the Senate and Assembly with bipartisan support. Disposal of electronic equipment is a problem because computers, TVs and other devices contain toxic materials such as lead, mercury and PCBs...Read More »



American Ecology Profit Slips on Lower Volume

American Ecology Corp., which provides special and hazardous waste services, posted a decline in third quarter revenue and profit. Revenue declined to $37.5 million from $41.1 million a year ago reflecting a 24% decline in waste disposal volume that declined to 201,000 tons from 263,000 tons last year. The lower volume also meant lower revenues from transportation and waste treatment. Net income declined accordingly to $4.2 million from $4.3 million earned in last year's third quarter...Read More »



WCA Waste Corp. Reports Only Slight Drop in Third Quarter

WCA Waste Corp. (Houston, TX) reported a slight third quarter loss owing to certain non-operational financial operations. The reported net loss of $0.3 million, or $0.02 per share, which is the same as reported in the same period last year, would have been net income of $0.4 million, or $0.02 per share without the non-operational impact of the interest rate swap and the non-cash tax impact of vested restricted shares. Revenue for the quarter declined slightly to $49.5 million from $52.8 million for the same period last year. "We continue to be pleased with our operating performance," said Tom Fatjo, Chairman of WCA Waste. "We achieved higher operating and adjusted EBITDA margins this quarter despite lower revenues."...Read More »



Clean Harbors to Report Third Quarter on Nov. 4

Clean Harbors, Inc. said it plans to announce third quarter earnings during a conference call that is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 9 a.m. (Eastern Time)...Read More »


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