Weekly News Bulletin: Nov. 9-15, 2010


Republic Services Posts Higher 3Q Profit; Will Repurchase $400 Million of its Shares

Republic Services, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) reported an 11% increase in third quarter profit, boosted by price increases and higher recycled commodity prices that helped offset a 2.5% drop in volume. Consequently, revenue dipped slightly to $2.06 billion from $2.07 billion in the prior year. Earnings rose to $134.2 million, or $0.35 per share, from $120.5 million, or $0.32 per share, a year ago. The company also announced that its board approved the repurchase of up to $400 million of common shares. "Based on what we see in the economic and business environment, we expect 2011 earnings per share to grow by about 10%, which includes the benefit of our share repurchase program," said Donald Slager, president and COO, during an investor conference call. Slager is to become CEO in January, replacing James O'Connor, who is retiring at year-end...Read More »



Texas Disposal Wins $25 Million Defamation Verdict against Waste Management

Texas Disposal Systems (Creedmoor, TX) won a $25.45 million verdict from a Texas district court against Waste Management (Houston, TX) in a defamation lawsuit filed thirteen years ago in 1997. The jury found that Waste Management made false and defamatory statements against Texas Disposal Systems while the companies were competing for a 30-year landfill contract with the City of Austin, right after Texas Disposal had recently won a 30-year contract with the City of San Antonio. In 2003, a jury sided with Texas Disposal on the defamation claim but awarded no money. The company appealed, and in 2006, the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals ruled that the case should be retried. The latest ruling by a state District Court found that Waste Management falsely implied that Texas Disposal's Travis County landfill was not as environmentally protective, had obtained exemptions to environmental rules and had accepted wastes not permitted for it...Read More »



EPA Says Thousands of High-Priority Tank Cleanups Remain

An EPA study on leaking underground storage tanks (UST) indicates that a significant number of high-priority cleanups have yet to be undertaken, with more than 70 percent of all types of releases discovered more than a decade ago. EPA researcher Sue Burnell presented findings from the study, which will undergo further revisions, to the Association of State & Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) Oct. 27. EPA undertook the 14-state study as a foundation for finding strategies to reduce the number of sites still needing cleanup in the inventory, and to address why the annual number of cleanups has been declining...Read More »



Clean Harbors' Third Quarter Profits Quadruple, Helped by Acquisition and Gulf Cleanup

Clean Harbors, Inc. (Norwell, MA) posted an exceptionally strong third quarter. Revenues increased 60% to a record $487.7 million from $305.6 million in the third quarter of 2009, reflecting the acquisition of Eveready Inc. on July 31, 2009, a strong contribution from legacy business and cleanup operations in the Gulf of Mexico and Michigan. Net income quadrupled to $38.8 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, up from $9.2 million, or $0.36 per diluted share in the same period a year ago. This year's net income included a pre-tax charge of $2.3 million for the early extinguishment of debt related to the company's redemption of $30 million of its outstanding senior secured notes, while last year's net included about $9 million in expenses related to the company's acquisition of Eveready and the early extinguishment of debt. The company now expects 2011 revenue of $1.52-$1.57 billion which is a 5-8 percent increase from 2010 levels, excluding revenue from the Gulf and Michigan spills...Read More »



Republic Services and Clean Energy to Develop Biomethane Recovery Facility

Republic Services (Phoenix, AZ) and Clean Energy (Seal Beach, CA) signed an agreement for Clean Energy to build a high-BTU landfill gas processing facility at Republic's Sauk Trail Hills Landfill in Canton, MI. Some of the renewable gas recovered from the landfill will be used to power Republic's vehicle fleet, the remainder of which will be injected into the natural gas pipeline. The plant is expected to produce the energy equivalent of 6 million gallons of diesel per year once it begins operations in early 2012, Under other agreements, Republic has contracted Clean Energy to build, operate and maintain 14 compressed natural gas (CNG) refuse vehicle fueling stations and to provide its liquefied natural gas (LNG) fleets in California with about 3 million gallons of LNG vehicle fuel per year...Read More »



Frederick County, VA Opens New $4.5 Million Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project

Frederick County, VA announced the opening of a new $4.5 million landfill gas-to-energy project at its landfill in Winchester. The project is a partnership between the county's Department of Public Works and SCS Engineers, its developer, and was funded from landfill revenues. Gas from the project is fueling two 20-cylinder internal combustion engines to generate just under 1,500 horsepower, equivalent to about 1 megawatt of electricity. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, which provides power to part of the county, will buy the power. Jim Walsh, president and CEO of SCS said, "It's a good marriage of environmental protection and energy generation, two objectives that are more often in conflict. But in this and similar projects the fuel value of landfill gas helps pay for a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."...Read More »



Hill Air Force Base to Develop Waste Processing and Recycling Facility

Officials with the US Air Force said that they are planning to develop a recycling and waste-handling facility on the Hill Air Force Base in Utah. Harry Briesmaster, 75th Civil Engineering Group director at Hill, said the Air Force Real Property Agency and Hill will soon begin negotiations with Ogden Hill Community Energy LLC to develop a state-of-the art recycling and waste-handling facility there that could ultimately process up to 120,000 tons of recyclables and 200,000 tons of municipal solid waste per year. The facility is but a part of a much larger $1.5 billion so-called enhanced-use lease (EUL) redevelopment at Hill AFB, which is the largest such project in the history of the Air Force. Work began this week on the project that is a public-private venture and will be built on 550 acres...Read More »



Harvest Power Gets Canadian Government Grant for Food Waste Facility

Harvest Power (Waltham, MA) said that the Government of Canada will invest $4 million in its Fraser Richmond Soil & Fibre facility in Richmond, BC, the country's first high-efficiency system for producing renewable energy from food and yard waste. The project will utilize Harvest's high solids anaerobic digestion (HSAD) technology, that biodegrades dry organic waste (such as urban food and yard waste) in an efficient two-stage oxygen-starved high temperature system that maximizes methane concentration in the resulting biogas. The project will divert up to 27,000 tons of food and yard waste per year from landfills. The grant comes from the Government of Canada's Clean Energy Fund, which is investing $795 million in clean energy technology development and demonstration over five years. Harvest develops facilities that produce renewable energy and compost from discarded organic materials. In January this year Waste Management, Inc. invested in the company to expand its organics technology throughout North America...Read More »



Greenstar Opens $2.3 Million Recycling Facility in Northeast Ohio

Greenstar North America announced the opening of $2.3 million recycling center in Poland, OH. The new facility will handle residential curbside collected commingled recyclables generated in Mahoning County and most of the materials collected from local recycling drop-off sites. The company said it invested $2.1 million in the project which was supported by a $250,000 matching grant by the Ohio Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention through a Market Development Grant administered by the Mahoning County Green Team. "Greenstar was very pleased to receive government support for the recycling center," says Arnold Brock, Greenstar general manager, in a press release announcing the MRF opening. "The best results are often achieved through public-private partnerships." Greenstar, which is a subsidiary of Dublin Ireland-based NTR plc, handles about 2 million tons of recyclables per year through a network of 14 processing facilities in the US...Read More »



Covanta Holding Corp. to Refinance Senior Debt

Covanta Holding Corp. announced the offering of a series of unsecured notes the proceeds of which will be used in part to fund its tender offer for its outstanding 1.00% Senior Convertible Debentures due 2027, of which there is about $373.7 million aggregate principal amount outstanding. Any remaining net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital Inc. and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. will act as joint bookrunning managers in the offering...Read More »



Perma-Fix Says Slow Government Work Hurt Third Quarter Earnings

Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (Atlanta, GA) posted a third quarter loss on lower revenue as a result of less US Department of Energy (DOE) work. "We experienced a decrease in revenue for the third quarter of 2010 due to a difficult DOE budget cycle and the timing of remediation projects," said CEO Louis F. Centofanti. "DOE spending on waste treatment at our facilities continued to lag behind spending for on-site services." The nuclear waste and industrial waste management company posted a net loss of $1.1 million, or ($0.02) per share, on revenue of $25.1 million for the third quarter of 2010. That compares to a profit of $2.6 million, or $0.05 per share, on revenue of $26.5 million for the third quarter of last year. Last month the company announced plans to sell its remaining industrial operations to focus exclusively on nuclear waste services. In 2009, the industrial facilities accounted for about 8 percent of the company's total revenues and about 5 percent of total assets...Read More »



New Children's Book: Here Comes the Garbage Barge!

A new children's book called "Here Comes the Garbage Barge!" has hit the bookshelves and was reviewed in last Sunday's New York Times. As indicated by its title, the story is loosely based on the infamous garbage barge "Mobro 4000" or "Gar-barge" that set sail in 1987 with 3,168 tons of Long Island, NY garbage in hope of dumping it in North Carolina at a substantial profit. However as most of us know, the press and later the politicians got wind of the stench and soon every state on the eastern seaboard turned it away. Even Mexico and Belize sent their militaries to keep the barge offshore. Eventually the barge returned home to Long Island where the waste was ultimately and quietly disposed at a Brooklyn incinerator...Read More »


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