Weekly News Bulletin: Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2010


Private Equity firm Roark Capital Makes $100 Million Investment in Canadian Waste Company

Private equity firm Roark Capital Group (Atlanta, GA) announced its second major investment in the solid waste management industry. This time it is has made a C$105 million equity commitment to GFL Waste & Recycling Solutions Corp., based in Pickering, Ont., an integrated waste company with 19 locations in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, including four hauling companies, five transfer stations, eight liquid waste storage and treatment facilities and a soil remediation site. Roark has committed C$45 million more for organic and acquisition growth opportunities for GFL. The deal with GFL is Roark's second major investment in a waste management business, following its October 2009 investment of $100 million in Longwood, FL-based Waste Pro. Consequent to the deal, Roark President Jeffrey J. Keenan, a veteran of the solid waste industry, will serve on GFL's board. Keenan co-founded and served as chairman of IESI Corp. which was later acquired by BFI Canada, now called IESI-BFC...Read More »



Waste Connections Partners with Fulcrum Bioenergy on Waste-to-Fuel

Waste Connections said it entered an agreement with Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., which plans to build a $120 million waste-to-ethanol facility near Reno, NV, to supply the plant with municipal solid waste (MSW) as a feedstock. Fulcrum recently announced that it had entered the final stage of financing for its Sierra BioFuels Plant and that the US Department of Energy (DOE) had promoted its $70 million loan request into the final phase of its Loan Guarantee Program, the first cellulosic biofuels project to do so. The Sierra BioFuels Plant will use about 90,000 tons of post-recycled MSW to create 10.5 million gallons of ethanol annually and generate 16 megawatts of electricity. The company hopes to begin construction in late 2012. "Our partnership with Fulcrum is a continuation of our efforts to evaluate and integrate emerging technologies into our waste handling and disposal operations. We believe that Fulcrum is at the cutting edge of an emerging breed of new technologies," said Ronald J. Mittelstaedt, Chairman and CEO...Read More »



EPA Promises Case-by-Case Oversight of Coal Ash Reporting

The EPA says that it will conduct "case-by-case" oversight of power plants and other generators of coal combustion ash and residuals (CCRs) to verify that they report waste releases to the agency's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), despite not having determined whether to regulate the waste as hazardous. Moreover, the agency does not even have a regulatory definition of waste that is subject to TRI reporting. Earlier this year, EPA proposed two options for regulating CCR, either as a "special waste" subject to subtitle C handling and disposal requirements under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) or to less stringent "solid waste" rules under subtitle D. The official comment period closed on Nov. 19. Under section 313 of the Emergency Planning & Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), EPA generally requires coal ash destined for roadfill, landfill, or mining reclamation to be reportable. However, some facilities which distribute coal ash for use in concrete manufacturing, are exempt from TRI reporting as a processing activity under the statute's de minimis exemption, though coal ash as a raw material for a product, such as cement manufacturing, is currently reported...Read More »



WCA Waste Corp. Completes Four "Tuck-in" Acquisitions in Texas and Oklahoma

In its latest financial report, WCA Waste Corp. (Houston, TX) announced the completion of four tuck-in acquisitions (three around Houston, Texas and one in Oklahoma) representing $7 million in total annualized revenue. Tom Fatjo, Chairman and CEO, stated, "Our focus remains on driving growth in our Houston and Ohio markets and maximizing the operating leverage of these assets while creating value for shareholders." President and COO Jerry Kruszka noted that "The successful completion of four tuck-in acquisitions clearly demonstrates the operating leverage we have in our core markets of Houston and the Midwest." Tom Fatjo added that "Acquisitions are a core component of WCA's growth, and as such we are placing emphasis on increasing the total volume and internalization of waste into our Sunny Farms Landfill in Ohio and our Fort Bend County Landfill near Houston, Texas."...Read More »



Waste Connections Increases its Borrowing Capacity

Waste Connections (Folsom, CA) has increased its borrowing capacity by $250 million, according to a filing with the SEC. The company did so by amending an agreement to increase the aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes issuable under the Master Note Purchase Agreement from $500 million to $750 million. The amendment allows the company to sell up to $400 million of additional notes since there are already $350 million of notes outstanding and covered by the agreement...Read More »



Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell Signs E-Waste Bill into Law

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has signed a new bill that requires manufacturers of computers and televisions to establish conduct and manage recycling programs for electronics sold in the state. Under the law, the Covered Device Recycling Act (H.B. 708), retailers must notify customers about how to recycle electronics devices and disclose the locations for their collection. The bill also bans dumping such devices (e-waste) in the state's landfills. The law is similar to those in 22 other states that also utilize "producer responsibility" or "take-back" provisions in regulating e-waste...Read More »



Congressman Urges EPA Not to Classify Coal Ash as Hazardous

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is urging the EPA not to classify coal combustion residuals (CCRs) as hazardous waste, arguing that it would increase costs for electric utilities and their customers and end all recycling of the material. In a Nov. 18 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Upton wrote that "the collapse of the CCR beneficial use market -- which would occur as the sole result of EPA's action -- will result in the loss of thousands of small business jobs and needlessly forfeit the significant environmental and economic benefits associated with the beneficial use of CCRs. This cannot be allowed to occur, especially when there is no technical basis for regulating CCRs under RCRA´s hazardous waste regulations and the economy is struggling to rebound from the worst recession in a generation with millions of Americans out of work." He pointed out that currently about 44 percent off CCRs are recycled for beneficial use and widely used in concrete, shingles, asphalt, wall boards and bricks, which generates more than $2 billion in economic activity...Read More »



Waste Management Buys C&D Recycler in Auburn, WA

Waste Management's (Houston, TX) Pacific Northwest subsidiary is acquiring Auburn, WA-based Glacier Recycle, which specializes in recycling wood and construction debris to supply materials for pulp and paper production, steam and power generation and construction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. In a statement, Dean Kattler, Waste Management's vice president-Pacific Northwest, said the Glacier acquisition will "position WM to provide services to support the continued growth of green building and LEED certification across the region. It is part of Waste Management's increasing focus on reducing waste, recovering materials from the waste stream and putting waste to its highest and best use."...Read More »



Oakleaf Launches New "Intelligent Waste Management" Initiative

Oakleaf Waste Management (East Hartford, CT) has introduced a new branding initiative aimed at broadening the company's service offerings beyond waste and recycling services. Using "intelligent Waste Management" the company promises "a category-defining shift in how businesses view their waste stream." It appears to represent a more holistic approach to waste management which shifts the focus to total system design that seeks greater system efficiencies, recycling and disposal alternatives, new conversion technology and other ways of viewing waste as a potential resource rather than a liability. The ultimate goal is to help the client adopt more sustainable environmental practices that also reduce costs through enhanced productivity. The company has launched a redesigned website to communicate its new offerings...Read More »



Republican Congressmen Sign Bill to Keep Licensing for Yucca Mountain Alive

Several Republican congressmen, including Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), have signed a House Resolution condemning the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for his unilateral decision to begin the closure of the Yucca Mountain license application review. Twelve other House members signed the bill. At the same time, Simpson, along with reps. Doc Hastings, and Paul Ryan, sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Jeffrey Zients requesting a review of the decision taken by NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko to shut down the review. Jackzo has said he wants the agency to close down licensing activities based on the guidance of the Obama Administration's 2011 proposed budget, which does not have funding for the project.

"Time and time again, Congress has supported Yucca Mountain as the only option for a long-term nuclear storage site, and it has repeatedly and overwhelmingly rejected attempts to shut down the program," said Simpson. "The American taxpayer has spent over $8 billion studying Yucca Mountain and is liable for billions more for breach of contract. During a time of record budget deficits, it is unconscionable that the NRC chairman and DOE would waste billions of dollars of taxpayer money with no return on the investment."...Read More »



Mack Trucks CEO to Appear on "Undercover Boss"

Mack Trucks, Inc. President and CEO Denny Slagle will be featured in an upcoming episode of the CBS series "Undercover Boss." The show, which airs on Sunday evenings, follows a different executive each week as they abandon the comfort of the corner office to take on front-line jobs to better understand their employees and the inner workings of their companies. Former Waste Management COO Larry O'Donnell appeared on the series' premiere last February following the Super Bowl. It may have even factored into his decision to leave the company in light of his heightened public profile from appearing on the show...Read More »



Verso Paper to Spend $40 Million to Use Biomass Instead of Coal at Maine Paper Mill

Verso Paper Corp. will spend $40 million to convert a coal-fired boiler at its Bucksport, Maine mill to run on renewable biomass instead. The company says it will replace coal with biomass products at its No. 8 boiler and install a new 25-megawatt turbine generator resulting in a 43 percent increase in energy derived from renewable energy sources. President and Chief Executive Mike Jackson says the project will reduce the plant's carbon emissions and increase its energy efficiency...Read More »



Southeast Renewable Energy to Build 15 MW Biomass Power Plant in SC

Southeast Renewable Energy (Roswell, GA) plans to invest $50 million to build a 15-megawatt biomass plant in Allendale County, SC. Company President and CEO Raine Cotton said that his company is "working diligently to get the last few steps of the project worked out, including permitting, that will allow the project to begin construction in early 2011." It is expected to be completed in late 2012 and will use timber byproduct for fuel. The company added that it has agreed to sell electricity to Santee Cooper, the state-owned electric and water utility and its largest power producer, for a period of 30 years. The company has plans for a similar plant in neighboring Dorchester County...Read More »



Schnitzer Steel Acquires Macon Iron & Paper Stock Co.

Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (Portland, OR) has agreed to acquire Macon Iron & Paper Stock Company, Inc., a metal recycling company with two operations in Macon, GA. The companies did not disclose terms of the deal, which they expect to close soon. "Schnitzer Steel Industries is committed to accelerating its rate of growth through an expansion of our domestic supply network," said Tamara Lundgren, CEO of Schnitzer Steel Industries. "Expansion in the Southeastern Region represents an important market for industrial manufacturing and supports our disciplined strategy for growth in targeted markets."...Read More »



Casella to Announce Fiscal 2Q Earnings on Dec. 3

Casella Waste Systems (Rutland, VT) said it will announce its fiscal second quarter financial results after the close of the market on Dec. 3 and then host a conference call the following day at 10 am (ET) to discuss them...Read More »


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