A Texas commission approved changes to rules this week that could allow 36 states to export low-level radioactive waste to a remote landfill along the Texas-New Mexico border. A 5-2 vote by the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Commission drew both praise and criticism, particularly from environmental watchdog Public Citizen which is promising to sue. Praise comes amid a disposal crisis for low-level radioactive waste-contaminated materials and equipment from nuclear plants, research laboratories and hospitals, since only three other sites in the country can accept them. The other sites do not take all kinds of materials within the low-level category or can only take waste from certain states. That left 36 states with no permanent solutions. The destination is a 1,338-acre concrete-reinforced site in Andrews, TX owned by Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists LLC, a major investor of which is Harold Simmons. Waste Control spokesman Chuck McDonald said that Texas regulators already deemed the site to be safe, and thus granted a license for the project. The state will receive a portion of the disposal fees as well as a $136 million fund to help pay for any future liabilities, he said...Read More »
As stakeholders battle over how the EPA should regulate coal ash, environmental groups are accusing the agency of overstating the benefits of ash recycling as an argument against designating it a hazardous waste. So far, industry has argued that regulating coal combustion residuals (CCRs) as hazardous would decimate their beneficial reuse in products like cement and wallboard, in addition to adding millions in disposal costs, killing jobs and decreasing the competiveness of US companies. Cost-benefit figures included in the EPA's rulemaking proposal estimate that coal-ash recycling is worth about $23 billion a year. However, a new report by Earthjustice and others says that estimate is more than 20 times higher than the $1.15 billion the governments own data show is the correct bottom-line number. "Unfortunately, EPA and OMB just got this wrong," said Eric Schaeffer, director of the Environmental Integrity Project. "The 'regulatory impact analysis' prepared by EPA to support itsproposal exaggerates the economic life cycle value of coal-ash recycling, which could end up stacking the deck in favor of the weaker regulatory option favored by industry." It is estimated that coal-fired power plants generate more than 130 million tons of various ash wastes every year and that these numbers are rising as more plants install scrubbers and other equipment to control air pollution. About 40% of these wastes are said to be recycled creating a vibrant industry and avoiding the need for landfill...Read More »
Deffenbaugh Industries (Kansas City, KS) is buying Roll Off Service, Inc. and Advantage Recycling based in Bethel Heights, AR and which collectively serve 25,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Texas. "We are committed to growing our core business of solid waste and recycling services and Roll Off Service and Advantage fit well within the long-term business model we are pursuing," John King, senior vice president of operations for Deffenbaugh. 130 employees are joining Deffenbaugh through the acquisitions.
Deffenbaugh, which touts itself as the largest privately owned refuse firm in the Midwest, has 1,900 employees operating from eight locations in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa, In 2007, the company was acquired by DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, a private equity investment affiliate of Credit Suisse...Read More »
Rumpke Consolidated Companies Inc. (Cincinnati, OH) is acquiring RLS Recycling of Chillicothe, OH which brings with it 30 waste collection vehicles, utility equipment and nearly 50 employees. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The acquisition helps Rumpke round out its service to central and southeast Ohio. In August 2009 Rumpke bought assets in northeast Ohio from Republic Services including the 300-acre Noble Road Landfill, a couple of transfer stations and a 60 vehicle-strong hauling operation serving 39,000 residential and 3,000 commercial customers in the region. "Rumpke is a family-owned and operated business, and our people are the driving force behind our success," said company Vice President Andrew Rumpke. "We are excited to have our new Chillicothe team members on board, and we look forward to being an active member of the Chillicothe community." RLS derives about 60% of its revenue from recycling and about 40% from waste services...Read More »
Advanced Disposal Services (Jacksonville, FL) said it acquired certain assets of B&W Waste Inc. located near Atlanta, GA, although financial details of the transaction that closed Dec. 31 were not disclosed. B&W Waste, based in Madison, GA provides waste collection services to residents and businesses in the surrounding counties of Greene, Jasper, Morgan, Newton, Putnam, Rockdale and Walton. Advanced Disposal's purchase includes a municipal solid waste transfer station in Madison, 1,200 commercial and residential customers, 19 trucks and 780 containers. B&W Waste's 13 employees, including owners Larry and Alesia Bishop, will join the Advanced Disposal Middle Georgia team. It was the company's 12th acquisition in 2010 and adds to others in Georgia as well as in the surrounding states of North Carolina, and Tennessee, including its first foray into South Carolina last Sept...Read More »
A new law banning electronics from landfills in West Virginia goes into effect this week. The law (Senate Bill 398) which was passed during the 2010 legislative session prohibits the disposal of televisions, computers, and video display devices larger than four inches from any West Virginia landfill. Waste haulers are currently required to pick up televisions and computers under the Public Service Commission's Bulky Goods Rule (WV Code Rules §150-9.6.6). The recent law dovetails with an electronics recycling law passed in 2008 that requires manufacturers of consumer electronic devices to register with the state and pay into an Electronics Take-back Fund that pays for electronics recycling events...Read More »
Bridgeport, CT-based Enviro Express, a solid waste collection, transfer and recycling company, has opened a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling station, the first east of the Mississippi, and is converting most of its fleet of trucks to LNG-powered Kenworth T800s. "We're pleased to have these T800 LNG trucks in our fleet," says Bill Malone, president of Enviro Express. "They will benefit the air quality in our communities by reducing the emissions of our fleet operation. Plus, we're doing our part to make our country a little less dependent on imported oil, since the fuel these Kenworths will run on comes from America." Promoters of natural gas say LNG and CNG are cleaner than gasoline and reduce U.S. reliance on imported oil because most natural gas is from North America. The cost savings will grow in accordance with rising oil prices with estimated savings of between 50 cents and $1 per gallon. Large trucks can consume in excess of 20,000 gallons per year.
Patrick Davis, vehicle technologies program manager at the U.S. Department of Energy, said the Bridgeport station is among numerous projects receiving $300 million total in federal stimulus funding. That represents about one-third of the overall investment in these projects, which includes money committed by businesses such as Enviro Express. The $6.2 million cost of the Bridgeport station is split between Enviro Express and federal stimulus money...Read More »
A 26-year old New York man survived a nine story suicide attempt after landing on a large pile of trash left uncollected due to the huge snowstorm last week, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. "It looks like the huge pile of trash saved him," said a law-enforcement official familiar with the case. The man was taken to a local Hospital where he was listed in critical but stable condition with injuries that were not considered life-threatening...Read More »