Weekly News Bulletin: Feb. 8-14, 2011


Waste Connections' 4th Quarter Ahead of Expectations

Waste Connections, Inc. (Folsom, CA) reported better-than-expected fourth quarter and fiscal year-end earnings, its seventh consecutive period of doing so, while achieving double digit revenue growth for the year. Net income rose to $36.1 million, or $0.31 per share, from $23.3 million, or $0.19 per share a year ago. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $0.32 per share, $0.01 higher than expected. Revenue for the quarter rose 8.4% to $334 million from the $309.9 million a year ago. Analysts had been expecting $330 million for the quarter. Pricing discipline, volume growth from an improving economy, steadily increasing recycled commodity prices, and growth from recent acquisitions contributed to the growth. For its fiscal year, Waste Connection reported revenue of $1.32 billion, a 10.8 percent increase from $1.19 billion in fiscal 2009. Net income attributable to Waste Connections improved to $135.1 million in 2010, from $109.8 million a year earlier. Chairman and CEO Ron Mittelstaedt said he expects double-digit earnings growth in 2011...Read More »



Waste Pro USA Buys 10 Businesses in 5 Southern States

Waste Pro USA (Longwood, FL) announced that it has either acquired or reached agreements to buy 10 separate waste companies and landfills throughout the southeast. They include operations in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. "Waste Pro is significantly expanding our footprint throughout the South, both organically and by acquiring companies with our culture," CEO John J. Jennings said. The already consummated acquisitions include: Alternative Waste Services of Ocala, FL; Waste Container Services LLC of Jacksonville, FL; Green Key Environmental Solutions of Miami, FL; and the Dade County, FL commercial and roll-off operations and equipment of Eastern Waste Services. Waste Pro also purchased two construction and demolition debris landfills near Meridian, MS in June last year, and the company now owns and operates the former Kemper County Landfill in Philadelphia, MS.

Waste Pro also entered into agreements to acquire the recycling and processing operations of Greenstar Recycling of Atlanta, GA; C&D Ltd. LLC of Birmingham, AL; and is "in the final stages of a purchase agreement for the operations" of Pelican Commercial Waste Services of Belle Chase near New Orleans, LA...Read More »



Industry is Pushing EPA to 'Sub-Categorize' MACT Standards for Boilers

EPA is facing numerous challenges to its proposed emissions rules for boilers including pressure to "sub-categorize" its final rule to allow different standards for certain categories of facilities including cement plants, boilers, and coal-fired power plants. As recently as Jan. 28, a number of oil industry groups including the American Petroleum Institute (API), and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA), met with the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) and EPA to urge its inclusion. Oregon cement manufacturers and Oregon officials, meanwhile, are suing EPA to include sub-categorization in a recent final air toxics rule for the sector, after the agency issued a rule that did not include the approach. Industry favors sub-categorization for air toxics rules, saying it helps to account for differences between facilities and the fact that a highly expensive pollution control that is necessary for one facility might not be valid for another, lower-emitting facility that could install a cheaper technology to cut its emissions. EPA had asked a federal appeals court to give it until April 2012 to issue the rule, claiming the extra time was necessary to address industry concerns that the proposal would not be achievable and would be too costly. But the court in a Jan. 20 order rejected that request and set the Feb. 21 deadline for issuing the rule. EPA sent the rule for White House review Jan. 20, though the agency has said it intends to immediately pursue a formal reconsideration of the MACT standard after releasing it later this month...Read More »



KiOR Gets DOE Loan Guarantee Term Sheet for $1 Billion Waste-to-Biofuel Project

KiOR, Inc. (Pasadena, TX) said it has received a loan guarantee term sheet for a $1 billion biofuel project from the US Department of Energy (DOE). The project will include four biorefineries that are expected to convert wood biomass into some 250 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels including gasoline and diesel. The first two plants under the project are planned for Mississippi, with additional facilities in Georgia and Texas. "While the term sheet is an important step in the process, we recognize that more work lies ahead to finalize the loan guarantee and there is no assurance it will be issued until the loan is closed," said Fred Cannon, President and CEO of KiOR. Last year KiOR began construction of its first commercial plant expected to produce 11 million gallons a year in Columbus, MS and has projects in development stages in several southern US states...Read More »



Stericycle Achieves 25% Increase in 4th Quarter Sales and Profits

Medical waste management company Stericycle (Lake Forest, IL) reported a rise in fourth quarter profit driven by 25 percent growth in sales. Excluding one-time charges related to acquisitions and restructuring costs, earnings for the quarter rose about 25 percent as well to $0.69 per share from $0.55 last year. Even with those charges, net income rose to $50 million or $0.57 per share from $44.6 million or $0.52 per share a year ago. Revenues for the quarter grew 25.5 percent to $393.5 million from $313.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Recent acquisitions added about $32.5 million to that growth...Read More »



Plasco Energy to Develop Waste-to-Energy for CA Waste Authority

Plasco Energy Group (Ottawa, ON) said it was selected by the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority in California to develop a plasma gasification facility capable of converting 100,000 tons of waste per year into energy and other products. The authority will now conduct an environmental impact study of the waste-to-energy technology, according to a company statement this week. Plasco was selected among nine sector players after 18 months of evaluations. The Waste Authority originally set a goal in 2005 of achieving 75% diversion to extend the remaining disposal capacity of its landfills to over 50 years...Read More »



Laidlaw Energy to Acquire 14 MW California Biomass Plant

Laidlaw Energy Group (New York, NY) is buying a 14 megawatt biomass-to-energy power plant in Susanville, CA from Renegy Holdings, Inc. and affiliates. "We are very pleased to be moving forward with the expansion of our business model to the West Coast. We are very excited about the California market for alternative energy and the opportunities it presents," said Laidlaw President & CEO Michael B. Bartoszek. "This transaction is part of a larger strategy of growth and diversification that we have been working on for some time." He said the company expects to make even another "major acquisition" in the near future. He founded Laidlaw Energy in 2002 to specifically develop renewable energy power plants. The company has two projects already under development -- a 7 megawatt wood waste fed biomass plant in Cattaraugus County, NY and a soon to be developed 65 megawatt biomass-energy power plant located on the site of the former Fraser Paper Mill in Berlin, NH...Read More »



Veolia ES Solid Waste Elevates Recycling and Puts Tom Riek in Charge

Veolia ES Solid Waste (Chicago, IL) announced the appointment of Tom Riek to the newly created position of Vice President of recycling. The new position appears to recognize the increasing importance of recycling in the vertically integrated enterprise. "In his new role, Riek will work to continue to define Veolia's recycling strategy, improve processes and develop new capabilities to enhance the company's offerings to customers," the company said. "Our vision is 'to be the company trusted by all to provide innovative, comprehensive and sustainable solutions.' Tom's experience and expertise in various facets of our industry will serve us well as we continue to move forward with our goals," said Jim Long, Veolia ES president and CEO. Riek is a 25-year veteran of the waste industry. Prior to joining Veolia, he served as CEO of the Container Recycling Alliance (CRA) and before that as CFO of Recycle America Alliance, Inc...Read More »



Edinburg, TX Partners with Singapore Company to Develop Landfill Gas-to-Energy

The City of Edinburg, TX is partnering with SCC Americas to develop a 2 megawatt landfill gas-to-energy plant at the city's 147-acre, 1,100 ton per day landfill. Under a 25-year contract, SCC Americas will enhance the landfill's gas collection system, construct and operate the generating facility, and sell the power, for which the city will be paid a royalty. SCC is based in Singapore and is an investor and operator of clean energy projects which either directly abate, or otherwise displace or avoid, GHG emissions...Read More »



Covanta Holding Will Announce 4th Quarter and Year-End Results on Feb. 9

Covanta Holding Corp. (Fairfield, NJ), which includes Covanta Energy, plans to announce fourth quarter and 2010 full-year financial results after the close of the market on February 9. The company will host a conference call the following morning at 8:30 am (ET) to discuss the results and answer investor questions...Read More »


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