Weekly News Bulletin: Feb. 22-28, 2011


Waste Management Q4 Earnings Dip despite Higher Revenue

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) said fourth quarter and full-year earnings slipped despite higher revenues. The company earned $281 million, or $0.59 per share, on revenue of $3.19 billion during the fourth quarter. That compares with earnings of $315 million, or $0.64 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009. The company said that its collection, landfill, and recycling business continued to perform well and posted larger profits on higher revenue despite lower, albeit improving volume which came in lower than expected. The company set aside $160 million for income taxes in the latest quarter, up tenfold from a year earlier. The company reported lower taxes in the fourth quarter of 2009 owing to a benefit of $81 million from items related to income taxes. For the full year, net income slipped 4 percent to $953 million, or $1.98 per share, from $994 million, or $2.01 per share. Revenue rose 6 percent to $12.52 billion from $11.79 billion. The company expects an adjusted profit of $2.24 to$2.30 per share in 2011...Read More »



San Diego Abandons Plan to Sell Miramar Landfill

The City of San Diego, CA is abandoning, for now, the planned sale of its big 3,000 ton-per-day Miramar Landfill. The move comes after three companies -- Allied Waste Services, Texas Disposal Systems and Waste Management -- withdrew from the bidding process, citing concerns over future environmental liability and ambiguity about military ownership of the land.

The landfill is named for the famous military base on which it resides, remember 'Top Gun'? The city began operating the landfill in 1959 when it signed a $500-per-year lease deal with the US Navy, which owns the property. The lease, which extends through 2045, changed several times over the years, notably expanding the site from 450 acres to its existing 1,400-acre footprint. The landfill currently only has room for another 19 million tons of waste, which at current disposal rates of 988,000 tons of solid waste and 348,000 tons of organics added annually, puts the projected closure date only 11 years off in 2022.

However, it is more likely that the deal was doomed by the complicated ownership structure of the landfill site and the city's insistence that the purchaser assume all potential environmental liabilities, including closure costs. Bob Gregory, CEO of Texas Disposal Systems, said he was "unable to come to a comfort level" because of the environment liability and questions over what role the military would play. Similarly, Allied Waste said it would prefer an operational agreement rather than a purchase.

The landfill sale had been a key piece of the city's plan to stem a $56.7 million budget deficit by charging the landfill operator a franchise of as much as $10 million annually. It now appears that the city will instead seek to save money by outsourcing landfill operations through managed competition, a system that allows private firms to compete with city workers to provide services...Read More »



IESI-BFC Q4 Profit More Than Doubles; Helped by Acquisition

IESI-BFC Ltd. (Toronto, ON) reported fourth quarter profits that nearly doubled on revenue that was up by 64 percent, largely on the strength of its acquisition of Waste Services, Inc. Net income for the quarter rose to $21.7 million, or $0.18 per share, from $9.9 million, or $0.11 per share, last year. Revenue soared $167.4 million to $429.9 million from $262.5 million in the final 2009 quarter. "We completed the acquisition of WSI and, thanks to the efforts of our combined team, we are on track to realize the upper end of our expected synergies," said CEO Keith Carrigan in a news release. "We also continued to strengthen our network of assets through our strategic acquisitions of Fred Weber Inc., Crown Excel Disposal LLC and Weber Gas Energy, LLC in St. Louis, Mo., SWDI LLC in southern Louisiana, York Disposal in Toronto and 10 other tuck-in acquisitions," he said. In our existing business, the company achieved organic revenue growth of 6.7 percent through its "bottom-up focus on price, volume and productivity," he said. "Our outlook for 2011, which excludes the impact of additional acquisitions, anticipates revenue growth of 25.9 percent."...Read More »



Developer Says He's Close to Financing $296 Million Waste-to-Ethanol Plant

Powers Energy (Evansville, IN), which plans to build a $296 million waste-to-ethanol plant in Lake County, IN, has told officials there that financing appears imminent within two weeks, according to an article in the Post-Tribune. Ken Bosar, the company's engineer and COO, told members of the Lake County Solid Waste Management District that the plant, which it would build in Schneider, could break ground this summer. The plant would convert municipal solid waste provided by participating cities and towns in Lake County into bioethanol using a process technology licensed from INEOS Bio. Its process involves gasifying the waste with oxygen at high temperature under controlled conditions to produce synthesis gas, or syngas, which then is cleaned, cooled and fed into a fermentor where a bacteria biocatalyst converts it to ethanol...Read More »



Greenstar Will Market Waste Pro's Recycled Commodities in Atlanta

Waste Pro USA (Longwood, FL) and Greenstar Recycling (Houston, TX) reached an agreement to pool their collective recycling talents in the Atlanta, GA market. Under the deal, Greenstar will transfer its recycling processing equipment to Waste Pro while Greenstar will take over the marketing of recovered commodities from Waste Pro's Atlanta recycling facility, it recently acquired from Greenstar. "This agreement is a strategic win for both parties," said Matt Delnick, CEO of Greenstar Recycling. "Waste Pro will expand its existing recycling operations in Atlanta, and Greenstar will grow its commodity marketing business, resulting in better economies of scale for both businesses." Waste Pro is rapidly escalating its operations and alliances in the southeast. Earlier this month, the company announced its acquisition of 10 separate waste companies and landfills throughout Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The agreement with Greenstar shows that it has an eye on vertically integrating its operations to maximize performance and efficiencies...Read More »



Energy Investors Funds Acquires 11 Landfill-Gas-to-Energy Projects

Energy Investors Fund (EIF) is acquiring 11 landfill gas-to-energy projects in New York and Vermont. The company, through its Landfill Energy Systems subsidiary, is acquiring Innovative Energy Systems of Oakfield, NY, a privately held firm that owns the projects that have the capacity to generate 72 megawatts of electricity -- enough to power 42,000 homes. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Landfill Energy Systems now has projects producing more than 200 megawatts of energy at 45 landfills in 16 states. Peter Zeliff, founder of Innovative Energy Systems, will maintain a minority ownership interest and become chief operating officer at Landfill Energy Systems. "This merger makes so much sense, we already have similar operating philosophies and corporate cultures," he said. Landfill Energy Systems is equally excited about the merger, and plans to continue its growth through greenfield development and acquisitions of landfill gas-to-energy projects, it said. EIF has had extra cash on hand earned late last year when it sold its share in the Detroit, MI waste-to-energy plant along with co-owner Covanta Energy Corp. to Detroit Renewable Power LLC for $50 million...Read More »



Construction Begins on 1,000 TPD C&D Recycling Facility in Jacksonville

A Jacksonville, FL-based company called Coastal Recycling Services said it has begun constructing a new state-of-the-art recycling facility for construction and demolition debris there in its hometown. The $11 million facility is designed to process 1,000 tons per day and is expected to be operational by July. $4 million is being financed through a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. Among delays in obtaining financing and permitting was winning approval for a local requirement that any new recycling facility be able to recycle at least 60 percent of all product received and 80 percent of everything within 30 months of operations...Read More »



Fortistar Building another 3.2 MW Landfill Gas Project on Idaho Landfill

Fortistar Methane Group (Lockport, NY) is developing an additional 3.2 megawatt landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) power plant atop the Hidden Hollow Landfill in Ada County, ID. This week the Idaho Public Utilities Commission approved a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) under which local utility Idaho Power will buy the power generated by the project for $63.78 per megawatt-hour, escalating to $124.27 per MWh in 2031. The new facility will operate next to an existing 3.2 megawatt facility originally developed by G2 Energy and then sold to Fortistar in May 2008...Read More »



Enviva Buys Virginia Port to Ship 3 Million TPY of Biomass to Europe

Enviva LP (Richmond, VA), which manufactures processed biomass said it had acquired a Chesapeake VA port terminal from Giant Cement Company to meet with the increasing demand for renewable biomass overseas, especially in Europe. The company plans to boost the capacity of the port to receive, store and load in excess of 3 million tons per year. The acquisition will help the company consolidate its shipments as well as track their movement from forest to plant to port, acting as a central hub to a biomass production plant near Ahoskie, NC and others that are currently under construction. John Keppler, CEO of Enviva, said that the strategic location of the terminal will decrease the expenditure and transportation time incurred throughout the supply chain, thereby improving Enviva's environmental footprint...Read More »



WCA Waste to Report Fourth Quarter Results on March 3

WCA Waste Corp. (Houston, TX) plans to report fourth-quarter and year-end financial results after the close of the market on March 3. The company will host a conference call the following day at 8:30 am (ET) to discuss those results. WCA operates a network of 25 landfills, 24 transfer stations/material recovery facilities, and 27 collection operations located throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas...Read More »


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