Weekly News Bulletin: Apr. 5-11, 2011


Waste Connections Buys Hudson Valley Waste in New York

Waste Connections, Inc. (Folsom, CA), continuing its eastward expansion, is buying what it describes as the largest privately owned solid waste services company in New York's Hudson Valley. The company, Hudson Valley Waste Holding Inc. and its subsidiary, County Waste and Recycling Service Inc., has annual revenue of about $120 million, and serves 12 counties, with the majority of its waste collection, transfer and recycling operations in Albany and the surrounding Capital Region. Included in the deal are six collection depots, three transfer stations and a recycling facility. "County Waste has copied our playbook in building a leading position within its, markets, focused on controlling the waste stream and almost doubling in size over the past five years," Waste Connections CEO Ronald J. Mittelstaedt said.

The seller is a limited partnership controlled by Clairvest Group Inc. (Toronto, ON) which has made other bets in the waste industry and essentially doubled its money on this latest sale. Clairvest invested in Hudson Valley in March last year, shortly after making a killing (tripling its money) selling its stake in Long-Island, NY-based Winter Brothers to IESI in September, 2007. Incidentally, last week the Winter Brothers, who formed a new business based in Danbury, CT, announced their acquisition of Automated Waste Disposal (AWD), a company owned by the U.S. Marshals Service that had seized the business from former trash kingpin James Galante who is now serving time for racketeering...Read More »



Pegasus Capital to Help Finance $160 Million Eco Park and Waste Gasification Facility

Forsite Development, the developer of a planned $300 million "Renewable Energy Eco-Industrial Park," or "ReVenture Park" in Charlotte, NC, said recycling operator ReCommunity and private equity firms Pegasus Capital Advisors and Hannon Armstrong Securities will back ReVenture's anchor project. ReVenture plans to build a $126 million 20 MW Waste Gasification Plant and $30 million recycling facility to process Mecklenburg County's residential waste. The "eco-industrial" park Forsite envisions for a contaminated 667-acre site in northwest Charlotte may later include a solar farm, waste treatment plant and other components. ReCommunity recently formed when Pegasus Capital and three other firms bought the recycling assets of FCR Recycling from Casella Waste Systems. FCR, which ran Mecklenburg's recycling center, had been a ReVenture partner in processing fuel for the power plant. Pegasus Capital is a private equity fund manager that invests in a number of industries. Hannon Armstrong Securities is a subsidiary of Hannon Armstrong Capital, which Forsite said has invested $1 billion in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects over the past two years. Forsite and Pegasus are exploring creation of similar industrial parks elsewhere in the Southeast...Read More »



EPA Analysis Says Utility MACT Will Not Help Renewable Power

EPA has issued a draft regulatory impact analysis (RIA) for its proposed rule to cut air toxics from coal- and oil-fired utilities that predicts the rule will increase the use of natural gas but will not encourage growth in the renewable energy sector. EPA's March 16 proposed maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard for utilities would impose strict controls on mercury and acid gases. EPA's RIA released alongside the proposal predicts that total generation capacity for pulverized coal will decrease by roughly 10 gigawatts (GW) by 2015 as a result of the utility MACT, with total capacity for combined-cycle natural gas plants increasing from 272 GW in a base case to 280 GW as a result of the rule. As a result of the proposed rule, renewable energy resources including hydropower, biomass, solar, wind and others will not see significant growth, said the RIA. Moreover, it sees no change in the US generation mix in 2015, measured in GW hours, among various renewable sources. Some argue that advances in hydraulic fracturing have made natural gas cheaper and more cost competitive with renewables...Read More »



Huizenga's Company Makes another Play in Waste

Swisher Hygiene Inc. (Charlotte, NC) said its subsidiary Choice Environmental Services will acquire Lawson Sanitation LLC, a Miami-based solid waste services provider. Swisher agreed to pay up to $5.5 million in cash, assume certain liabilities and issue of up to nearly a million common shares of Swisher stock, subject to certain conditions and approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange. Lawson has been in business since 2003 and serves commercial and residential customers in South Florida with a range of waste and recycling services. Company founder John Lawson Jr., who will join Choice Environmental. "Today's announcement demonstrates our commitment to expand our platform of hygiene and sanitation services," said Steven R. Berrard, CEO of Swisher Hygiene. "John Lawson, Jr. is well regarded in the sanitation industry and we look forward to leveraging his drive and enthusiasm.

Swisher Hygiene's chairman is billionaire and industry pioneer H. Wayne Huizenga. He formed the company back in February by buying Choice Environmental Services Inc. in a deal valued at $92 million. Huizenga used the same industry consolidation model employed with Waste Management to make multi-billion dollar companies out of Blockbuster Video, Auto Nation, Extended Stay America and others. In 1994, he took a big position in Republic Waste (now Republic Services); helping it to grow into the number two $8 billion company it is today...Read More »



Advanced Disposal Buys Countywide Waste near Jacksonville

Advanced Disposal Services (Jacksonville, FL) has bought certain assets of Countywide Waste Disposal based in nearby MacClenny, FL. The purchase price was not disclosed but it brings with it 500 residential customers and 55 commercial customers, including contracts and containers. The company plans to service those customers from its hauling facility in Callahan. "Countywide Waste Disposal presented a great tuck-in opportunity to strengthen the density and efficiencies of our frontload and residential collection operations in Baker County," Advanced Disposal Regional Vice President Dave Lavender said in a release...Read More »



Waste Management Invests in Company that Converts Plastic into Oil

Expanding its portfolio of alternative technology bets, Waste Management Inc. (Houston, TX) has invested in Agilyx Corp. (Portland, OR), a company that coverts recycled waste plastic into synthetic crude oil. Agilyx, (pronounced AJ-il-ix) announced last week that it has secured $22 million in new funding from a group of new and existing investors led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and joined by new strategic investors, Waste Management and Total Energy Ventures International, an affiliate of oil and gas major Total S.A. Existing investors, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Saffron Hill Ventures, and Reference Capital also participated in the round. Agilyx operates what the company calls "the largest commercially operational waste plastic to synthetic crude oil facility in North America." "Waste Management wants to maximize the value of the materials it manages," said Tim Cesarek, managing director of organic growth at Waste Management. "Agilyx's technology complements Waste Management's advancement of thermal chemical conversion technology platforms and provides us with a viable option for processing contaminated and difficult to recycle waste plastics while creating a high value commodity," he said...Read More »



US Supreme Court Will Not Hear Eagle Mountain Landfill Case

The developers of the controversial Eagle Mountain Landfill east of Los Angeles hit another hurdle in their 20-year battle to win approval of the 4,654-acre project. This week the US Supreme Court declined to hear appeals brought by project developers Kaiser Ventures LLC and Mine Reclamation LLC. The companies had appealed a string of lower court decisions invalidating a land swap between Kaiser and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management necessary for the project, which would turn an abandoned iron mine 60 miles north of Indio into one of the largest landfills in the country. The land swap was first ruled invalid by a U.S. District Court in 2005, a decision upheld by the 9th District Court of Appeals in November 2009. Rick Stoddard, Kaiser's CEO, said he was disappointed with the court's decision, but his company is still working with federal officials to come up with a land swap that will pass judicial muster. "Since the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the BLM's determination that the public interest is well-served by the land exchange as required by law, it is just a matter of working with the BLM to identify the best path that may be implemented to fix the identified deficiencies," he said...Read More »



New Jersey Meadowlands Could Have Solar-Powered Landfill Cover

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission is exploring the application of a solar power generating geomembrane to cover the Meadowlands' Erie Landfill outside New York City. This week Carlisle Energy Services, maker of the Spectro PowerCap, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Commission to study the system that would include an integrated solar photovoltaic array with a capacity of about 1 MW. It would be similar to systems is expected to be placed at the Republic Services Hickory Ridge Landfill at Atlanta, GA and the Madison County's Landfill at Syracuse, NY. "We are gaining traction in the market acceptance of our exciting technology with landfill owners and state regulators. This potential marquee project at the New Jersey Meadowlands provides an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the unique value of our integrated solar landfill system to landfill owners and regulators in the state of New Jersey," said Arthur Mohr, Jr., Director of Carlisle Landfill Solutions atCarlisle Energy Services...Read More »



ReEnergy Holdings to Buy 22-MW Biomass Facility in NY

ReEnergy Holdings LLC (Albany, NY) has agreed to acquire the 22-megawatt Lyonsdale Biomass Facility in Lyons Falls, NY from Central Hudson Enterprises Corporation, a subsidiary of CH Energy Group, Inc. (Poughkeepsie, NY). The facility has operated since 1992 and is fueled with sustainably harvested wood. Terms of the deal expected to close in May were not disclosed. ReEnergy already operates a 31-megawatt tire-to-energy plant in Connecticut and recently announced plans to acquire the cogeneration plant at a Maine paper mill. It was formed in 2008 by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC (New York, NY)...Read More »



Waste Connections Sells $250 Million in Senior Notes

Waste Connections, Inc. (Folsom, CA) completed a $250 million sale of senior unsecured notes under its existing Master Note Purchase Agreement in a private placement with certain institutional accredited investors. Proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce borrowings under the company's revolving credit facility and for general corporate purposes, which may include acquisitions...Read More »



Republic Services to Report First Quarter on April 28

Republic Services said it will announce first quarter financial results during a company-hosted conference call at 5 pm (EDT) on Thursday, April 28...Read More »


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