Weekly News Bulletin: Apr. 26-May 2, 2011


Waste Connections Reports Big Gains on Pricing and Cost Controls

Waste Connections, Inc. (Folsom, CA) posted robust first quarter financial results. Net income rose to $36.5 million, or $0.32 per share, from $27.6 million, or $0.23 per share, in the year-ago period. The profit would have been about 36 cents per share if not for one-time items. Revenue for the quarter rose 7.8 percent to $331.5 million. "Core pricing, record recycling, commodity values and tight cost controls drove continuing strong results in the quarter. We once again exceeded the upper end of our expectations," said Ronald J. Mittelstaedt, chairman and CEO. The company took advantage of its strong performance in repurchasing about $20.6 million of common stock during the quarter...Read More »



Covanta Revenue Modestly Higher, Outlook Stable

Covanta Holding Corp. (Morristown, NJ) posted improved first quarter earnings and revenue that was helped by growth in construction revenues, rising prices paid for materials it recycles, and the full-quarter operation of the Dade waste-to-energy facility. Net income for the quarter rose to $133 million, or $0.91 per share, from a loss of $7 million, or ($0.05) per share, in the same period last year. Excluding special items however, the company posted an adjusted net loss of $0.10 per share that narrowed slightly from an adjusted net loss of $0.11 per share a year earlier. Nonetheless, the company still backs its outlook of 40-55 cents for the year, up from 42 cents posted for the previous year. Revenue rose 2% to $377 million. The company got about $225 million from the sale of its interests in India and the Philippines...Read More »



Geoplasma Waste-to-Energy Plant in Florida Could Break Ground This Year

Atlanta, GA-based Geoplasma said it hopes to break ground on a plasma waste gasification plant planned for St. Lucie County, FL later this year. Construction of the $120 million facility would take about 18 months to complete and begin once the company secures a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a utility. In its current incarnation, the facility would convert 600 tons of waste per day into 43 megawatts of electricity of which it would cannibalize 24 MW for its own use and sell the remaining 19 MW, enough to power more than 14,000 homes. The original proposal in 2007 to build a 3,000 ton per day facility was scaled back after the economic downturn. With permits for the facility from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in hand, the company received county approval in November for $135 million in industrial development revenue bonds...Read More »



Badger Daylighting Shareholders Reject Clean Harbors' Offer

Clean Harbors Inc (Norwell, MA) said its C$222 million ($232.6 million) offer to buy Canada's Badger Daylighting was rejected by Badger's shareholders. The deal needed approval by at least two-thirds of its shareholders in order to proceed. Lately, Clean Harbors has been looking to diversify beyond its traditional waste management services business into energy services and specialized remediation. Badger has 82 operating centers throughout Canada and the US and operates a fleet of hydrovac units, which use water and vacuum technology to blast through dirt and rocks to dig trenches. Alan S. McKim, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Clean Harbors, said, "We are disappointed in the outcome of the vote, as we proposed what we considered a fair and equitable offer to acquire Badger." Earlier this month, Clean Harbors said it was buying Peak Energy Services Ltd. (Calgary, AB), an energy services company that also engages in wastewater treatment, for C$196 million ($203 million)...Read More »



Michigan Senator Proposes $500 Fee on Canadian Waste Imports

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is back on the hunt to curb the flow of Canadian waste across the border. This week she introduced legislation called the "Stop Canadian Trash Act," which proposes charging a $500 fee for every truck hauling waste into the U.S. that ostensibly would cover the cost of inspections by Homeland Security. She and others have argued that Michigan receives more than its share of waste because it is cheap relative to other states in the region, never mind its proximity to the large Toronto, ON market. Granted, Michigan charges 21 cents per ton compared to Illinois which charges $2.22 per ton, Iowa's fee ranges from $3.25 to $4.75 and Wisconsin charges nearly $13 per ton. More than 46 million cubic yards of waste were deposited in Michigan landfills in 2010, with nearly 8.8 million cubic yards from Canada, according to a report from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. That number is down from 9 million yards in 2009 and 10.7 million yards in 2008 in part due to the economic downturn but also due to a deal Sen. Stabenow and fellow Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) brokered in 2006 with officials in Ontario to voluntarily reduce waste exports to Michigan.

Sen. Stabenow now argues that it is an issue of national security and points out that only 1 percent of international waste trucks are screened for radiation. The new law would require all trucks be inspected and impose a $10,000 penalty each time an importer failed to provide to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection information relating to the volume and contents of each truck...Read More »



Republic Services' BFI Unit Offers to Buy Back $454.5 Million in Debt

Republic Services Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) announced that its Browning-Ferris Industries subsidiary is offering to repurchase any and all of its $360 million in debentures due in 2035 that have a 7.4% coupon. The company is also offering to buy back $94.5 million in debentures due in 2021, with a 9.25% coupon, according to a company statement that did not disclose how the deal would be financed. The move follows a recent ratings upgrade by Moody's Investors Service which raised its outlook on Republic as well as rival Waste Management Inc. to positive from stable, saying the companies should benefit from the expanding U.S. economy. Moody's said Republic would likely continue to pay down debt as cash flow improves and that acquisition spending might also increase now that the integration of Allied Waste Industries, acquired in late 2008, has advanced. Moody's said any possible deals would likely be modest and focused on lower-risk areas, such as boosting collection route density...Read More »



Waste Management to Promote SmartSponge for Cleaning Stormwater

Waste Management said it has become the exclusive distributor for AbTech Industries' SmartSponge technology that can clean stormwater runoff and other spills. The new product uses a patented sponge-like material with polymers to filter, absorb and solidify petroleum hydrocarbons and removes other pollutants, including coliform bacteria found in runoff from roads and other paved surfaces during wet weather, cleaning or through direct spills. It has been approved by the EPA and once used, can be burned as alternative fuel in a waste-to-energy plant or buried in a landfill. "Our customers will see enhanced compliance with water quality regulations through improved stormwater quality," said Paul Pistono, vice president of WM's Public Sector Solutions. "Stormwater pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems in the U.S., according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We can now offer our city and municipal customers a new technology that will help them keep their communities cleaner."...Read More »



EQT Infrastructure Fund Buys US-Based Restaurant Technologies

Private equity firm EQT Partners said its infrastructure fund has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares in U.S.-based cooking oil management services firm Restaurant Technologies Inc. (RTI) from Parthenon Capital Partners and ABS Capital Partners. The transaction will be financed with a combination of equity and debt, although specific terms of the deal were not disclosed. RTI, which had sales of $250 million in the last year, operates a network of 36 depots and specialized rolling stock to provide oil management services to more than 17,000 customers under long-term contracts in 75% of the major metropolitan areas of the US. EQT has also invested in Netherlands-based cooking oil storage and transportation company Koole and the Denmark-based waste-to-energy company Kommunekemi...Read More »



KBR Awarded Contract by KiOR for Biomass-to-Oil Plant in MS

KBR (Houston, TX) announced being awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract by KiOR, Inc. to build a first-of-its-kind biomass-to-renewable oil facility in Columbus, MS. The facility is designed to process approximately 500 tons per day of wood biomass and produce over 11 million gallons of fuel per year. "KBR is proud to collaborate with KiOR on this first-of-its kind renewable crude oil project in North America," said John Quinn, President, KBR Downstream. The KiOR project comes fresh on the heals of winning part of a $688 contract with Florida's Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority to provide engineering and construction services for the county's waste-to-energy facility. KBR is a global engineering, construction and services company supporting the energy, hydrocarbon, government services, minerals, civil infrastructure, power and industrial markets...Read More »



Perma-Fix Completes Rail Line from Hanford to its Richland, WA Facility

Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (Atlanta, GA) said it has completed a new rail line connecting the Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford nuclear site with Perma-Fix's Northwest Richland (PFNW) facility in Richland, WA. Perma-Fix now derives most of its revenue from its nuclear division, in which it processes and disposes of radioactive waste from hospitals, research labs, utilities and government installations including the site at Hanford. Dr. Louis F. Centofanti, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We expect the new rail line will help reduce the amount of waste on public roads and provide for a much faster and safer means of transporting waste directly to our facility . . . [it] will enable us to handle larger volumes of high activity waste."...Read More »



Clean Harbors to Release First-Quarter Results on May 4

Clean Harbors, Inc. (Norwell, MA) plans to announce first quarter financial results during a conference call it will host at 9 am (EDT) on Wednesday, May 4...Read More »


Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin