Weekly News Bulletin: Aug. 16-22, 2011


Activists Urge Court to Force EPA to Implement Boiler MACT

Environmental groups including the Sierra Club are urging a federal district court to grant summary judgment to vacate EPA's stay of its air rules for boilers and incinerators which could force the EPA to implement them despite a stay on the lawsuits issued by a federal appeals court. EPA earlier this year used Administrative Procedure Act (APA) authority to delay implementation of the air rules until it completes a rare self-initiated review of the regulations. The agency said it needed more time to address industry and other critics' concerns about major flaws in the rules that make them unachievable, among other problems. The appeals court in an Aug. 3 order put on hold, or in abeyance, the various consolidated lawsuits over the agency's boiler maximum achievable control technology (MACT) air toxics rule until EPA completes its reconsideration. As a result, Sierra Club recently filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging EPA's stay, saying it exceeds the agency's authority under APA and the Clean Air Act. If the district court agrees, EPA would be forced to implement the rules even as it reconsiders them...Read More »



Republic Services Authorizes $750 Million Share Repurchase

Republic Services, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) said that its board has authorized the repurchase of up to $750 million of the company's stock, a move that comes on the heels of its previous $400 million repurchase program adopted in November 2010. "Republic is maintaining its long-term objectives of cash returns to stockholders, a strong capital structure and investment grade ratings," said Chief Executive Donald W. Slager. He said "Republic will continue to utilize the stock repurchase program as an effective way to increase long-term value for our stockholders." At current prices, the company is authorized to buy about 7.4% of its outstanding shares. The company plans to use cash on hand, cash flow from operations and proceeds from borrowings, if necessary, to fund the repurchases...Read More »



Waste Management Elects Former Best Buy CEO to its Board

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) announced that Bradbury H. Anderson, formerly Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Best Buy Co. Inc., has joined its Board of Directors. Anderson served as CEO of the electronics retailer from 2002 until his retirement in 2009. His appointment brings to nine the number of directors, eight of whom are independent, the company said. "Brad led Best Buy through a highly successful customer segmentation transformation during a time of significant change in the electronics retail business," CEO David P. Steiner said in a statement. "We believe that his experience in customer focus and segmenting will provide invaluable perspective and guidance to both our board and our management team."...Read More »



DOE Panel Casts Doubt on Fracking's Groundwater Risks

An Energy Department (DOE) advisory panel has developed recommendations for mitigating environmental and safety risks associated with hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in shale gas development. Absent from the report by the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) is an indication that the practice's injection process poses significant risks to groundwater, which could argue against EPA regulation under the drinking water law.

Fracking refers to the process of injecting water, sand and chemicals into horizontal wells to free trapped reserves of natural gas and oil found in deep underground shale formations. The issue has gained greater attention as the practice has moved into more populated states like Pennsylvania and because Congress largely exempted the practice from EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulation. Industry argues that it has been practiced safely for more than 60 years.

But environmentalists are seeking to restore EPA's authority, arguing that the technological advances that have allowed the tapping of previously unattainable supplies also require unprecedented quantities of harmful injection fluid and the horizontal drilling techniques endanger groundwater...Read More »



Progressive Waste to Buy Louisiana Recycling Company

Progressive Waste Solutions, Ltd. (Toronto, ON) is buying a Louisiana-based recycling company called The Recycling Foundation Inc. that has operations in Baton Rouge and Lafayette. The Recycling Foundation, founded in the early 1990s by the Cheatham family, developed a 5,000 ton per month single-stream recycling facility in Baton Rouge which was the first material recovery facility in the state. The company serves more than 500 businesses and has curbside recycling contracts for East Baton Rough Parish, Lafayette, Zachary, Youngsville and Carencro. "This acquisition will enhance our efforts to bring our recycling services throughout Louisiana. We have been at the forefront of recycling in other parts of the country and we intend to tap into our knowledge and expertise to increase recycling here in Louisiana," said Phil Smith, Region Vice President of IESI...Read More »



Industry Group Urges City of Dallas Not to Use Flow Control

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) is proposing an alternative to the City of Dallas' plan to impose flow control that would direct all waste to the city's giant McCommas Bluff Landfill. NSWMA argues that "flow control would prevent commercial waste in Dallas from being equitably distributed and disposed of near the areas where it is created and in the most cost efficient manner possible," said Tom Brown, president of the association's Texas Chapter. The city's flow control proposal aims to mandate 900,000 tons of additional commercial waste be delivered to its landfill in order to fund development of its Southern region, enhance its operations and increase its production of methane gas powering its gas-to-energy project. NSWMA says this would create inefficiencies by directing waste away from a dozen or so area landfills that could be closer, and in turn, increases truck traffic, fuel use, pollution, etc...Read More »



Study Says Food Waste in the Dispose-All better than Landfill

A new study finds that putting food waste through an in-sink dispose-all is more eco-friendly than sending it to landfills. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study was commissioned by InSinkErator, a division of Emerson Electric, which not surprisingly makes in-sink food waste disposers. It examined four important systems that are used for the disposal of food waste that include advanced commercial composting, incineration, landfills and wastewater treatment and found that waste food disposed in landfills has the potential of contributing to global warming twice as much as disposing the food utilizing an in-sink disposer connected to wastewater management facilities. The study also pointed out the possibilities of generating renewable power from wastewater treatment plants equipped with anaerobic digesters to generate electricity from crushed food waste and the benefits of using biosolids of such facilities to make fertilizers...Read More »



Casella to Pay $1 Million Fine for Violating 2002 Vermont Deal

Casella Waste Systems (Rutland, VT) said it accidentally failed to comply with a 2002 agreement with the Vermont attorney general and agreed to pay a $1 million penalty. "These inconsistencies were isolated, and are the result of an honest mistake," said Chairman and Chief Executive John W. Casella. "No customer suffered any harm at any time. We corrected the error, and notified those affected customers." The company said it failed to comply with a deal governing "certain language and terms and conditions" in small commercial-container service agreements years after the agreement was made. When it learned of the discrepancy, it corrected the error and notified customers, Casella said...Read More »



Al-jon Introduces Mammoth 64-Ton Landfill Compactor

Al-jon Manufacturing, LLC (Ottumwa, IA) has introduced what it hails as the industry's largest landfill compactor weighing in at 127,500 pounds (64 tons). The LC960-4 replaces the company's flagship Advantage 600 and adds a number of improvements. These include improved "production and uptime, better landfill compaction, lower fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs, more precise operator control, more push power and better safety than any previous compactor in the market." It also employs a Tier IV power system designed with an environmentally friendly engine that meets or exceeds federal guidelines for industrial engine emissions. In addition to compactors, Al-jon manufactures crushers, balers and recycling systems for the waste and scrap recycling industries...Read More »



Clean Energy Fuels and Covanta Essex to Build CNG Fueling Station

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Seal Beach, CA) and Covanta Energy (Morristown, NJ) announced plans to build a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station at Covanta's Essex County Resource Recovery Facility in New Jersey. It will provide fuel for natural gas-powered waste trucks using the facility. Construction is expected to start in the third quarter. Clean Energy Fuels said the project is part of a larger grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy using funding provided by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The project also received a grant from the New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition, a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization promoting the development and use of alternative fuels...Read More »



Swisher Hygiene 2Q Revenue Triples on Acquisitions

Swisher Hygiene (Charlotte, NC), a commercial cleaning venture led by entrepreneurs H. Wayne Huizenga and Steve Berrard, reported a second quarter surge in revenue, largely the result of recent acquisitions, the cost of which led to a larger net loss. Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 increased to $51.7 million compared with $15.2 million for the same period in 2010. The advance was due to 27 acquisitions, including 23 chemical, linen and waste companies and four franchises completed since March 31. Service revenue rose primarily due to the acquisition of Choice Environmental Services in Fort Lauderdale, the company said. However, the cost to integrate those operations caused an increase in the net loss for the quarter to $7.13 million from $1.77 million for the same period a year ago. On a positive note, CEO Steven R. Berrard said "We were very pleased to report $3 million in positive Adjusted EBITDA, which is further evidence that we are moving in the right direction toward profitability." He continued, "In July, we completed our transition to a regional operating structure with the acquisition of Sanolite Corporation. The new structure allows for more efficient distribution of products in each region, thereby lowering product costs and providing for better customer service."...Read More »



Wastecon to Showcase Waste Conversion Technologies

Next week's Wastecon, hosted by the Solid Waste Management Association of North America (SWANA) will feature its inaugural Waste Conversion Technologies (WCT) Showcase to focus on newly emerging technologies for recovering energy or products from solid waste, including gasification, pyrolysis, plasma arc and anaerobic digestion technologies. Kicking it off will be a keynote address by Jonathan Silver, Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office. The showcase is intended to help the public sector solid waste manager to better understand how to assess, purchase and implement the technologies, including siting and engaging the community. The showcase will include a WCT pavilion within Wastecon and feature a separate track of technical sessions to focus on WCT technologies and their associated planning and implementation issues...Read More »



Medical Waste Company Daniels Sharpsmart to Build Facility in Wisconsin

Daniels Sharpsmart, an Australian company that pioneered disposal techniques for hypodermic needles and bills itself as the world's largest provider of reusable systems for sharps disposal, is opening a new 22,089-square-foot facility in Sturtevant, WI. "By having a facility in Sturtevant, Wis., we'll be able to better serve our clients in the Midwest region and to continue our growth to meet regional market demands," said David Skinner, Vice President of Daniels. The facility will employ about 25 people initially which will grow to 50 once it reaches full capacity...Read More »



Perma-Fix Sells Two Industrial Waste Facilities

Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (Atlanta, GA) said it completed the sale of one industrial waste facility and struck a deal to sell another, moving it closer to divesting all of its industrial waste operations. The company said it completed the sale of Perma-Fix of Ft. Lauderdale, Inc. for $5.5 million and signed a definitive agreement to sell its Orlando, Florida facility for $2 million. Last fall the company's board authorized the divestiture of its three remaining industrial waste operations. That leaves only Perma-Fix of South Georgia Inc. in Valdosta, GA as its last industrial facility as the company transitions into the more lucrative nuclear waste services segment. "We believe that our strategy to sell the industrial facilities and focus on nuclear services will be successful. We are generating very strong cash flow from our nuclear operations, which has enabled us to reduce debt and strengthen the balance sheet," CEO Louis F. Centofanti said in a statement...Read More »



WM Unveils 6.4 MW Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project in Ohio

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) has opened a new landfill gas-to-energy plant at its South Suburban Landfill in Glenford, Ohio. The 6.4 megawatt plant, housed in a 9,400-square-foot facility will supply power to about 4,000 homes and business served by South Central Power co-op and American Electric Power which will buy its power. It will draw gas from 70 collection wells distributed over the 1,600 tons-of-waste-per-day landfill. The Suburban Landfill plant is the company's first gas-to-electric facility in Ohio and fifth renewable energy plant in the state. Waste Management owns or operates more than 130 landfill gas-to-energy facilities in North America and plans on having more than 160 in operation by 2012. The company has a longer term goal of providing renewable energy to 2 million homes by 2020...Read More »



Oneida-Herkimer Waste Authority Breaks Ground on Landfill Gas Project

The Oneida County Herkimer Solid Waste Authority said it is breaking ground on a landfill gas-to-energy project at its regional landfill that is expected to be online in early 2012. Once complete, the facility is expected to create roughly 12,650 megawatt hours per year, or enough renewable energy to power more than 1,800 homes. Over the next 20 years the facility can be expanded to generate enough renewable energy to power 8,500 homes. The project is a partnership between OHSWA and Waste Management, which currently operates 130 reuse landfill gas projects...Read More »



Avalon Holdings Reports Improved 2Q Profit

Avalon Holdings Corp. (Warren, OH) reported improved second quarter profit on slightly lower revenue. The waste services golf club management company said net income for the quarter rose to $77,000, or $.02 per share compared with a net loss of $12,000, or $.01 per share for the second quarter of the 2010. Net operating revenues declined to $11.4 million compared with $12.1 million in the second quarter of 2010...Read More »



Casella to Report Fiscal First Quarter Results on August 29

Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (Rutland, VT) plans to release its fiscal first quarter financial results on Monday, August 29. The company will host a conference call the following day at 10 a.m. (EDT) to discuss the results and answer investor questions...Read More »


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