Weekly News Bulletin: Dec. 28, 2011-Jan. 3, 2012


Macquarie Infrastructure Buys WCA Waste for $526 million

WCA Waste Corp. (Houston, TX) is being acquired by investment fund Macquarie Infrastructure Partners II in a deal valued at $526 million. Macquarie agreed to pay $6.50 for each WCA share, representing a 30 percent premium to its recent market price. WCA said its board unanimously approved the deal which will close in the first quarter of 2012 and be financed through a combination of shareholder capital from the fund and new underwritten credit facilities. WCA's operations consist of 25 landfills, 29 transfer stations and 29 collection operations. The company services customers in 14 states in the Southeast and Midwest.

The funds managed by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners have ownership interests in a range of businesses, including waste services, toll roads, bridges, utilities and telecommunications infrastructure. Macquarie, which is involved in a number of landfill gas-to-energy projects, also helped Waste Industries USA, Inc. (Raleigh, NC) go private in May 2008 in a deal then valued at $544 million. WCA's common stock will cease trading on the Nasdaq once the deal is completed...Read More »



City of Dallas Defends its Waste Flow Control Law

The City of Dallas is defending its right to impose flow control to require all waste generated in the city be taken to the city's transfer station or its landfill. Last month, an industry group filed a suit in District court challenging the city's flow control ordinance passed in September. The court has since stayed the ordinance pending a hearing on January 12. In response to the lawsuit brought by the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services, Inc. and others, the City of Dallas filed its own response asserting its right to pass the law and counter the plaintiffs' argument that the law violates existing franchise agreements.

"In terms of explicit language, the franchise agreement does not grant any absolute right for the franchisee to select that location," the city said in its response. "Contrary to Plaintiffs' contentions, there is no constitutional right to operate a landfill. This lawsuit is Plaintiffs' attempt to accomplish through litigation what they failed to accomplish through the political process."...Read More »



New Coalition Pushes for E-Waste Legislation; Breaking from ISRI

A new coalition of industry groups and activists is getting stronger with new members driving for legislation that would strengthen EPA's authority to regulate electronic waste (e-waste).
The Coalition for American Electronics Recycling (CAER) recently announced Sims Recycling Solutions, the largest e-waste recycler in the world, has joined the group, which could signal a break in the ranks with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), which opposes the legislation. Many e-waste recyclers have long complained of a patchwork of state regulations that makes it difficult to operate their business, but more recently they are complaining about getting undercut by competitors with unscrupulous scrapping practices who send their e-waste overseas to developing countries. "The addition of these industry leaders reflects growing consensus that [the legislation] is good for business and will create much-needed jobs and enhance sustainability," says John Shegerian, president of Electronic Recyclers International in a CAER press release. "Our members are committed to growing an American industry with the capacity to manage e-waste generated within our borders and the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs in every part of the country."...Read More »



Swisher Hygiene Buys another Waste Company in Florida

Swisher Hygiene, Inc. (Charlotte, NC), which specializes in industrial hygiene but also owns a Florida-based solid waste company Choice Environmental, is buying a small hauler in Pompano Beach, FL for $1.1 million. The company, FSR Transporting & Crane Services Inc., provides solid waste management and recycling services to the South Florida region. "The acquisition of FSR's solid waste business further strengthens our competitive footprint and our ongoing execution in south Florida," said Glenn Miller, CEO at Swisher Hygiene's solid waste subsidiary Choice Environmental Services...Read More »



ABC Disposal Buys Waste Assets on Cape Cod Once Owned by Casella

New Bedford, Mass.-based ABC Disposal Service recently acquired the commercial waste business of United Waste Management including two material recovery transfer stations in Wareham and East Sandwich. United Waste, in turn, had bought the assets in July 2010 from Casella Waste Systems for $7.8 million. ABC Disposal and its sister company New Bedford Waste Services, is a 44-year-old family owned enterprise with operations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island that serves 15,000 commercial, and more than 45,000 residential customers. "Combining the capabilities of these transfer stations with our current 1,500-ton-per-day limit allows New Bedford Waste Services to efficiently manage as many as 3,015 tons of materials each day," said Vice President and General Manager Michael Camara, "These two facilities improve our ability to process a larger percentage of materials which can then be recycled and reused."...Read More »



Ohio EPA Proposes Stricter Regulation of C&D Landfills, Especially Leachate

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OhioEPA) is proposing new rules that would for the first-time, require operators of construction and demolition debris (C&D) landfills to monitor landfill liquids, known as leachate. Such landfills previously have been exempt from leachate monitoring requirements, as is the case in most other states. OhioEPA says that the proposed rule changes were informed by a recent study that concluded that groundwater could be threatened by leachate from C&D landfills and a 2005 directive from the state's General Assembly that required OhioEPA to revise its regulations of C&D landfills. The proposed rule is expected to affect 55 C&D landfills across the state. Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills, most of which also accept C&D materials, are already required to monitor as well as manage their leachate. The proposed rule would also modify post-closure care and financial assurances. The post-closure care period could be extended if a problem were found...Read More »



ReCommunity Reopens Detroit Facility as Single-Stream

ReCommunity Recycling said it reopened its Southfield, MI facility, serving metro Detroit, as a single-stream, capable of processing 100,000 tons of comingled recyclables per year. The multi-million dollar upgraded facility is housed in a 52,000 square-foot facility and will employ more than 65 people once fully operational next month. "We are pleased to bring the Recovery Revolution to Metro Detroit with this new single-stream recycling facility," said James Bohlig, chief executive officer of ReCommunity.

ReCommunity was formed in March 2011 by investment firms Pegasus Capital Advisors LP and Intersection LLC which purchased the non-core recycling assets spun-off by Casella Waste Systems (Rutland, VT) in a $134 million deal. In November, the company purchased two other single-stream recycling facilities in Michigan previously owned by Great Lakes Recycling...Read More »



Green for Life Expands in Southern Ontario, Buys Turtle Island Recycling

Green for Life (GFL) Environmental Corp. (Toronto, ON) has bought Turtle Island Recycling (TIR) Corp. Turtle Island Recycling operates a large transfer and recycling facility in Kingsville, ON, about 30 miles southeast of Detroit, MI. GFL now boasts having 10 transfer and Recycling stations, a soil remediation facility, 3 liquid waste storage and treatment facilities capable of processing 2 million tonnes of soil, solid waste and recyclables each year. GFL employs more than 1,000 people and services more than 10,000 commercial customers and one million households, across Ontario and Canada. GFL's President, Founder, and CEO, Patrick Dovigi says, "This deal doesn't just mean we're now Southern Ontario's largest waste management company - it also means we can offer our customers more services in more locations than ever before."...Read More »



DTE Biomass to Invest $20 Million In Gas-to-Energy Project at Potrero Hills Landfill in CA

DTE Biomass Energy Inc. plans to invest $20 million to develop a 9.6 megawatt landfill gas-to-energy facility at Waste Connections' Potrero Hills Landfill in Suisun City, CA. Electricity generated from the project will be enough to power about 6,000 homes. DTE plans to sell that power to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) under a long-term power purchase agreement...Read More »



Coskata Files Registration Statement for $100 Million IPO

Coskata Inc. (Warrenville, IL), which has developed a waste-to-ethanol facility in Madison, PA, plans to raise capital in an initial public offering of its stock of up to $100 million. Coskata employs plasma gasification to convert a range of carbonaceous feedstocks such as wood waste, agricultural residues and municipal solid wastes into a synthesis gas (syngas) which it then converts to ethanol via a fermentation process. According to its S-1 statement, Coskata has identified Boligee, AL as the site for its first commercial cellulosic ethanol production facility, referred to as "Flagship", which will be capable of producing 78 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol using wood wastes as feedstock...Read More »



Company to Build Waste Carpet-to-Oil Plant in Georgia

Dalton, GA, known as the "Carpet Capital of the World," will soon be home to a waste-to-oil facility that will employ plastic from old carpets for recovery into high-grade synthetic crude oil. The Dalton-Whitfield Joint Development Authority has approved a resolution to issue $13 million in revenue bonds for Acworth-based Clean Energy Conversions which will build its facility at the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority landfill. Work on the 15-20 thousand square-foot facility is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2012 with operations beginning in early 2013. Brett Kencairn, president of Colorado-based Community Energy Systems, said placing the facility in Dalton makes sense because of the carpet industry and the waste it produces. Community Energy Systems owns Clean Energy Conversions...Read More »



Cell Phone Recycler Secures $35 Million from Kleiner Perkins

eRecycling Corps (Irving, TX), which partners with wireless carriers and retailers to recycle old cell phones, has raised $35 million in capital from investors led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. eRecycling was co-founded by former CEO of RadioShack, David Edmondson, and Ron LeMay, former CEO of Sprint PCS and current Managing Director of OpenAir Equity Partners. ERC's solution integrates with the point-of-sale systems at carrier retail stores, where 60 percent of all U.S. wireless devices are sold. The company has grown to completing more than 2.5 million device trades annually since its inception in 2009. According to the EPA, 130 million wireless devices are retired each year in the U.S. alone, but only 10 percent are recycled. Research indicates that 58 percent of customers are most interested in receiving an instant credit and 68 percent of those want to trade-in their wireless device at a carrier store...Read More »



Waste-to-Oil Developer Agilyx Corp. Raises $25 Million in New Financing

Agilyx Corporation (Portland, OR), which has developed a technology to convert difficult to recycle waste plastic into synthetic crude oil, has secured a new round of funding worth $25 million, spearheaded by new lead investor Keating Capital and joined by existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Waste Management, Saffron Hill Ventures, Total Energy Ventures International, an affiliate of Total S.A., Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and Reference Capital. Earlier in the year, Agilyx secured a $22 Million Series B Round to accelerate growth and expand business operations. Agilyx operates what the company calls "the largest commercially operational waste plastic to synthetic crude oil facility in North America."...Read More »



Progressive Waste Expands Share Repurchase Program

Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. (Toronto, ON) said it received approval to expand its share repurchase program by 3.5 million shares to 7.5 million shares, representing about 6.3% of the total public float. The repurchase program allows the company management to buy back company shares at its discretion to enhance shareholder value. As of Dec. 21, the company had bought back about 2.59 million shares under the program at a cost of $54.2 million.

"An ongoing stock repurchase program is a key element of our long-term plan to deliver a balanced return to shareholders," said Joe Quarin, chief operating officer, in a statement. Quarin becomes CEO at the first of the year with the retirement of CEO Keith Carrigan.

Progressive also repurchased a million shares previously held by TC Carting LLC earlier this year. The total cost of the 3.5 million shares repurchased in 2011 was $76.9 million. The company had about 118.4 million common shares outstanding as of Dec. 16...Read More »



Waste Management Building 22 MW Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant in Michigan

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) is developing a second landfill gas-to-energy plant at its Pine Tree Acres in Macomb County Michigan. Once operational in January, the two plants will produce 22 megawatts of electricity; making them one of the largest such projects in the region. DTE Biomass Energy, a subsidiary of DTE, built and will operate the plant. DTE has 25 landfill gas-to-energy plants in the country, two of which are also in Michigan. Earlier this month, DTE began operating a new 3.2-megawatt landfill gas-to-energy plant at the Smith's Creek landfill owned by St. Clair County. Waste Management has 141 landfill gas projects, including nine in Michigan. The EPA lists 558 operating landfill gas-to-energy projects around the country which collectively produce 1,727 megawatts of power...Read More »


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