Weekly News Bulletin: Apr. 17-23, 2012


WM CEO Steiner Explains Natural Gas Initiatives

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) CEO David Steiner spoke to CNBC's Jim Cramer about the company's natural gas initiatives. Currently, the company operates 1,400 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles but hopes to have all 30,000 of them run on CNG in the future.

Over the next five years, 90 percent of new vehicles purchased will run on CNG. With $1.99 per gallon of CNG compared to $4 per gallon diesel, the spread between the two is at historical highs. For Steiner, CNG makes economic sense. His CNG trucks generate virtually zero particulate matter, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and generate much less noise. That is good for the environment and especially important when operating in the big cities where pollution is linked to asthma and where reduced noise is an important benefit for trucks operating at night...Read More »



Environmental Industry Associations Names New CEO

The Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) has chosen Sharon H. Kneiss, a 30-year management and environmental industry veteran, to lead the association upon the retirement of the venerable Bruce Parker in June. While nobody will replace Parker, Kneiss is a proven leader and is bound to shakeup the all-boys club nature of the business. Kneiss recently served as vice president, products division with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) where she headed a 50 person staff and directed the division's strategy, promotion, advocacy and membership recruitment efforts. Prior to the ACC, Kneiss served in a management capacity at the American Forest & Paper Association, and policy advocacy roles at Chevron Corporation, Hercules Inc. and the American Petroleum Institute. The selection of Kneiss follows an extensive executive search of candidates to lead the trade association that represents the private-sector solid waste services industry and its two sub-associations, the National Solid Waste Management Association (NSWMA) and the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC). "We are pleased to announce that Sharon Kneiss will be leading the EIA effective June 1 and will bring significant insight and knowledge to our industry," said EIA Chairman Charlie Appleby...Read More »



Harvest Power Raises $110 Million; Plans to Expand

Harvest Power (Waltham, MA), a developer of technology for recycling organic waste materials into soils, fertilizer, energy, and engineered fuels, has raised an additional $110 million in financing. True North Venture Partners led the investment with American Refining and Biochemical Inc. Also participating in the round were existing investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DAG Ventures, and Generation Investment Management, among others. Waste Management (Houston, TX) is an investor in the company as part of its strategy to derive more value out of the wastes it collects. Harvest plans to use the funding to expand its operations to meet what it calls the growing demand for its sustainable and economical solutions for managing organic materials. Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as the placement agent...Read More »



Moody's Cuts Waste Industry Outlook to "Stable"

Rating agency Moody's Investors Service is slightly less optimistic about the waste industry having reduced its outlook from "positive" to "stable" in its latest analysis. "The slow economic improvement has failed to generate meaningful growth in waste volumes, and the pricing discipline maintained by waste operators during the recession is beginning to fade," said Moody's analyst Bruce Herskovics in a statement. "We're hearing that customers, particularly cash-strapped municipalities, are pushing back when contracts come up for renewal and we believe that operators are bidding more defensively to maintain accounts." Moody's said pricing concessions will lessen the impact of inflation-based escalators that appear in many waste hauling contracts and that C&D waste volumes are not likely to rebound this year. "However, industrial and commercial waste segments have shown firmer trends, aided by better industrial production and retail sales," Moody's added. Also dragging waste volumes are fuel prices and "a long-developing shift in consumer preference for recycling and re-use over landfill disposal."...Read More »



WM Opens 3.2 MW Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant in Nevada

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) has opened a 3.2 megawatt landfill gas-to-energy plant at its 4,500 ton-per-day Lockwood Landfill in northern Nevada. The project, which went online in March, will produce enough electricity to power more than 1,800 homes and offset the use of about 700 railcars' worth of coal. "The Gas-To-Energy Facility at the Lockwood Landfill ensures that not even garbage will go to waste," said Justin Caporusso, Waste Management spokesperson. "By investing in landfill gas-to-energy, we are powering homes using the same waste that is left at the curb." Waste Management already owns or operates 131 landfill gas-to-energy facilities across North America, producing enough electricity to power nearly 475,000 homes...Read More »



Casella Plans 7-Mile Landfill Gas Pipeline to Heat University

Casella Waste Systems Inc. (Rutland, VT) and its subsidiary EcoGas LLC has filed a petition with the Maine Public Utilities Commission to build and operate a seven-mile pipeline from the Juniper Ridge Landfill, which it operates, to the University of Maine in Orono. According to an article in the Bangor Daily News, methane gas from the landfill would be burned in UMaine's Steam Plant, where it would be used to run boilers and create heat for campus buildings. UMaine and Casella reached a deal in November 2011 after about three years of discussions. Earlier this month, Casella's plan to sell its unpopular Maine Energy Recovery Facility (MERC) to the City of Biddeford for $7.5 million and buy the Juniper Ridge Landfill from the state of Maine stalled when state lawmakers postponed sending a bill to committee that would have authorized the transaction...Read More »



Walmart on Track to End Landfill Waste by 2025; Misses other Goals

Wal-Mart said it is on track to meet most of its sustainability goals including its ambition to end landfill waste by 2025. Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke said in June that environmental sustainability is one of the company's top five priorities. However, the company said it is facing some headwinds including not selling as much energy-efficient consumer products as it had hoped and it did not reduce the level of phosphates in its laundry and dish detergents as much as originally planned. It has reduced landfill waste from 36 percent two years ago to just 20 percent of its waste going to landfills by the end of 2011. The company also said 22 percent of the electricity it used in its global operations during all of 2010 came from renewable sources, while 15 percent of all the energy it used came from renewables...Read More »



Veolia Deploys CNG Powered Fleet to Evansville, Ind.

Veolia ES Solid Waste, Inc. (Chicago, IL) is replacing its Evansville, Ind. fleet with 28 new compressed natural gas (CNG) powered refuse trucks. The new trucks, which cost about $350,000 apiece, were built by Autocar and Kenworth. The entire project, including an on-site compressor, comprises a $12 million investment which was helped by a $500,000 Clean Cities grant from the state of Indiana and supported by federal funds. Evansville was chosen for that reason and its natural gas infrastructure, which Vectren built for this project, and its relatively flat topography, among other factors. The fleet will service about 24,000 customers in the market which includes parts of Central Kentucky and Southern Illinois...Read More »



Clean Energy to Build CNG Station for Waste Pro in Florida

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Seal Beach, CA) is building a new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station for Waste Pro (Longwood, FL) in Fort Pierce, FL to support its new fleet of CNG-powered trucks there. The station will be one of many the company plans in support of its previously announced $100 million transition to CNG-powered vehicles. The Fort Pierce operation has been permitted and is expected to open in the third quarter of this year. "This move will reduce emissions in our operating footprint and potentially provide fueling stations for the cities and counties we serve," Waste Pro CEO John J. Jennings said...Read More »



Heritage-Crystal Clean to Offer 2.3 Million Shares of Stock

Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc. (Elgin, IL) plans sell 2.3 million shares of stock, proceeds of which will be used to reduce debt and for general corporate purposes, including expansion of its oil re-refining capacity. The company provides parts cleaning, used oil re-refining, and hazardous and non-hazardous waste services to customers in the manufacturing and automotive service sectors. In January the company began operating its $40 million oil re-refining plant in Indianapolis, IN, which is the second largest in the US with a capacity to process 50 million gallons per year of used oil feedstock into 30 million gallons of lubricating base oil.

The sole bookrunner for the offering is William Blair & Company, L.L.C. Company filings with the SEC indicate that the Company's founder, President and CEO Joseph Chalhoub has sold about 42,200 shares of stock in recent weeks worth about $904,000...Read More »



Waste Pro Plans Regional Single-Stream Recycling Facility in Ocala, FL

Waste Pro (Longwood, FL) is proposing to build a multi-million dollar regional materials recovery facility in Ocala, FL to support its single-stream recycling program there. Waste Pro's marketing director Brad Avery said the company is looking at possible sites that could accommodate a 30,000- to 40,000-square-foot facility. Waste Pro built a facility about that size in the Sarasota / Bradenton market. "The company would like to start breaking ground in the next 30 to 60 days," Avery said about a facility in Ocala...Read More »



Kootenai County, ID Opens 1.8 MW Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant

A new landfill gas-to-energy project is operating at the Fighting Creek Landfill outside of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho which is owned by Kootenai County. The $7 million project, financed by low interest Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, will ultimately provide about 1.8 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 1,800 area homes. It was developed in partnership with Kootenai County and Kootenai Electric Cooperative which will buy the electricity under a 20-year power purchase agreement...Read More »


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