False reports in the media about the sale of Veolia's US waste business led its CEO Richard Burke to issue a statement denying that a bidder had been chosen to acquire his company. "The information shared by our Chairman Antoine Frérot during today's annual shareholder meeting was only confirming the communications we released previously regarding Veolia's solid waste asset divestment program in the United States. Specifically, as part of the process being run by our investment bankers, Veolia has received several non-binding offers for its Solid Waste business in the United States. The process is ongoing with plans to select a buyer by summer 2012," he said in a statement. A statement at the parent company's shareholder meeting by Chief Financial Officer Pierre Francois Riolacci reiterating the expected sale of the UK water and US waste businesses in July was taken by some to mean that the company had already chosen a buyer...Read More »
EPA Region 6 Admininstrator Al Armendariz was forced to resign amid fury over a speech in which he likened the agency's enforcement efforts to Roman conquests where they would "crucify" victims to set an example to others. The comments surfaced in a video circulated by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) who along with others in the Republican party have been widely critical of what he sees as predatory behavior of an agency that is overstepping its authority. Michael Burgess (R-TX) was among those calling for Armendariz to quit, saying the 2010 speech "reflects his immature and threatening attitude toward those who drill for America's oil and gas independence. Inhofe said the resignation was "only right" given Armendariz's remarks, "but his resignation in no way solves the problem of President Obama and his EPA's crucifixion philosophy. In his letter to Administrator Jackson, Armendariz again pointed to his 'poor choice of words' as the reason for his resignation -- but Armendariz was just being honest: his choice of words revealed the truth about the war that EPA has been waging on American energy producers under President Obama."...Read More »
A young New York company is proposing to develop a waste-to-energy project in West Virginia. The company, called Cocurrent BioEnergy, wants to build a 300 ton-per-day facility near Charleston that would produce 10 to 15 megawatts of electricity and cost about $30 million. The company uses what it calls a two-stage, moderate-temperature gasification process that captures 90 percent of the energy value of the waste with very little emissions. Moreover, the company says that the transformation process itself is unaffected by moisture, dirt, rocks, combustibles, metal or glass; creates no slag, dross or clinkers; and requires no sorting, shredding or preprocessing of the waste. It can take a variety of feedstocks including municipal solid waste, demolition, industrial, medical, yard and agricultural wastes, among others. The gasification process reduces the feedstocks 98 percent by volume and transforms them into syngas and a small amount of sterile bottom ash that can be recycled in cement or asphalt. Company spokesman Rick Clay said the company is looking to site one or two facilities in West Virginia. "This is going to be a game-changer across the country," he predicts. "We're in negotiations to take this international." He said the company is backed by private equity and is not seeking public money other than tax-breaks afforded to renewable energy projects...Read More »
Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) has begun constructing a 4.8 megawatt landfill gas-to-energy project at its Mahoning Landfill in New Springfield, OH. Once completed by the end of the year, it will produce enough electricity to power 3,500 homes. Waste Management owns or operates over 130 landfill gas-to-energy facilities in North America which collectively create enough energy to power 1.1 million homes. The company hopes to double that amount by 2020...Read More »
Will Flower, the venerable and knowledgeable face of Republic Services (Phoenix, AZ) is leaving the company where he spent many years as head of its corporate communications. He says he is not retiring but rather taking some time to enjoy the finer things in life including family, friends and volunteering with the American Red Cross and Keep America Beautiful. His replacement is Susan David, who has been with Republic since 2009 serving as Director of Corporate Communications, and before that as director of public affairs for the non-profit Trust for Public Land.
Flower joined Republic in 2000 and within a year became its chief communications officer. He came there from Waste Management where he worked on a variety of community, media and communication issues in the Midwest states...Read More »
Seven bald eagles living near Eagle River, WI were found nearly comatose after eating euthanized cats that were illegally dumped in the Vilas County landfill near there. The Wausau Daily Herald reported that federal prosecutors with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Wisconsin DNR traced the animals back to the county Humane Society. All seven birds have been nursed back to health and released, an eighth was found dead at the landfill. The story is emblematic of the rising risk of pharmaceutical waste to the environment. The US EPA is still wrestling with how to regulate pharmaceutical waste without discouraging communities from setting up take-back programs...Read More »
Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) plans to open another compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station near its home town that will enable the company to grow its fleet of CNG-powered vehicles in the area from 5 to 35 by the end of the year. The station in nearby Conroe, TX will service Waste Management's local fleet and sell CNG to commercial fleets and even retail customers with CNG-equipped vehicles.
Last month, Waste Management CEO David Steiner spoke to Mad Money's Jim Cramer about the company's natural gas initiatives including plans to expand its fleet of CNG vehicles to 30,000 from its present number of 1,400. Consequently, he said 90 percent of new fleet purchases over the next five years will be for CNG vehicles...Read More »
Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX), which appears to be announcing new natural gas fueling stations weekly, has begun constructing a new facility in Columbus, Ohio that will service 25 new compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles that are expected by late summer. The trucks will utilize a "slow-fill" method and carry about 50 gallons of CNG which will give them an operating window of 10 to 12 hours...Read More »
Avalon Holdings Corp. (Warren, OH) said the higher cost of fuel to move more waste volume led to a wider net loss in its fiscal first quarter as costs outpaced revenue growth. The waste services and golf club owner recorded a net loss of $.4 million or $.10 per share compared with a net loss of $.3 million or $.09 per share for the first quarter of 2011. Revenue increased to $10.9 million from $9.9 million last year. The company said special event work increased by 15 percent and that organic growth from ongoing business increased by 4 percent...Read More »