Weekly News Bulletin: Aug. 14-20, 2012


Casella to Cut Costs by $6.5 Million; Realign Operations

Casella Waste Systems (Rutland, VT) said it plans to cut expenses by $6.5 million per year by realigning operations and reducing its workforce. Without offering too many specifics, the company did say it "expects to take a one-time severance and reorganization charge of approximately $1.5 million in its second quarter." Meanwhile, the company also cut its full-year estimates, citing continuing waste volume declines and weak recycling commodity pricing. Barely a week after industry leader Waste Management announced a significant cost cutting plan of its own, Casella seems to be doing so for similar reasons -- to cope with declining revenue from its recycling business and the decline in special waste volumes at its western region landfills. "The steps we have taken this week to realign our management structure are expected to improve our cost structure . . . but more importantly will make our field teams more agile and responsive to customer needs," John Casella, chairman andCEO of Casella Waste Systems, said in a statement...Read More »



Republic Opens "World's Largest Recycling Operation"

Republic Services, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) has opened what it touts to be the world's largest recycling facility in San Jose, CA. The $55 million upgrade essentially quadruples the output of the original plant to 110 tons per hour of multiple waste streams by combining 4 processing lines to recycle as much as 80 percent of the commercial volumes and 95 percent of the residential volumes collected from the surrounding area. Republic worked with Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) to design, manufacture and install the custom-designed, highly-automated system.

The facility is adjacent to the Newby Island landfill which together comprise the 342-acre Newby Island Resource Recovery Park. The park also features an onsite compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station which serves a fleet of 70 natural gas vehicles. "At Republic Services, we take our role as environmental stewards very seriously and have been dedicated to protecting the environment from the beginning," said Gil Cheso, Republic Services division manager...Read More »



Senate Offers Compromise Coal Ash Bill

A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND), Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Max Baucus (D-MT), has introduced a compromise coal ash disposal bill designed to prevent EPA from regulating ash as a hazardous waste by assigning that authority to the states under municipal solid waste rules.

After a colossal spill in 2008 from a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) ash pond that sent a billion gallons on sludge into the surrounding countryside, EPA proposed in 2010 to regulate coal ash as either solid waste under RCRA subtitle D or as hazardous waste subject to stricter control requirements under subtitle C. Environmental groups support subtitle C rules, while industry and many states favor subtitle D, warning that hazardous waste rules will be costly and likely harm the ash reuse industry...Read More »



Safety-Kleen Files IPO Plans

Safety-Kleen Inc. (Plano, TX) filed plans for an initial public offering of as much as $400 million in stock. However, the company will not receive any proceeds of the sale since it is the stockholders who are selling shares in the offering. The company's owners, which include Dallas-based asset manager Highland Capital Management LP, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and distressed-asset investor Contrarian Capital Management LLC, have hired Credit Suisse Group to advise them on the sale.

Though it is still widely known for its parts-cleaning systems, the company has expanded into industrial waste handling and oil recycling, operating used-oil refineries in Ontario and East Chicago, IL. Revenue and profits have grown significantly in each of the last three years. For the 16 weeks ended April 16, Safety-Kleen's profit increased 61% to $17.2 million while sales rose 19% to $426.6 million, according to its regulatory filing.

The company intends to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "SK."...Read More »



Group Wants EPA to Define "Green" Products and Processes

A group that includes members from industry, academic institutions, environmental groups and community organizations called the Sustainable Materials Management Coalition wants EPA to craft guidance to help industry define "green" products and processes. It wants to expand the agency's current Design for the Environment (DfE) program as detailed in a new report.

The report, "Sustainable Materials Management: A New Materials Hierarchy, Solutions to Barriers, and Recommendations for a Path Forward," also calls on EPA to sponsor a regular dialogue on sustainable materials management and suggests changes to how the agency should evaluate strategies for handling municipal waste to reflect the ongoing shift to considering uses for used materials other than waste disposal...Read More »



Industrial Services Q2 Hit by Declining Volume and Metals Prices

Industrial Services of America, Inc. (Louisville, KY) said lower volumes and metals prices contributed to a second quarter net loss of $1.2 million, or $0.18 per share, compared with net income of $312,574, or $0.05 per share, a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter fell to $49.9 million from $65.1 million last year. "Contracting margins and lower volumes contributed to a weak second quarter within our recycling segment," Brian Donaghy, president and chief operating officer of Industrial Services, said in a news release. "As prices in the base metals complex fell during the quarter, we reduced our purchase prices accordingly. However, average inventory costs did not fall as quickly." The company also noted that its Chief Financial Officer Robert Coleman has resigned from the position, citing personal reasons. An interim CFO will be announced shortly...Read More »



Clean Earth Expands to Southeast

Clean Earth, Inc. (Hatboro, PA), which provides site remediation and recycling services primarily in the northeast, bought privately held Soil Remediation, Inc. (SRI) based in Kingsland, GA. SRI provides soil treatment and recycling and represents Clean Earth's ninth such acquisition and expands the company's footprint to the southeastern US. SRI, now Clean Earth of Georgia, has a thermal treatment facility for petroleum-contaminated soils that can service markets from Savannah, GA, to Gainesville, FL. Chris Dods, President & CEO states, "Joining our talent, experience, and geography will provide great synergies and superior service to the South Georgia Northern Florida market and continue to solidify the Clean Earth position as the leading impacted soil recycler."...Read More »



Avalon Holdings Posts Strong Second Quarter

Avalon Holdings Corp. (Warren, OH) reported an increase in profit for the second quarter, due mainly to higher revenues. Net income rose to $274 thousand or $0.07 per share, from $77 thousand or $0.02 per share last year. Total operating revenues for the quarter grew to $12.61 million from $11.38 million in the prior-year quarter...Read More »



Casella to Report Fiscal First Quarter Results on Aug. 29

Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (Rutland, VT), which recently unveiled a cost-cutting and strategic realignment (see related story), will report fiscal first quarter earnings after the close of the market on Wednesday, August 29. Management will host a conference call the following day at 10 a.m. (Eastern) to discuss its results...Read More »


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