Weekly News Bulletin: Oct. 3-9, 2012


US Landfill Tipping Fees Reach $45 per Ton; Slow Volume Growth

The average price to dispose a ton of waste in US landfills edged higher in September to an average price of $45.02 per ton. That price is up 3.5 percent since last year, according to the latest statistics from the Waste Business Journal. The largest increases came in the Northeastern US where prices advanced 4.5 percent year over year to a current average of $72.78 per ton as improved economic activity is driving higher volumes in the region, particularly in Pennsylvania. Prices are up 3.5 percent in the Western states and 3.2 percent in the Pacific states in line with the national average. The weakest growth seems to be in the southeast and Midwestern states where prices have risen less than 2 percent year over year...Read More »



California Passes Bill to Ban Flow Control Laws

California has adopted a law that prevents governments from enacting flow control laws that restrict waste disposal based on geographic origin. Gov. Jerry Brown signed assembly bill 845 ostensibly to prevent the balkanization of waste and recycling issues. However, much of it had to do with an ongoing dispute between San Francisco and Solono County, home to the large Potrero Hills Landfill, a destination for much of the city's waste. Beginning in March 2009 when the landfill's new owner Waste Connections sought to expand the site which it acquired from Republic Services, several groups including the Sierra Club, filed lawsuits to block the expansion by asking the Court to recognize a never-enforced 19-year-old voter initiative called Measure E that restricts any Solano County landfill from accepting more than 95,000 tons per year of waste from outside the county. Potrero Hills receives about 850,000 tons per year of waste from surrounding counties, including San Francisco...Read More »



California Exempts Waste-to-Energy Plants from GHG Trading Program

California officials have decided to exempt waste-to-energy and bioenergy plants from its landmark greenhouse gas (GHG) trading program set to launch next year. It is a big win for industry that had argued for months that compliance with the program would have been economically devastating to existing and future waste-to-energy projects without any environmental benefits. The last minute changes to the program are being closely watched by industry, environmentalists and other stakeholders across the US since California's platform will likely serve as a model for other states or even a future federal cap-and-trade program...Read More »



Senate Approves Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System

The system for managing the country's most dangerous materials is finally entering the digital age. Legislation allowing EPA to establish an electronic system for tracking hazardous waste shipments has been sent to President Obama for signature following Senate approval. If signed, the bill will modernize EPA's 25-year-old paper system used to track hazardous waste disposal shipments under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) and reduce costs, duplication and accounting errors. According to the bill's sponsor, Sen. John Thune (R-SD), about 139,000 businesses submit a total of between 2.5 million and 5 million hazardous waste manifests each year, tracking everything from dry-cleaning chemicals to engine oil, at a cost of $200 million to $500 million annually...Read More »



Bill Gates Accumulates More Republic Services Shares

Billionaire Bill Gates, though his investment company Cascade Investment LLC continues to build upon his ownership of Republic Services, of which he now owns 21 percent of the stock. As recently as last month Cascade picked up 1.7 million shares of additional shares for about $46.3 million. Since July 31, Cascade added 5.3 million shares representing an investment of about $151.4 million...Read More »



Waste Management Buys Assets of Land and Lakes Co.

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) said it acquired assets of Park Ridge, IL-based Land and Lakes for an undisclosed amount. Acquired assets include three composting facilities, a clean fill and the Prairie Lakes Recycling and Transfer Station in Matteson, IL. The family-controlled company will retain its River Bend Prairie Transfer Station and its River Bend Prairie landfill on the south side of Chicago. Jim Cowhey, whose family founded the business in 1966, resigned as president following completion of the deal on August 1...Read More »



Acrimonious Legal Battle between Greenstar and Former Boss

The former head of Greenstar Recycling's US business is being countersued for at least $100 million by the company which alleges he had promoted the $420 million sale of the US operations for "personal gain," as reported by the Irish Independent. Matthew Delnick, who was appointed chief executive of the US arm in 2010 and was fired last February, sued the company for $15 million that he alleges was due to him had the company been sold. The company charged that Mr. Delnick made "unfounded derogatory comments" about NTR chief executive Michael McNicholas by alleging that he rebuffed an offer from industry giant Waste Management in order to preserve his job. The company also says that Mr Delnick increased his interest in the firm's long-term incentive plan (LTIP) "without authorization of the Greenstar board." That would have given him a bigger payout if the company were sold...Read More »



EPA Will Not Credit Biofuel under Renewable Fuel Standard

The EPA has ruled that heating oil biofuels used in boilers and power production cannot earn credit under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) as proposed by industry which was seeking to ease compliance with EPA's pending boiler air toxics rules by using the lower-emitting oil. In a direct final rule and parallel proposed rule, EPA says fuel oils used to generate process heat, power, or other functions cannot qualify for renewable identification number (RIN) credits that industry uses to comply with the RFS. The agency says these fuels are not within the scope of the definition of "home heating oil" that can qualify for the RFS as outlined in the 2007 energy law. "The proposed amendment would not modify or limit fuel included in the current definition of heating oil," EPA says in the new rulemaking...Read More »



Coca-Cola Invests 6.5 Million Euros in European Recycling Venture

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) will invest 6.5 million Euros in a joint venture with a French recycling facility and fund a research program at the University of Exeter in the UK as part of a two-pronged initiative to improve recycling behavior and recycling infrastructure which is part of a larger plan to become a zero carbon and waste company. Coke's investment into the French facility will increase plastic reprocessing capability by 70 percent, or an additional 20,000 tons of PET bottles per year. John Brock, chairman and CEO of CCE, said, "Our goal to lead our industry in sustainable packaging and recycling means we must support and promote improvements throughout our value chain."...Read More »



Andy Griffith's Mayberry Home to New Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project

Surry County, NC has broken ground on a landfill gas-to-energy at its Mount Airy landfill. The county contracted with Apex, NC-based Petra Engineering to install a 1.6 megawatt system that will employ a 20-cylinder Caterpillar engine to convert the landfill's methane into electricity which will be sold to Duke Energy Corporation under a long-term power purchase agreement. (Mount Airy is the birthplace of actor Andy Griffith and believed to be depicted as the Town of Mayberry in his television show. The city holds a festival in honor of the show every year.)...Read More »



Republic Services to Report Third Quarter Results on Nov. 1

Republic Services, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) plans to announce its third quarter financial results during a company-hosted conference call on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 at 5 p.m. Eastern time. The call will also be broadcast live over the internet...Read More »


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