Weekly News Bulletin: Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2012


Recology and San Francisco Throw Out $112 Million Contract amid Legal Review

Facing legal challenges, the City of San Francisco and its waste hauler Recology have signed an agreement to terminate their 10-year $112 million waste contract while they study the issue for one year. The contract, which would have commenced in 2015, involved a plan to haul the city's waste 130 miles away by rail to Recology's Yuba County landfill. Currently, the city's waste is hauled to Waste Management's Altamont landfill. Waste Management sued the city alleging an improper bidding process and an inadequate environmental review. The company also supported an unsuccessful voter initiative that would have ended the city's no-bid contract, which has been included in San Francisco's City Charter since 1932...Read More »



Dallas Seeks New Trial in Waste Flow Control Case

Perhaps grasping at legal straws, the City of Dallas is seeking a new trial for its doomed flow control law. The city filed a motion for a new trial on the grounds that U.S. District Court judge Reed O'Connor's ruling against the measure last month, did not follow various legal guidelines. The city's attorney called the judges ruling "manifestly erroneous" and said it did not obey the "rule of constitutional avoidance," or resolving the case on non-constitutional grounds if possible, and failed to "show proper deference to a democratically elected legislature," and improperly identified the applicable dates and parties for the injunctive relief, among other legal technicalities...Read More »



Advanced Disposal Completes $1.9 Billion Purchase of Veolia Unit

Veolia Environnement (Paris, France) said it has completed the sale of its US solid waste business to ADS Waste Holdings for $1.9 billion, which is an important part of its asset divestiture plan to cut debt. The deal won US regulatory approval on Nov. 15 on the condition that certain assets be divested to preserve competition in a few markets. Those include waste collection or disposal assets in northern New Jersey and central Georgia, including the Macon, GA metro area.

Veolia's US deal is part of a larger plan to divest 5 billion Euros ($6.4 billion) in assets by the end of next year...Read More »



Microsoft to Power Data Center with Biogas

Computing giant Microsoft (Redmond, WA) plans to operate one of its data centers entirely on biogas. The company is initially investing $5.5 million to test the concept at a pilot plant at the Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility in Cheyenne, WY. Biogas from the wastewater plant will feed fuel cells to generate 200 kilowatts of electricity needed to power its servers. In the future the company hopes to power its facilities from a variety of sources including wastewater treatment plants, landfills, agricultural farms, and fuel refineries...Read More »



Progressive Waste Buys Choice Environmental for $123 million

Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. (Toronto. ON) is buying Choice Environmental Services, the solid waste subsidiary of the financially troubled Swisher Hygiene (Charlotte, NC) for $123.3 million. Choice Environmental, which brings an additional $72 million in annual revenue, serves 150,000 residential and 7,500 commercial customers in southern Florida via a network of six hauling operations, a transfer station and a material recovery facility (MRF). Those operations will complement Progressives' existing Florida facilities operating under its Waste Services Inc. subsidiary...Read More »



Bill Gates Buys More Republic Services; Has 25% Stake

Billionaire Bill Gates continues to build his ownership stake in Republic Services (Phoenix, AZ) which now stands at 24.8 percent of the company. That is worth about $2.54 billion at current prices. From Sep. 26 through Nov. 16 his investment company Cascade Investment LLC bought another 12.7 million shares for about $341.7 million. The price of the shares were as low as $26.5 earlier this month which likely led to some opportunistic purchases given his belief in the longer-term fundamentals of the company...Read More »



Waste Management Opens Giant Recycling Facility in Ontario

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) has opened a massive new $30 million 126,000-squate-foot single-stream recycling plant in Cambridge, Ont. The plant will process up to 550,000 tons of material a year making it the largest private-sector recycling facility in Ontario. It sports new technology, including a paper magnet, optical sorter, electro-magnetic technology and various screen sorters, to handle a greater diversity of wastes than traditional facilities while extracting a higher percentage of materials from those streams...Read More »



Steel Recycling Rate Hits All-Time High at 92%

Steel recycling in 2011 hit an all-time high of 92 percent, up 12 percent from the year before, according to the Steel Recycling Institute. The volume of recovered steel reached 85 million tons which was 10 million tons more than in 2010. The recycling rate for steel packaging also reached an all-time high of 70.8 percent, representing 1.5 million net tons of recovered steel. Automobile recycling climbed to 94.5 percent even though in some years it exceeded 100 percent, meaning that more old cars had been coming off the road than new ones going back onto it. Appliance recycling remained stable at 90 percent with more than 2.9 million net tons of steel recycled. Construction waste plates and beams were recycled at a 98 percent rate consistent with the year before. Each year, more steel is recycled than paper, aluminum, plastic and glass combined...Read More »



Waste Management Opens $7.5 Million Recycling Plant in Kansas

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) has opened a $7.5 million single-stream recycling facility at its Rolling Meadows Recycling and Disposal Facilities in Topeka, Kansas. "The Rolling Meadows MRF is an important step in our efforts to expand recycling options for customers in Topeka, Shawnee County and surrounding areas," said Kent Harrell, Director of Collection Operations at Waste Management. The company estimates that the facility will also drive an additional $4 million per year in economic activity and add 18-20 new jobs. Overall, Waste Management recycles almost 13 million tons of commodities annually with plans to reach 20 million tons by 2020...Read More »



Soros-Backed Fund Buys Stake in Plastics Recycler

An investment fund controlled by George Soros has taken a majority stake in a German plastics recycling business that intends to expand its US business. The fund Silver Lake Kraftwerk has invested 31 million Euros for a majority stake in recycled plastics company Friedola Tech. Friedola hopes to capitalize on increased demand from auto makers and other manufacturers looking for cheaper and more sustainable materials to incorporate in their products...Read More »



Clean Harbors to Offer Stock and $550 Million Senior Notes

Clean Harbors, Inc. (Norwell, MA) announced that it has initiated a follow-on public offering of 6 million shares of common stock and that, once the pricing of the stock is determined, it plans to commence a private placement of $550 million of senior notes due 2021. The company said it plans to use the net proceeds of both transactions to finance a portion of its recent purchase of Safety-Kleen, Inc. and its subsidiaries and related transaction fees and expenses...Read More »



ReEnergy Buys C&D Waste and Recycling Facility in Boston

ReEnergy Holdings LLC (Albany, NY) has acquired a construction and demolition (C&D) waste recycling facility in Boston with the purchase of United Waste Management Inc. (UWM) for an undisclosed amount. The new facility compliments ReEnergy's existing operations, which include eight renewable energy generation facilities and two C&D processing facilities by enhancing its ability to convert a significant percentage of recovered wood into high-quality fuel to generate renewable energy. "This addition to our portfolio exemplifies our strategy to build a vertically integrated renewable energy company," said ReEnergy CEO Larry Richardson...Read More »



Ameresco Opens 2.2 MW Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant in CA

Alternative energy developer Ameresco, Inc. (Framingham, MA) has opened a new 2.2 megawatt landfill gas-to-energy plant at the Butte County landfill in Paradise, CA, about 40 miles north of Sacramento. Initially, the plant will provide enough electricity to power 1,300 homes but eventually it will be expanded to 4.3 megawatts. A portion of the revenues from the sale of the power will go to the county for the life of the 20-year contract...Read More »



Tulsa Recycling Facility has $10 Million Upgrade

Oklahoma-based American Waste Control announced that its $10 million upgrade of it Tulsa Recycle and Transfer recycling facility is complete. The facility that once employed an entirely manual process now features magnets, optical scanners and air classifiers along conveyer belts that increase both capture efficiency and throughput. "This technology is so advanced, I think we'll see more material than ever being recycled in Tulsa and diverted away from our landfills," said Tom Hill, CEO of American Waste Control, which owns Tulsa Recycle and Transfer...Read More »



Akron, Ohio Opens New Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant

The City of Akron, Ohio has opened a landfill gas-to-energy plant at its closed Hardy Road Landfill that will produce enough electricity to power 700 to 800 area homes. The 210-acre landfill contains about 6 million tons of waste that produces about 330 cubic feet of methane per minute and is expected to do so for the next 15 years. The gas is dried, filtered and compressed and then piped 3,000 feet to the sewage plant that houses a 16-cylinder Waukesha 100 APG Enginator which generates .86 megawatts of electricity. Akron is also investing $32 million to expand an anaerobic digester at the city's nearby composting plant that will use sewage sludge to produce electricity. It is due to be completed next year...Read More »



Industrial Services of America 3Q Revenue Down on Steel Pricing

Industrial Services of America (Louisville, KY) said lower metals prices weighed down third quarter revenues which fell to $45.7 million from $55.8 million just a year ago. However, cost cutting measures helped to decrease the company's net loss for the period which was $886,207 or ($0.13) per share compared to a loss of $4.5 million or ($0.67) per share last year...Read More »



Casella Waste to Report Fiscal Second Quarter Results on Dec. 3

Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (Rutland, VT) plans to announce its fiscal second quarter financial results after the close of the market on Monday, December 3. The company will host a conference call to discuss those results the following day at 10 a.m. (Eastern)...Read More »


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