Weekly News Bulletin: Jan. 30-Feb. 5, 2013


Waste Industry Distances Itself from Mob Actions in New York

Following the arrest of 32 people in connection to an organized crime scheme to control the commercial waste industry in and around New York City, the National Solid Wastes Management Associations (NSWMA) was quick to issue a statement distancing itself and its members from such practices. "The solid waste industry in New York and New Jersey has a decades-long history of working with law enforcement officials to implement policies to help eliminate elements of organized crime from the industry." Sharon H. Kneiss, NSWMA's President and CEO, stated, "Anyone found guilty of such crimes is not representative of the solid waste and recycling industry." Her concern is that news of the arrests should not "unfairly impugn the reputations of the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding, hard-working solid waste and recycling professionals."...Read More »



Republic Ends Memphis Strike by Teamsters

Republic Services, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) ended an awkward strike in its Memphis, TN market. About 180 of its unionized workers there, represented by the Teamsters Local 984, had walked off the job on Jan. 28 in protest over the company's failure to give them bonus checks. While the move surprised local management, the Local 984 had approved a strike vote back in October 2012, when their current contract expired, protesting "the company company's intent to take away their pension." While they negotiate a new contract, the workers agreed to receive a 1.5% bonus for every accident-free month. On the day after the strike began, a non-striking Republic employee fired a shot into the air near a picket line after feeling threatened. By Jan. 30, Republic General Manager Roger Lawrence said he had received a letter from the Teamsters Local 984 "offering an 'unconditional' return to work." He said the workers are to receive their checks when they return to work. Republic serves more than 200,000 Memphis-area residences and 10,000 businesses...Read More »



Waste Management Stock Jumps on Rumors

Shares of Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) recently rose on speculation that the company might convert to a real estate investment trust (REIT). REITs, which allow investors to own property simply by purchasing a stock, are designed to generate positive cash flow and can avoid most corporate taxes. To become a REIT, a company must obtain at least 75% of its revenue from rents and direct real estate activity, and it must pay out at least 90% of its net income to shareholders. The idea that Waste Management might convert to a REIT was suggested by Credit Suisse analysts led by Hamzah Mazari in an investment report which asserted that discussions with tax lawyers and accountants confirmed that landfills with their air rights qualify for REIT status. Waste Management shares later retreated when company spokesperson Lynn Brown denied any plans to do a REIT conversion...Read More »



Casella Wins Permit Expansion at Massachusetts Landfill

Casella won a long fought battle to expand its Southbridge Landfill when the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection approved an expansion of its permit from 300,000 tons to 405,000 tons per year of municipal solid waste (MSW). John Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella said that expanding the landfill "is a key part of the company's long-term strategy to integrate its Massachusetts assets and "improve the returns on our investments in that market." The increase in the annual limit is expected to generate significant additional cash flow of more than $4 million a year, Casella said...Read More »



House Republicans Seek to Repeal Clean Energy Incentives in Fiscal Cliff Deal

House Republicans, the petroleum industry, and others are backing legislation to repeal tax credits for biofuels and alternative vehicles that were included in the 'fiscal cliff' package to avert increased income taxes even with biofuel industry concern that the deal did not go far enough. The "fiscal cliff" bill, passed earlier this month, extended expired credits for biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol production as well as tax incentives until 2014 for alternative fuel infrastructure needed to encourage the use of higher blends of ethanol, natural gas and hydrogen-fueled vehicles. It included provisions allowing biofuel and other firms to recoup the cost of new facilities through accelerated depreciation by lowering tax expenditures in the early years of production. House Energy & Commerce Committee power panel Chair Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and lead sponsor Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) Jan. 15 introduced legislation, H.R. 259 that would repeal these and other tax credits in the 113th Congress...Read More »



Study Says Waste Plastics in Canada Could Power 600,000 Cars a Year

A new study in Canada postulates that if all non-recycled plastics currently being landfilled were instead converted to energy, it would be enough to fuel 600,000 cars annually or to power 500,000 Canadian homes. The study by the School of Planning of the University of Waterloo on behalf of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), says that converting all non-recycled plastics into fuel using currently available technology such as pyrolysis, could yield 9 million barrels of oil worth $786 million. "Plastics, being hydrocarbons, have energy values substantially higher than coal and almost as high as natural gas and oil. Capturing this energy value of non-recycled plastics would contribute a significant supply of alternative energy in Canada", said Professor Murray E. Haight, one of the authors of the study. Going beyond just plastic waste, the study estimates that 1.5 million homes could be powered by the conversion to energy of all currently landfilled combustible solid waste...Read More »



Electronics Recycling Law Takes Effect in Pennsylvania

An electronics waste recycling law takes effect in Pennsylvania that prohibits the disposal of computers and computing devices along with old televisions in household trash. The Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA), signed into law by former Gov. Ed Rendell in 2010, bans the landfill disposal of a wide range of items including computers and peripherals, tablets and televisions with viewable screens larger than four inches. The law further requires manufacturers of the covered devices to provide for the collection, transportation and recycling of these devices by establishing one-day events, permanent collection programs or mail-back programs for consumers at no cost to them...Read More »



Big Truck Rental Appoints Mecchi President

Big Truck Rental, which rents refuse vehicles, announced the promotion of Robert J. Mecchi to president. Mecchi joined BTR as vice president of business development in 2010. Prior to that, he was president of Perkins Manufacturing. Big Truck Rental is one of the companies under the umbrella of Trucks.com, a multi-faceted business that offers new trucks, used reconditioned trucks, truck parts, rental trucks, and route-ready trucks...Read More »



CPS Energy Contracts with 4.2MW Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project

CPS Energy in partnership with Nelson Gardens Energy LLC is developing a 4.24 megawatt landfill gas-to-energy project at the City of San Antonio's old Nelson Gardens Landfill. CPS has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Nelson Gardens Energy's affiliate, Greenfield Energy to buy power produced by the $9.5 million project...Read More »



Covanta to Report Q4 and Full Year Earnings on Feb. 6

Covanta Holding Corporation (Morristown, NJ) plans to report fourth quarter and full-year financial results after the close of the market on Wednesday, February 6. The waste-to-energy company will host a conference call the following day at 8:30 am to discuss the results and answer investor questions...Read More »


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