Weekly News Bulletin: Feb. 6-12, 2013


Waste Management Buys Greenstar Recycling for $180 Million

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) is buying Greenstar Recycling LLC for about $180 million in a deal that could rise to $220 million by 2018 depending on various performance criteria. Greenstar, which says it is the largest privately-owned recycler in the US, is owned by NTR plc of Dublin, Ireland, and operates 12 materials recovery facilities, including seven single-stream plants, which collectively handle about 1.5 millions of recyclables per year serving 12,000 customers in Texas and Oklahoma, the Midwest, and the Northeast. It adds to Waste Management's existing volume of 9 million tons while increasing its capacity to manage about 15 million tons of materials annually which advances that company closer to its goal of handling 20 million tons of material per year by 2020.

More importantly, the deal expands Waste Management's recycling footprint, especially to Texas and Oklahoma, allowing the company to offer a broader array of services to existing and prospective customers. It also brings economies-of-scale in both operations as well as in developing markets for the materials that it recycles and improves the company's overall logistics in collecting and processing material, which is one reason Waste Management expects the deal to be almost immediately accretive to earnings. "Acquiring Greenstar advances our growth and transformation strategy to extract more value from the material that we manage . . . and extend[s] our ability to provide the recycling services that customers want," said William Caesar, President of WM Recycle America and Organic Growth...Read More »



States and Industry Seek EPA Guidance on Long-Term Care of Landfills

States and Industry groups are asking EPA to develop a national policy on how to manage closed hazardous and solid waste landfills past the 30-year post-closure care (PCC) period mandated by the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA). It is becoming increasingly paramount for both regulators and site owners as landfills and other sites near the end of the PCC period. Both the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) have issued reports calling for EPA guidance and saying states need criteria for determining when a site's PCC period should be extended or shortened, a possibility allowed for in RCRA regulation but which is not clearly defined. They say facility owners need to know what level of monitoring they should budget for during an extended PCC period, and also how to care for a site after the PCC period expires. Some states, including Minnesota and California, have developed their own approaches to the issue. That could result in a patchwork of inconsistent regulations which might not be scientifically grounded, the associations argue...Read More »



Clean Harbors CFO Resigns

Clean Harbors, Inc. (Norwell, MA) said in a securities filing that its Chief Financial Officer, Robert E. Gagnon, hired last August, has resigned his post but "will continue to perform transitional services until March 31." James M. Rutledge, currently chief operating officer, will resume Mr. Gagnon's role as CFO, a position he held until Mr. Gagnon was hired. The company stressed that the reason for Mr. Gagnon's departure had nothing to do with any disagreement with the company or its "policies, practices or financial statements," and thanked him for his service...Read More »



EPA Greenhouse Gas Data Reveals Waste Industry Improvement

EPA's most recent inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in 2011 reveals that those attributable to the waste industry grew by a modest 3 percent last year. However, those figures are misleading since figures for 2010 did not include industrial waste landfills and waste water treatment plants which together comprised 12 percent of total waste emissions in 2011. Waste industry emissions in 2011 were 103 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, 79 percent of which was from municipal landfills, 9 percent from waste combustion, 8 percent from industrial landfills and 4 percent from wastewater treatment. Waste industry emissions pale in comparison with some other sectors. At the top of the list are power plants which emitted 2,221 million metric tons in 2011, followed by petroleum and natural gas systems at 225 million tons and refineries at 182 million tons...Read More »



WM Must Divest Some Capacity to Buy RCI in Quebec

As a condition of its purchase of RCI Environnement Inc., Waste Management, Inc.'s Quebec subsidiary WM Quebec Inc. agreed to divest the right to dispose 1.875 million tons of waste over 20 years at RCI's landfill in Lachute, Quebec. Canada's Competition Bureau required the divestiture as a condition of the purchase in order to preserve competition for waste disposal in western Quebec. RCI Environnement (Anjou, Quebec), which was founded in 1997 and has 350 employees, provides integrated waste services to 1.2 million residential and 20,000 commercial and industrial customers throughout Quebec...Read More »



EPA Argues for Regulating Sludge Incinerators Under MACT

In litigation over how to regulate sewage sludge incinerators (SSIs), the EPA is defending its decision to do so under maximum achievable control technology (MACT) limits rather than under weaker generally available control technology (GACT) limits as sought by industry. Publicly owned treatment works (POTWs), represented by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) filed suit over the SSI rule in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in a case that has been consolidated as NACWA, et al. v. EPA, et al. Sierra Club is arguing in the case that EPA's regulations are not stringent enough...Read More »



Stericycle Q4 Earnings Up 9% on Higher Revenue

Medical waste management company Stericycle, Inc. (Lake Forest, IL) reported fourth quarter net income that rose by 9 percent to $70.1 million or $0.80 per share, up from $64.3 million or $0.74 per share last year. Adjusted earnings, which exclude one-time and unusual items, improved to $0.88 per share from $0.76 per share last year. Revenues for the quarter grew 12.8 percent to $503.6 million from $446.6 million in the fourth quarter last year. Gross margin remained flat year-over-year at 45.1 percent...Read More »



Waste Connections to Report Q4 Earnings on Feb. 20

Waste Connections, Inc. (The Woodlands, TX) will report fourth quarter results after the close of the market on Feb. 20. The company plans to host a conference call the following day at 8:30 am (Eastern) to discuss the results and answer investor questions...Read More »


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