Weekly News Bulletin: Mar. 15-21, 2013


SC Landfill Odor Case Alleges Trespass; Could Have Profound Effect

The outcome of a South Carolina lawsuit involving landfill odors could have wide ranging implications for the waste industry. As a result, various industry trade groups have filed a brief with the state's high court to answer questions about whether and to what degree landfill odors constitute negligence, trespass or nuisance and the extent of damages to which a plaintiff may be entitled. The issue could dramatically impact hundreds of South Carolina businesses, including the owners and operators of landfills, transfer stations, recycling centers and other solid waste management facilities. The case, "Perrin Babb, et al. v. Lee County Landfill," involves the state's largest landfill, operated by Republic Services, and its impact on local residents.

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), was joined by the American Forest & Paper Association of North America (AF&PA), the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), and the Solid Waste Association of North America's South Carolina Chapter (SWANA) in submitting an Amici Curiae brief to the South Carolina Supreme Court...Read More »



Trade Group Supports Crack Down on Unscrupulous NYC Waste Practices

A waste industry trade group is criticizing the unscrupulous business practices of certain waste brokers as it supports efforts by the New York City Business Integrity Commission (BIC) to apply more fairness to its rules. The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) said some brokers will fail to pay haulers (carters), whom they have hired, then close up shop and turn around to establish a new company with the same principal owner under a new BIC license. NSWMA expects the BIC's new regulations will prevent such behavior in the future and has suggested that BIC require brokers to pay haulers within 30 days. Another recurring issue is that of BIC's rate cap which limits what haulers can charge their customers based on volume though they must pay for disposal by weight. For years the NSWMA and its local members have complained that they lose money on their heaviest customers and that the rate cap encourages dishonesty among some haulers who lie about the volume of waste they collect.In submitting its comments, NSWMA's David Biderman also suggested that the BIC should devote additional resources to preventing and investigating cardboard theft which he said "costs BIC licensees between $8 million and $10 million annually."...Read More »



EPA Issues Best Practices for Siting Solar Projects on Landfills

The EPA has finalized technical guidance for siting solar power projects on municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. The guidance, "Best Practices for Siting Solar Photovoltaics on Municipal Solid Waste Landfills," is part of the agency's RE-Powering America's Land Initiative, in which EPA encourages renewable energy development on existing or formerly contaminated land. EPA released the final document last month in cooperation with the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)...Read More »



Group of Senators Urges Treasury to Clarify Renewable Energy Tax Credit

A bipartisan group of senators is urging the Treasury Department to clarify eligibility for the recently extended renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) "as soon as possible," warning that a lack of clear guidance "may soon result in uncertainty among potential investors." Congress passed changes to the PTC last year as part of the fiscal cliff deal. The legislation not only extended the credit until the end of 2013 for wind, landfill gas, certain municipal solid wastes, biomass, and hydrokinetic energy, but relaxed requirements to say that projects must "commence construction" by the end of 2013 to qualify, rather than being "in service" as previously required. In their letter, Sens. Michael Bennett (D-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and 15 others suggest that "including key features from prior guidance on the commence construction criteria may help expedite the process and avoid any prolonged delays in investment that might result from significantlyrevised rules."...Read More »



West Virginia Commission Approves $19 Million Waste-to-Fuel Plant

West Virginia's Public Service Commission has approved a $19 million proposed waste-to-fuel facility to be built by Entsorga West Virginia LLC and located in Berkeley County. Entsorga is a subsidiary of Entsorgafin S.p.A of Tortona, Italy. Their mechanical-biological system involves a large rotary drum to tear apart incoming waste to aerate it and facilitate separating out large pieces of plastic, paper and cardboard before the remaining waste, including organic materials, would be "bio-stabilized," a form of rapid composting. It would be a debut of the technology in the US. Consequently, Entsorga is seeking a permit from West Virginia's Department of Environmental Protection to receive up to 7,333 tons of solid waste per month at the plant...Read More »



Ontario Waste Group Wants Government to Encourage Recycling

The Ontario Waste Management Association has issued a policy report that calls for a government-led effort to dramatically expand recycling and energy recovery as a way to create jobs and promote economic growth. The report, entitled "ReThink Waste," laments "the enormous loss of resources and economic opportunity from sending 75% of our waste to disposal and sites." A recent Ontario study indicates that every 1,000 tons of waste diverted creates 7 full-time jobs, over $700,000 in GDP and $360,000 in wages. The report recommends that the government develop a long-term economic strategy to harness the economic value of waste as a resource. They could begin with redefining the waste management hierarchy, employ disposal bans and extended producer responsibility, foster open and competitive markets, and procure only products made in whole or in part from recycled materials. This effort would be amplified by strengthened enforcement, oversight and tracking...Read More »



Covanta's E-Waste Unit Partners with Lancaster County

Covanta Energy Corp. (Morristown, NJ) said its electronic waste recycling subsidiary ECOvanta has partnered with the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) of Pennsylvania to provide them with e-waste recycling services. According to a new release, ECOvanta will transport e-waste, including computers, monitors, mobile phones, printers and televisions, to its Philadelphia facility for dismantling, shredding or aggregating for reuse and recycling. Financial terms were not disclosed. Covanta launched the ECOvanta subsidiary in October 2011.

Covanta operates the 1,200 ton-per-day Lancaster County waste-to-energy plant as well as the Harrisburg Incinerator which the LCSWMA has proposed to buy from the financially troubled City of Harrisburg...Read More »



ReVenture Park, Featuring Waste-to-Energy, Wins Brownfield Approval from NC

North Carolina's governor has approved a brownfield agreement that allows the development of the long-delayed "eco-industrial" ReVenture Park. ReVenture, which stands for Renewable Energy Industrial Park, was announced in 2009 as a future home of a 50- to 100-megawatt waste-to-energy plant that would anchor the redevelopment of a 667-acre Superfund site. Subsequently, the project faced a series of delays in obtaining funding, air-quality permits and a waste pact with Mecklenburg County. Its waste-to-energy project was scaled back after an agreement to convert Mecklenburg County's waste to energy fell apart. The latest plan calls for a 4.5 net megawatt renewable combined heat and power plant including the ability to convert traditional waste into an engineered fuel...Read More »



Waste Pro to Build CNG Station in Jacksonville

Waste Pro USA Inc. (Longwood, FL) plans to build a new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Jacksonville, FL next year. The company recently won a 10-year contract extension with the city that includes a commitment to expand recycling and switch its local fleet to CNG. It's also part of the company's $100 million initiative made in Oct. 2011 to ultimately convert its entire fleet to CNG. Company CMO Ron Pecora says its for two reasons: "Economics: Compressed natural gas is less expensive than diesel. And environmental: It's cleaner energy and quieter." Waste Pro has already built a CNG fueling station at its Fort Pierce facility and is converting its fleet there. A similar effort is underway in Atlanta, GA where the company is spending $20 million to build a CNG station and convert its fleet. These efforts are expected to yield fuel savings of up to 40 percent...Read More »


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