Weekly News Bulletin: Apr. 20-26, 2021


Landfill Prices up Sharply Since the Beginning of the Year

The average price to landfill MSW has risen sharply in the last few months, up 3.5 percent just since December 2020. This is in tandem with rising volumes flowing into landfills as the economy recovers. Prices are up 6.5 percent for the year even after stagnating through much of the second quarter. In general, pricing which had been growing at a steady clip of around 3.5 percent, stalled as companies and municipalities struggled to hang on to business from cash-strapped customers. Over the longer term however, pricing has been strong reflective of a strong pre-COVID economy, decreasing landfill capacity and pricing discipline exercised by the large waste companies...Read More »



Veolia Environnement to Buy Rival Suez for $15.5 billion

France's water and waste management giant Veolia Environnement SA plans to buy rival Suez SA for $15.5 billion. The deal makes sense as governments around the world are spending more on infrastructure to recover from the pandemic and as water and waste management services are transitioning to greener technologies that require large capital outlays. Veolia Chief Executive Antoine Frérot said the deal would forge a "world champion of ecological transformation around Veolia, offering France a reference player in a sector that is probably the most important of this century."...Read More »



Second Recology Executive Charged in Corruption Probe

In a criminal complaint unsealed last week, federal investigators accuse Recology Vice President John Porter of bribing disgraced former head of San Francisco Public Works Mohammed Nuru in exchange for his help securing fee and rate increases for the company's waste and recycling services. This resulted in overcharging city ratepayers to the tune of $100 million, as was recently revealed in a lawsuit filed against the company by the City Attorney's Office.

Federal prosecutors say that as far back as 2013, Porter, along with another Recology official already charged with bribery, Paul Giusti, used a series of San Francisco non-profits to funnel more than a million dollars into off-the-books funds controlled by Nuru. Porter is said to have signed checks funding lavish Public Works holiday parties...Read More »



Republic Says Surge in Recycled Materials Resulting from Pandemic

In honor of Earth Day 2021, Republic Services reports rather dramatic increases in residential recycling over the last year, as consumers shifted their behavior in response to the lock-down measures imposed during the pandemic. For example, online shopping drove a 63 percent increase in cardboard boxes in some markets. At-home consumption of food and beverages led to 17 percent increasing in aluminum cans, 13 percent glass bottles and 7 percent more plastic bottles. And while at home, more people engaged in home projects including more yard work that led to a 20 percent increase in organics collection. The company boasts having recycled this organic material into more than half a million tons of nutrient-rich compost...Read More »



ECP Buys Liberty Tire From Carlyle For $750 Million

Summit, N.J.-based ECP, which recently changed its name from Energy Capital Partners, is buying Pittsburgh-based Liberty Tire Recycling LLC for $750 million from Carlyle Group Inc. Liberty collects scrap tires and turns them into products such as rubber mulch and industry feedstock. Liberty's 1,500 employees operate a network of 26 collection and remediation facilities and 24 production facilities to recycle over 190 million tires and convert them into three billion pounds of rubber for innovative, sustainable materials and products every year...Read More »



EPA says GHGs Down 1.7% in 2019 and Down 13% from 2005

EPA's latest Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (GHG Inventory) reports that emissions decreased from 2018 to 2019 by 1.7% (after accounting for sequestration from the land sector). This was attributed to decreased fossil fuel combustion from decreased energy use, and a continued shift from coal to natural gas and renewables in the electric power sector. CO2 emissions alone decreased 2.2%, and those from fossil fuel combustion decreased 2.7% during that timeframe. GHG emissions were 13% below 2005 levels and up only 1.8% from 1990 levels.

Transportation activities are the largest source of emissions, accounting for 29% of total US greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. From 1990 to 2019, transportation CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion rose by 24% due in large part to increased demand for travel. The number of vehicle miles traveled by light-duty vehicles (i.e., passenger cars and light-duty trucks) increased by 48% from 1990 to 2019; those by medium- and heavy-duty trucks increased 109% over the same period. Significant improvements in average new vehicle fuel economy since 2005 has slowed the rate of increase of CO2 emissions...Read More »



NWRA Urges Congress to Address Driver Shortage

NWRA has joined other organizations on a letter to Congress urging support for the DRIVE-Safe Act (S.659, H.R.1475), bipartisan legislation that would address the driver shortage facing many industries including waste and recycling. Recent statistics say this is the worst it has been in 15 years. A report by the Solid Waste Association of North America's (SWANA) Applied Research Foundation (ARF) attributes the shortage to an aging workforce, occupational danger, increased demand for trucking services due to industry growth and low participation of women in the industry...Read More »



United Airlines Wants to Fly the Friendlier "Cleaner" Skies

United Airlines has partnered with global firms including Nike Inc and Siemens AG in an "Eco-Skies Alliance" to finance the use this year of about 3.4 million gallons of low-carbon, sustainable aviation fuel derived from waste. This is a three-fold increase but still paltry compared with the 4.3 billion gallons of jet fuel that United consumed in 2019 prior to the pandemic. Air transport accounts for 2%-3% of greenhouse gas emissions, though some say its higher and to address this, airlines have been using sustainable fuel since 2008...Read More »


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