Need to Know
15 Stories from Around the Waste Industry for Feb. 12

15 Stories from Around the Waste Industry for Feb. 12

A coal spill in West Virginia; the resolution of a garbage fight in Minnesota; legislation to protect recycling fees in Pennsylvania; and the debut of glass recycling in Las Cruces, New Mexico are among today’s news and notes from around the waste industry.

More at the links below:

  • Patriot Coal Spills Waste 2 Months After Bankruptcy Exit Patriot Coal Corp. (PATCA), which emerged from bankruptcy in December, spilled waste into a creek feeding West Virginia’s Kanawha River, a month after Freedom Industries Inc. contaminated Charleston’s water with a coal chemical. About 108,000 gallons of slurry waste from washing coal spilled into Fields Creek from the Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant near Winifrede, West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. A slurry-line seal failed sometime after 2:30 a.m. and the company shut the pump at about 5:30 a.m., the department said.” (Bloomberg)
  • Hennepin County ends garbage fight with Minneapolis. “The city of Minneapolis has until the end of the year to deliver a composting plan for residents after a Hennepin County Board vote Tuesday. The demand came in a board resolution that also dropped the county’s bid to burn more garbage at the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) just west of Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. For five years the county has sought city permission to increase burning by 11 percent, which would be the maximum the facility could handle. But City Hall balked at giving the necessary go-ahead out of concerns for nearby residents. The city holds the use permit on the property for the HERC, so the county couldn’t increase the amount of burning without permission.” (Star Tribune)
  • Sen. Schwank Introduces Bill Allowing Cities To Charge Recycling Fees. “Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) said Tuesday she will introduce legislation to preserve the authority of communities to use local fees to support their recycling programs. “For over two decades nobody questioned whether municipalities have that ability,” said Sen. Schwank. “My bill would make very clear that is in fact the case.” In October, Commonwealth Court ruled that the state’s Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling Waste Reduction law, Act 101 of 1988, required Reading to discontinue its monthly recycling fee, raising concerns statewide that such fees are illegal. … Until the court’s decision, Reading had been assessing the fee for two decades, and it covered about 90 percent of the city’s annual $2.7 million recycling budget.” (PAEnvironmentalDigest)
  • Spokane cedes control of solid waste system to county. “The Spokane City Council on Monday did something that seemed almost unthinkable a decade ago: It gave up control of the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System. In a unanimous vote, the council agreed to give Spokane County authority over the regional trash system in November and approved the sale of the Valley and Colbert waste transfer stations to the county for $9.9 million.” (The Spokesman Review)
  • Recycling surges in Hampton. “Town Manager Fred Welch said Monday that he liked the “good news” that the town achieved a 35 percent recycling rate. Intake of non-recycled materials decreased by 7 percent, while recycling increased by 5 percent. “If we could do that every month, we could save a small fortune for the taxpayers,” Welch said. A proposed seven-mile methane gas pipeline between Juniper Ridge landfill in Old Town and the University of Maine to provide cheap, renewable heat to the campus has been scrapped over financing, according to an official with the landfill’s parent company.” (
  • Debut of glass recycling in Las Cruces nears. “Last week, the chairman of the South Central Solid Waste Authority Board, County Commissioner Wayne Hancock, SCSWA Director Patrick Peck and Recycling Coordinator Tiffany Pegoda took a one day whirlwind "Tour de Glass" of New Mexico glass recycling locations. … Then last Friday, the Las Cruces Green Chamber invited members to share ideas about possible uses for crushed glass during their First Friday event. It's an effort to turn glass recycling into an economic development opportunity for the community.” (Las Cruces Sun-News)
  • Landfill agreement approved. “The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved a 10-year deal with Montgomery County to allow it to dispose its waste at the Fulton County Landfill. Officials said the deal, effective immediately, expires Dec. 31, 2023, and Fulton County could realize at least $1 million per year in revenue, which will go back into the county Department of Solid Waste operation.” (The Leader-Herald)
  • Rolling Hills Landfill seeks support for expansion from Oley supervisors. “The Rolling Hills Landfill in Earl Township is proposing to expand its facility by 90 vertical feet and recently sought the support of the Oley Township supervisors. The long-rumored expansion proposal was made by Delaware County Solid Waste Authority Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph W. Vasturia at the supervisors’ Feb. 10 meeting. The authority owns and operates the landfill.” (The Mercury News)
  • $1.6M Landfill Recapping Project: Plymouth plans to clean up its own mess. “The town isn't going to wait any longer for a comprehensive agreement with the county for the recapping of the South Street landfill. While the county owns most of the site – which the town once leased from them for use as a landfill and later a transfer station – the police headquarters parking lot is owned by the town and it sits on top of a portion of the original landfill. The trash beneath the lot is part of the reason why methane gas has been detected within the station over the last several years.” (Wicked Local)
  • Macon-Bibb landfill fails inspection. “For the second time in a row, the Macon-Bibb landfill failed its state inspection by the Department of Natural Resources says County Manager Dale Walker. He says during the inspection on January 23rd, the landfill received a 65% grade, which is up from 55% during an inspection last spring. However, it needed to score 75% to pass.” (
  • Expansion plans at county landfill will advance this spring. “Pitkin County officials will move forward with an effort to add 10 years to the 25-year lifespan of the Pitkin County Landfill by seeking state and federal permits for an expansion project this spring.” (Wicked Local)
  • No weighbridge at landfill yet. “Dunedin city councillors have voted against installing a weighbridge at the Green Island landfill immediately, opting instead to seek residents' opinion. Councillors yesterday spent an hour debating whether to install a weighbridge at the landfill, where operator discretion was recently removed, leading to widespread complaints from users who felt prices had suddenly increased and were in some cases unfair.” (Otago Daily Times)
  • New proposal to treat city's waste takes aim at sewage. “Palo Alto may still be years away from building a state-of-the-art facility to process local food waste and yard trimmings, but officials are preparing to pick up the pace when it comes to dealing with sewage sludge, the third stream in the city's complex waste flow.” ( )
  • Solid waste district tables separation resolution, but approves parts of it. “A resolution to separate the Athens-Hocking Solid Waste District from the nonprofit entity that runs recycling programs in the two counties was tabled at Monday's district board meeting. However, the board took separate action on some aspects of the resolution. … After the meeting, Adkins said he has issues with the wording of the resolution regarding the shifting of district employees to the nonprofit, and with a provision for selling equipment to the nonprofit.” (
  • City of Austin expands curbside organics collection pilot program. “In December 2012, the City of Austin initiated a pilot program through which organic waste materials would be collected in curbside collection bins and transported to a partner facility (Organics by Gosh) where they would then be composted. The initial phase of this program included about 8000 homes in various areas of Austin. The second phase of the pilot is being introduced this month with about 6000 new homes included.” (
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