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Articles from 2020 In January


Fish Highlights WM’s 2020 Vision at Sustainability Forum

Waste Management Investor Relations Twitter Fish Highlights WM’s 2020 Vision at Sustainability Forum

Waste Management held its 2020 Waste Management Sustainability Forum on January 30, where speakers discussed key topics in the sector and what can be done to make our world more sustainable.

Jim Fish, president and CEO of Waste Management (WM), kicked off this year’s forum by discussing the MRF of the Future, some of the company’s “big ideas and bold actions,” the company’s people-first culture, the “big, mighty Generation Z” and how the conversation around sustainability has changed over the years.

“Since our first [forum] 10 years ago, I think it’s clear that the definition of sustainability has expanded beyond just the environment; the movement is now inclusive of critical issues the world faces today like diversity, equality and food security,” said Fish.

“I’m excited because looking out at all of you, I realize that this event represents the key ingredient to success in the sustainability movement, and that’s people. It’s our family members, our neighbors, our coworkers, our community leaders, our government officials—all of us are going to be the reason sustainability works. As corporate citizens, we’re starting to reach adulthood in sustainability terms even though we may have gotten a few speeding tickets along the way.”

Here are some key highlights from Fish’s keynote.

The “Big, Mighty Generation Z”

During his keynote, Fish, who had his two daughters in attendance, focused largely on Generation Z and how they are impacting the world today and how they will impact the world in the future.

He said what excites him most about Generation Z is that they have an unimpeded view of the world, and in their minds, there is nothing we can’t do and there is no “this is the way we’ve always done it” because they’ve never done it that way.

“I know all generations have made their own contribution to society and to the world as a whole … but this current generation is so much different than I was at their age,” he said. “This big, mighty generation known as Generation Z is the most ethnically diverse and largest generation in American history. It’s 27 percent of the U.S. population.”

“It’s a generation that’s very active and vocal about things that matter to them. It’s a generation that’s holding all of us accountable to a higher social standard in many parts of our lives, including at work. And while they generally do not understand my statement that sustainability has to be both economically and environmentally sustainable to be viable for the long term, they will eventually understand that. In the meantime, they’re helping us think in a different way—a way that’s a good thing,” he added.

Waste Management’s People-first Culture

Fish has been the president and CEO of Waste Management for about three and a half years. And as a leader, he has focused on two main goals: make Waste Management a great place to work (or what he refers to as “people first”) and transition Waste Management from a best-in-class environmental solutions company to a world-class, purpose-driven thought leader.

In regard to the first goal, he said he feels most employees would say that Waste Management is a really good place to work or a really good company, but he feels there is “an ocean of difference between being really good and being great.”

He feels that if Waste Management’s 45,000-plus employees are taken care of, they will, in turn, take care of the company’s customers, communities and the environment, which will translate into happy shareholders.

“It just has to be in that order,” he explained. “If it’s not in that order, it all falls apart, so I hope my legacy when I leave Waste Management and retire is that I helped make Waste Management a great place to work. Providing a great place to work means giving our employees the voice, giving them the necessary tools to do their jobs and giving them a nice work environment. Whether that means trucks, a new training center, restoring a maintenance bay, maybe building a new recycling plant—all of that makes a difference.”

In regard to the second goal, Fish believes that transitioning the company from a best-in-class environmental solutions company to a world-class, purpose-driven thought leader will drive real, lasting change for the world we live in.

“We think a better world is one with cleaner air, cleaner streets, cleaner cities … I could go down the list,” he said. “We think it includes reforestation and replanting of the trillions of trees that have been cut down over the last 200 years and finding solutions to clean up the oceans. Sustainability makes good economic sense for businesses and industries; it’s not a nice to have, it’s a must have.”

Later this year, Waste Management will move into its new corporate headquarters in downtown Houston, which Fish dubs as the most sustainable office building in the state of Texas. All of the construction materials for the headquarters were selected to embody Waste Management’s vision of a more sustainable tomorrow, and the space for the new headquarters is designed to host more than 1,000 employees and to be consistent with the company’s sustainability and wellness values.

MRF of the Future and Fighting Contamination

In 2019, Waste Management saw a 20 percent decrease in contamination at its single stream recycling facilities, and in 2020, the company will invest more than $100 million in recycling infrastructure for the third year in a row.

This investment comes on the heels of the company’s investment in its state-of-the-art Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) of the Future, which is located in Chicago and began processing materials in October 2019, according to Fish.

The MRF features 14 optical sorters, and Fish said it produces a much cleaner stream on the backend compared to one of the company’s standard MRFs.

Fish Highlights WM’s 2020 Vision at Sustainability Forum

“Our goal is to get contamination down to 10 percent in the next five years, and technology will play a big role in achieving that goal,” he said. “We must continue to target the source of recycling contamination, which is truthfully all of us in this room. We’re the source of that contamination.”

In a better world, Fish said the entire supply chain would use recycled materials, consumers would request that the products they are buying are made sustainable and brands would make products and packaging from post-consumer content.

At Waste Management, staff have taken a deep dive into the company’s supply chain to ensure sustainability is top of mind. The company also has signed on to the Association of Plastic Recyclers’ Demand Champions Program, committing to increase purchases of products made with post-consumer plastic.

Carts are one of our largest purchases at Waste Management, so we worked with Cascade, one of our cart manufacturers, to use 10 percent post-consumer plastic in our carts,” he said.

Waste Management’s “Big Ideas and Bold Actions”

Waste Management is aiming to make the world better, and it has developed some attainable goals to do its part to help solve manmade environmental problems. One of those goals is to reduce greenhouse gases that the company controls, like diesel emissions and landfill methane gases. To be specific, the company has a goal to offset four times the greenhouse gas emissions that it generates by 2038, and a big part of achieving that goal is reducing its fleet emissions, according to Fish.

“We have the biggest heavy equipment fleet in North America, and today, almost 65 percent of our collection trucks run on compressed natural gas (CNG). A third of those trucks are running on renewable fuel, which reduces our emissions by over 80 percent compared to diesel,” he said. “By the end of the year, almost 70 percent of our trucks on the road will run on CNG, and by the end of next year, it will be almost 75 percent.”

Waste Management is also focused on changing the narrative around landfills. Although it’s the biggest landfill company in North America, Waste Management is also the biggest recycler in North America, according to Fish.

In 2019, the company took in 110 million tons of waste at its landfills. That waste, according to Fish, was generated by all of us, not Waste Management. And while the company isn’t creating the waste that goes into its landfills, it is continuously developing and refining the solutions for handling that waste in a more environmentally and economically viable manner.

“Our landfills play an important role in protecting human health and the environment,” explained Fish. “And as the largest recycler in North America, you would expect us to be engaged on complex issues tied to recycling, and we are. We talk about it all the time, but we have so much more that we can and should do.”

Fish ended his keynote by telling forum attendees that the work Waste Management does is very personal to him, and at the end of the day, it’s the only way the company is going to fulfill the challenge of leaving the world in a better place than it found it.

“While sustainability may be the right thing to do for business, it’s the only thing to do for our planet,” he stated. “I invite you all to make it personal and to get connected with your own passion. Maybe get a little angry. Get motivated. Get inspired for my daughters, for your daughters and sons, for your grandkids, for your neighbors, for your planet—all of us will thank you. And maybe 10 years from now, our kids will be up here on stage talking about how they and their friends helped solve ocean plastics or how they saved an endangered species … and that is what I call a better world.”

Look for more coverage from the 2020 Waste Management Sustainability Forum on Monday.

Need to Know

Athens Works to Meet CA’s Organic Waste Diversion Goals

Athens Works to Meet CA’s Organic Waste Diversion Goals
Athens Services has collaborated with Komar Industries to produce an Organic Separation Press.

As cities and businesses work to meet California’s 75 percent recycling goal by 2025, Athens Services is meeting the challenge head-on for its customers with innovative technology.

Currently, most organic and food waste ends up in landfills. Not only is that a waste of resources, but as those materials degrade over time, they produce large amounts of methane gas.

According to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, an estimated 6 million tons of food waste alone ends up in landfills annually in California, which is about 18 percent of all landfill waste.

The state of California has set targets to reduce organic waste disposal 50 percent by 2020 and 75 percent by 2025 and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030. Communities across California are working hard to find ways to meet these goals.

“These higher diversion goals mean attacking more contaminated waste streams, most of which goes to landfills,” said Riel Johnson, director of resource recovery for Athens Services, in a statement. “Of the organic matter we receive, 20 to 30 percent may be ‘clean’; we need to tackle the rest to achieve these new, higher diversion goals.”

Athens added that it leads the region in diverting waste from landfills with the “most technologically advanced” materials recovery facility (MRF) in Southern California.

Now, Athens said it is pioneering innovative technology that, combined with existing processes, will result in higher diversion rates. Athens has purchased a machine called an Organic Separation Press (OSP), built in collaboration with a manufacturer of industrial compactors and shredders.

“We’re excited about the potential of this technology to help fill the gap between waste, recycling and ‘clean’ organics,” said Johnson.

The OSP Process

Here’s how it works: Organic waste brought into Athens’ city of Industry MRF is loaded into the organic processing system. Equipped with a cantilevered auger, or drill, the OSP pushes the waste against a hydraulically activated door to squeeze the liquid from the material and into a collection tank.

Athens Works to Meet CA’s Organic Waste Diversion Goals

The nutrient-rich liquid is then loaded onto a tanker truck and shipped to a treatment facility, where it can be digested for energy production or composted to return nutrients to California farm fields.

Los Angeles County officials have conducted several tests and have approved the extracted organic material for such processing. The remaining dry material is sorted for beneficial reuse or transfer to landfill.

The machine processes about 40 tons per hour and recovers 20 to 40 percent of the material; previously, 100 percent of this material was shipped to local landfills.

The Technology and the Team

Komar Industries of Ohio, a manufacturer of heavy industrial compactors and shredders, developed the unit for Athens. The OSP combines a Komar compression auger with a specialized dewatering unit, which was developed to process deicing fluids used on airport runways.

“We’ve seen this trend developing worldwide,” said Mark Koenig, president of Komar, in a statement. “The volume of wet waste has been growing, with higher contamination, but there was no technology to handle it; it was simply too dirty and too wet.”

“Previous efforts to deal with this mixed organic and waste stream have been attempted, but the pretreatment and prescreening it required made the process prohibitively expensive,” added Koenig. “We looked at how to attack it cost effectively, and we’ve achieved that.”

“We are expecting increased contamination and are building equipment to handle it,” said Komar Director of Municipal Projects Doug Vanderlinden in a statement. “Athens understands that this waste stream is growing.”

Athens has the exclusive rights to the OSP and its proprietary technology in the Los Angeles area and plans to add a second system at another Los Angeles facility.

“Others are talking about the future,” added Vanderlinden. “Athens is preparing for it.”

Need to Know

Waste Reduction Initiatives Ahead of Super Bowl LIV

Hard Rock Stadium Twitter Waste Reduction Initiatives Ahead of Super Bowl LIV

Various companies are partnering to reduce waste and promote sustainability ahead of Super Bowl LIV in Miami this weekend. Here’s a look at what PepsiCo, Centerplate, Ball, Bud Light and Food Rescue US are doing for this year’s big game.

PepsiCo and Ocean Conservancy

PepsiCo and Ocean Conservancy announced, in the lead up to Super Bowl LIV in Miami, plans to partner on a series of beach cleanups around the United States. The first cleanup will be held at Oleta River State Park in Florida on Saturday, February 1, with singer Ally Brooke and country music duo LOCASH.

"We need all hands on deck to tackle ocean plastic pollution, and we are thrilled to have PepsiCo join Team Ocean and help engage more people and volunteers in the fight," said Janis Searles Jones, CEO of Ocean Conservancy, in a statement. "Plastic pollution is one of the most visceral and visual threats facing the ocean, and we know from three decades of mobilizing the International Coastal Cleanup that nothing changes hearts and minds like coming face-to-face with the issue at a beach cleanup. Our hope is that we can leverage PepsiCo's incredible reach to make real change."

"At PepsiCo, we envision a world where plastic never becomes waste, and that requires both urgent action and collaboration," said Simon Lowden, chief sustainability officer at PepsiCo, in a statement. "As one of the world's leading food and beverage companies, we recognize the responsibility we have to be part of the solution, and partnering with Ocean Conservancy is an exciting opportunity to drive progress in these communities and beyond."

Hundreds of recycling bins have been placed throughout Miami, and the PepsiCo Recycling Roadster will be in town to inform people about the importance of recycling.

In addition, through the PepsiCo Foundation, PepsiCo has been active in supporting Ocean Conservancy's work through Circulate Capital, an investment firm solely dedicated to financing plastic waste collection and recycling projects in parts of the world most impacted by the ocean plastic crisis. The series of cleanups is an opportunity to bring this behind-the-scenes work to the forefront and engage the public in ocean conservation.

Ocean Conservancy is the official Ocean Partner of the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and its Ocean to Everglades (O2E) initiative, and in September 2019 launched the #SuperCleanupChallenge to divert or remove 54 tons of plastic and other trash from Florida-area beaches in the lead up to the big game. Saturday's cleanup efforts will go toward the 54-ton tally, and 50 local consumers will collect litter alongside Ally Brooke, LOCASH, employees, government officials and other special guests. 

"I'm so excited to be a part of #TeamOcean and to be joining PepsiCo and Ocean Conservancy to help leave Florida a little cleaner than when I arrived," said Ally Brooke in a statement. "I've learned that everyone has a role to play in the fight against ocean plastics and encourage all my fans to learn more at jointeamocean.org."

Centerplate, Ball and Bud Light to Present Recyclable Aluminum Cups

Centerplate, a leading hospitality partner to North America’s premier sports entertainment venues, Ball Corporation and Bud Light announced an agreement to bring Ball's infinitely recyclable aluminum cups to guests at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens for Super Bowl LIV.

Ball, a leader in cutting-edge, sustainable aluminum beverage packaging, designed the lightweight aluminum cups in response to growing consumer preference for more sustainable products. Centerplate, the exclusive catering partner for Hard Rock Stadium, is adopting the cups as part of the company’s Better Tomorrow 2025 goals and to help forward the venue’s broader mission to phase out 99.4 percent of single-use plastics this year.

As the NFL’s official beer and the presenting sponsor of the Super Bowl LIV cups, Bud Light is also doing its part to make a Better World and support Anheuser-Busch’s ambitious 2025 sustainability goals. As a result, the aluminum cups will help eliminate more than 500,000 plastic cups annually from Hard Rock Stadium’s supply chain.

Anheuser-Busch Twitter ImageWaste Reduction Initiatives Ahead of Super Bowl LIV

“We’re proud to team up with Centerplate and Bud Light to bring fans at Hard Rock Stadium improved, sustainable hospitality with our game-changing and infinitely recyclable aluminum cup,” said John A. Hayes, Ball’s chairman, president and CEO, in a statement. “We developed the aluminum cup to ensure it meets growing demand for more green products, and we’re excited that our partnership will give this year’s Super Bowl fans the opportunity to do better by the environment.”

“We’re excited to be working with likeminded partners to put sustainable solutions in the hands of football fans on this amazing stage,” said Adam Warrington, vice president of Better World at Anheuser-Busch, in a statement. “Bud Light has a storied history of celebrating NFL moments, and we hope this will be the first of many occasions they can enjoy it from an infinitely recyclable cup.”

During the Super Bowl, 50,000 of the 20-ounce cups will be available in the clubs, suites and general concourse areas of the stadium. After the game, the cups will continue to be available at Hard Rock Stadium throughout the year for Miami Dolphins games, University of Miami college football games, international soccer matches, concerts and all other events that take place at the global entertainment destination. Hard Rock Stadium became the first professional football arena to feature the aluminum cups at scale when it debuted them during the Miami Dolphins’ final home game of the season in December 2019.

“We are always striving to be leaders in providing innovative solutions for our clients and guests, especially in support of our mission, vision and values,” added Centerplate CEO Steve Pangburn. “This is another example of a forward-looking enhancement that will help us reduce our environmental impact in the months and years ahead, not only in Miami but in support of our global mission to make it better to be there in the communities which we serve.”

Food Rescue US Teams Up with Centerplate and NFL Green

With more than a million people expected to attend Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium and its related events, national food recovery leader Food Rescue US is partnering with NFL Green and Centerplate to ensure surplus food from Super Bowl events is recovered and provided to food insecure individuals in the Miami area. Tens of thousands of pounds of food are expected to be rescued from these events to keep it from ending up in landfill where it creates methane gas that contributes to global warming.

“With the scale of an event like the Super Bowl, we always prepare plenty of food, and I’m pleased to continue our partnership with Food Rescue US – Miami to deliver any surplus to local social service agencies feeding the hungry in our community,” said Chef Dayanny de la Cruz, executive chef of Centerplate at Hard Rock Stadium, in a statement. “Our Centerplate team is proud to give back to the communities we serve and to ensure that the meals we create can also support those in need, thanks to the efforts of the volunteer food rescue teams.”

Over the past year, Food Rescue US – Miami has provided 250,000 meals and kept 300,000 pounds of food from landfill under the leadership of Site Director Ellen Bowen. Food rescued from Super Bowl LIV and related events will be delivered to Miami Rescue Mission, Broward Outreach Center, Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Lotus House Shelter and Camillus House.

“We know food insecurity impacts one in seven people in the state of Florida,” said Carol Shattuck, CEO of Food Rescue US, in a statement. “Through our work with Centerplate and NFL Green, we can make sure excess food from Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Beach Convention Center helps to feed individuals and families throughout Miami, while also not contributing to the growing food waste crisis in the U.S.”

Started in 2011, Food Rescue US is rescuing in 25 locations throughout the U.S., including Miami and Broward counties. Using its proprietary app, food donors are connected with local social service agencies that feed the food insecure and volunteer food rescuers who directly transfer healthy, excess food from the food donor to social service agencies.

Need to Know

Clean Energy Delivers 143M Gallons of Redeem RNG in 2019

Clean Energy Image Clean Energy Delivers 143M Gallons of Redeem RNG in 2019

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. just announced it delivered 143 million gallons of Redeem Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) last year as robust sales of the carbon-neutral transportation fuel continued in 2019, closing out the year with significant deals throughout North America.

The environmental impact of replacing 143 million gallons of diesel fuel with RNG is the equivalent of reducing 745,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions—also equal to planting 12 million trees, removing 158,000 cars off the road or reducing 260,000 tons of waste that would otherwise be sent to the landfill, Clean Energy pointed out.

Clean Energy Delivers 143M Gallons of Redeem RNG in 2019

Redeem was the first commercially available RNG vehicle fuel, derived from capturing biogenic methane that is produced from the decomposition of organic waste from dairies, landfills and wastewater treatment plants.

In 2019, Clean Energy unveiled goals to exclusively offer zero carbon Redeem at all of its fueling stations by 2025. At this pace, Clean Energy said it would outdistance other alternative fuels, including electric vehicles.

Clean Energy’s 2019 Redeem totals were bolstered by a seven-year contract with UPS for 170 million gallons to fuel its large fleet of natural gas heavy-duty trucks around the country, the largest purchase of RNG ever in the U.S. In 2019, Clean Energy provided an estimated 16 million gallons of Redeem to UPS.

Redeem sales were also strengthened by the addition of more ultra-low emissions trucks operating in the ports of Los Angeles and from wider adoption by California municipalities including Santa Monica, Santa Clarita, Midway City, Redondo Beach, Sacramento, Ontario and San Jose.

“Fleets are discovering that RNG, together with natural gas engine technology, is a proven solution that can significantly decrease the impact of harmful emissions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Chad Lindholm, vice president of Clean Energy Fuels, in a statement. “Clean Energy’s corporate vision is directly tied to improving air quality and positively impacting public health, so we’ll continue to grow Redeem’s role in our fuel offerings to provide a clean and cost-effective alternative to diesel fuel.”

Strides in Solid Waste

Clean Energy ImageClean Energy Delivers 143M Gallons of Redeem RNG in 2019

The city of Tucson, Ariz., has signed a multiyear maintenance agreement with Clean Energy. The city has more than 75 compressed natural gas (CNG) waste and recycling trucks and 50 CNG transit buses that combined use more than 2 million gallons annually.

The city of Philadelphia has started to replace its diesel refuse trucks with CNG trucks, contracting with Clean Energy to retrofit its city garage to make it CNG-compliant. Clean Energy also will design, build, operate and maintain a 43-truck private time-fill CNG station, with room for expansion, at the same location. The city has already received its first two CNG refuse trucks, which are temporarily fueling at Clean Energy’s Philadelphia Airport Station. Philadelphia will be consuming an estimated 250,000 gallons of CNG when it reaches 43 trucks in 2021. Clean Energy also has a 10-year maintenance contract for this station.

The city of Spokane, Wash., Solid Waste Collection department is a designated solid waste hauler, providing residential and commercial garbage, recycling and yard waste/food scrap collection services. In 2015, the city built a private CNG fueling station and started converting its fleet of 70 refuse trucks. Spokane continues to grow its CNG refuse fleet and currently operates approximately 40 CNG trucks. The city and Clean Energy have agreed to extend their existing comprehensive maintenance services agreement.

Clean Energy ImageClean Energy Delivers 143M Gallons of Redeem RNG in 2019

Homewood Disposal Inc., headquartered in Homewood, Ill., is adding 13 CNG refuse trucks to its fleet that will fuel with an expected 150,000 gallons of CNG per year.

“Our CNG program continues to be a great success story for Homewood Disposal and our customers,” said Kyle Yonkers of Homewood Disposal in a statement. “For every diesel truck we replace with CNG, the environmental impact helps our customers with cleaner air and quieter trucks in their neighborhoods.”

Redeem RNG Keeps Flowing

Clean Energy Delivers 143M Gallons of Redeem RNG in 2019

Ecology Auto Parts, based in Southern California, has signed a five-year fuel contract for an estimated 3.5 million gallons of Redeem to fuel 47 new Class 8 trucks that will fuel within Clean Energy’s public network in Southern California. The trucks were purchased through Clean Energy’s Zero Now program, which brings the price of a natural gas truck at parity with a diesel truck while offering a guaranteed fuel discount for the duration of the agreement.

The Orange County, Calif., Department of Public Works signed a five-year renewal agreement for an anticipated 750,000 gallons of Redeem at its public access station in Orange, Calif., to fuel 50 municipal vehicles such as sweepers and dump trucks, with the remaining volume dedicated to public and third-party usage. The contract also includes continued operation and maintenance for the length of the agreement.

LAZ Parking, which operates more than 40 CNG buses across Southern California, has signed an agreement for an expected 800,000 gallons of Redeem.

Amato industries has renewed a commitment for an estimated 360,000 gallons of Redeem over the three-year contract to provide RNG for the shuttle company’s 17 hotel and charter service shuttle buses.

Clean Energy Delivers 143M Gallons of Redeem RNG in 2019

IRS Demo, a demolition company based in Los Angeles, has inked a three-year agreement for approximately 225,000 gallons of Redeem. The company has added three new CNG trucks to its eight-truck fleet, which will fuel at Clean Energy’s station in Commerce, Calif.

Fox Rent A Car has renewed a fuel contract for approximately 210,000 gallons of Redeem over three years to power its 17 CNG rental car shuttles at Los Angeles International Airport and McCarren Airport in Las Vegas.

Having doubled its natural gas street sweeper fleet in the past 36 months, Sunset Property Services in Irvine, Calif., has signed a three-year fuel renewal contract for an expected 180,000 gallons of Redeem over the duration of the agreement.

Western Eagle Shuttle in the California Bay Area is now fueling with Clean Energy, having signed a three-year contract for an anticipated 90,000 gallons of Redeem to fuel passenger shuttles at San Francisco International Airport.

Clean Energy has extended its multiyear Long Beach Transit maintenance agreement. Long Beach Transit uses 100 percent Redeem at its “LBT2” Transit Maintenance Facility, the home to 125 CNG buses.

Expansion in Canada

BC Transit, which provides public transit services to dozens of British Columbia communities located outside Metro Vancouver, has again contracted with Clean Energy to design, build and maintain a CNG station in Langford. This agreement includes upgrading the existing Langford garage and fueling island to make them CNG-compatible. This station will initially fuel approximately 60 CNG buses with an ultimate capacity of 120 buses with a minimum of 8 million gallons dispensed over the life of the 13-year contract.

Clean Energy ImageClean Energy Delivers 143M Gallons of Redeem RNG in 2019

Long-time partner, Translink – Coast Mountain Bus, located in Metro Vancouver, has signed a new multiyear maintenance agreement with Clean Energy for its CNG stations located in Port Coquitlam, Richmond and Surrey. As part of the agreement, Clean Energy will be replacing two old and smaller compressors with a new higher capacity Clean Energy compressor, installing a new larger dryer and providing programmable logic controller upgrades at Port Coquitlam. Approximately 25 million gallons will be dispensed over 10 years.

“Clean Energy is very proud to continue our partnership with Translink – Coast Mountain Bus and looks forward to working with them as they continue to add to their fleet of approximately 300 clean burning natural gas buses located at their three stations,” noted Lindholm.

The city of London, Ontario, is transitioning a fleet of 37 refuse trucks to CNG at the rate of 10 vehicles per year over the next few years. The trucks will fuel at the Clean Energy retail station at the London Pilot Flying J station, consuming an anticipated 51,000 gallons per year.

Clean Energy also renewed its CNG station maintenance agreements with transit agencies for the cities of Medicine Hat and Red Deer in Alberta.

Need to Know

Industry Stops Bill to Overhaul CA’s Bottle Deposit System

Industry Stops Bill to Overhaul CA’s Bottle Deposit System

A major reform bill to overhaul California’s bottle deposit system failed in the California Senate after the wine and liquor industry joined with the beverage industry to lobby against the proposal. The bill is now on the inactive file after failing on the floor on January 29 with 17 votes in favor.

SB 372 (Wieckowski, D-Fremont) is modeled on deposit systems in other states that put the responsibility on the beverage industry. It also includes the wine and liquor industry in the program, overturning the industry’s long-held exemption.

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, EJ Gallo and associations representing distributors and producers donated roughly $1.3 million to individual lawmakers between 2017 and 2019 to continue to be exempt from the bottle deposit program, Consumer Watchdog reports.

Iowa, Maine and Vermont’s wine industries participate in a bottle deposit program. “California’s wine industry continues to fight it by believing its political spending will continue to buy it an outrageous exemption from recycling,” said Consumer Watchdog.

“Californians deserve an accessible redemption system to get their bottle and can deposits back, but the wine industry’s naked greed in continuing an unjustified exemption from the program stopped a common-sense proposal today,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, in a statement. “The scions of California wine, which accounts for 90 percent of the nation’s wine production, don’t want to be good environmental stewards or told what to do. Shame on Gallo, Mondavi and the other first families of wine that have gotten rich off California but refuse to give back to its fight against climate change. The wine industry needs to be part of the solution because today they are part of the problem.”

"Californians need Governor Newsom's leadership to make sure that California recycling and bottle deposit redemption programs work for consumers and the environment, not for the special interests in the beverage industry and for trash haulers, who get huge subsidies and cause trash contamination problems through the single stream curbside process," added Court.

Newsom made comments in a speech at the Public Policy Institute of California suggesting he would be engaging on a recycling overhaul this year and already has made the reform a priority in his budget.

California’s current system relies on a network of redemption centers that are closing. Retailers must take back bottles and cans only in places where centers have shuttered. California has lost more than half its redemption centers in the last six years, leaving each center on average serving 32,000 consumers.

“Characteristics of the most successful EPR [extended producer responsibility] programs include: making the beverage industry responsible for bottle deposit programs, setting high redemption targets and requiring all major retailers of beverages responsible for refunding deposits and recycling empties,” noted Consumer Watchdog.

The current bottle bill has been amended at least 75 times since it went into effect in 1987, but none of the amendments ever changed its fundamental, inefficient structure. Besides reforming its structure, SB 372 would also expand the deposit program to include wine and distilled spirits, which could raise more than $100 million annually for the program, according to the Container Recycling Institute.

“Opposition voiced by the wine, liquor and beverage distributor industries are based on naked greed, nothing other than a wanton desire to be free of responsibility to deal with climate change, disregard their stewardship roles and ignore the needs of consumers,” added Court.

Need to Know

St. Paul, Minn., Trash Referendum Draws "Big Money"

St. Paul, Minn., Trash Referendum Draws "Big Money"

In November 2019, St. Paul, Minn., voters approved the continuation of a controversial trash collection system in the city. And as many strong opinions emerged from both sides of the aisle, the vote also drew “big money,” according to the Pioneer Press.

Labor unions, small businesses and grassroots donors spent upwards of $30,000 on each side to get out the vote for the November 2019 ballot. New campaign finance reports show that in late October and early November, the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, AFSCME Council 5’s People’s Fund and Teamsters Local 120 each donated between $3,000 and $5,000 to the “Vote Yes” campaign. Opponents also spent roughly $33,000, though the majority went toward legal fees.

St. Paul residents used to be able to choose which trash company they wanted to use and negotiate their own rates. The city ended up switching to organized pickup with flat rates in an effort to reduce truck traffic on residential streets. After numerous arguments over the future of the city’s trash collection system, the matter went to the state Supreme Court, which ordered on August 22 that the issue be put to voters during a citywide referendum on November 5.

Pioneer Press has more:

St. Paul’s public referendum on organized trash collection drew strong opinions all around. It also drew money — labor unions, small businesses and grassroots donors spent upwards of $30,000 on each side to get out the vote for the November ballot.

A trash company also got involved, effectively matching “Yes for St. Paul” contributions dollar for dollar. In early October, Republic Services of Crestwood, Ill., contributed $28,000 to the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, a conservative advocacy organization that supported organized collection, for online advertising. Republic paid $2,000 to Golnik Strategies of St. Paul for consulting services.

New campaign finance reports on file with Ramsey County Elections shed fresh light on the bruising battle on the November 2019 ballot. On Election Day, St. Paul voters overwhelmingly voted to keep the city’s year-old system of trash collection intact, with a final vote of 63 percent to 37 percent.

Read the full article here.

AMCS CEO Details TRUX Route Management Acquisition

AMCS Twitter AMCS CEO Details TRUX Route Management Acquisition

On January 29, AMCS, an Ireland-based global leader of integrated software and vehicle technology for the waste, recycling and resource industries, announced its acquisition of Canada-based TRUX Route Management Systems Inc.

After the announcement, Waste360 spoke with AMCS CEO Jimmy Martin about what the acquisition means for the industry and how it will drive new technologies, efficiency and more.

Waste360: Congratulations on the TRUX deal. Before we dive into the details of the acquisition, can you provide us with a brief overview of AMCS and its growth strategy over the years?

Jimmy Martin: AMCS has more than 2,500 customers worldwide with operations in North America, across Europe, Australia and New Zealand. We’re a pure software technology business with the goal to drive the digitalization of the waste and recycling industry and a broader goal toward a circular economy. Our mission is a circular economy approach that means automating and measuring all the inputs and outputs of the industry itself. We’re growing rapidly with 50 percent of the growth coming from acquisitions and 50 percent coming from organic growth.

Waste360: What made you set your sights on TRUX?

Jimmy Martin: I’ve been admiring TRUX since 2009 when I entered the waste industry in North America. I’ve known David Ische and his father for a long time, and they have a good name, a good brand, impeccable service and a top tech stack.

Waste360: How did the acquisition go? And, what does it mean for AMCS?

Jimmy Martin: Most good deals are waiting for both sides, and TRUX is a really good business. The acquisition went well, and it now makes us a bigger force in the market with more than 1,000 customers in all levels of North America. With the combination of TRUX’s customers in the mid and enterprise market and AMCS’ investment ability and resources, all of our customers will benefit from the integration of the two businesses.

Waste360: Can you talk about what this acquisition means to the waste and recycling industry as a whole?

Jimmy Martin: I think it is very positive, and it allows us to invest even more into R&D [research and development]. This year, we invested nearly $20 million dollars on product development on software in the industry. That’s a massive investment, and we have the scale and the resources now to do that. That’s what it’s about at this stage—allowing us to bring new ideas and technologies to the industry and integrate that into the operation system. We’ve done that with our optimization engine and onboard technology, with our IoT [Internet of Things] platform and with our digital platform for payments and automation of subcontractors. That’s why scale is quite important to us—it allows us to continue to aggressively invest in the industry, reinvest in the product(s) and drive toward the future. TRUX brings that on two fronts: One, with the knowledge of the overall market across Canada and North America, and two, experienced resources so we can further develop the platform together.

Waste360: Any plans for AMCS to evolve with the acquisition?

Jimmy Martin: It brings us a better base around active maintenance and strong knowledge in the Canadian market, which is different than the U.S. market. That would be the big add-on for us. Technology is not always about just the technology; it’s often about the resources you gain. David was developing new technology, we’re developing new technology and when we put those resources together, it gives you one plus one equals three instead of two.

Waste360: How will you align the two company cultures during the transition?

Jimmy Martin: We’re very culturally aligned, and there is no plan to change the team within TRUX. It can be merged into the overall AMCS operation in North America, with David Ische taking a senior role on the management team reporting directly to me. We’re quite sensitive to make sure we merge the teams together properly, and we have some common customers as well. We will work closely to figure out how to best service them together and then bring new technologies to the TRUX customer base. This also gives us an office in Toronto, which we didn’t have in the past.

Waste360: This is an exciting acquisition, but what’s next for AMCS?

Jimmy Martin: We’re continuing to grow, and we’re excited about the overall market and helping the industry evolve toward sustainability because that’s at the core of what we do. Being a technology partner, we firmly believe that’s where we’re moving and that’s where our strengths are. I think it’s more of the same while broadening it into making fiber recycling into the optimization side and integrating that into North America like we’ve done on the European side four years ago. There probably will be a couple more acquisitions along the way.

Waste360: Is there anything else that you are you paying attention to within the industry as a whole?

Jimmy Martin: I think there’s still a lot of work to do to drive efficiency on a few fronts—on the overall operations around collections, around the digitalization of the customer interactions and automating the work processes from the subcontractors right up to the facilities and the landfills. We see lots of opportunities there, and there’s still a lot of manual work and a great deal of opportunity for automation. With that comes increased efficiencies, better revenue protection and significant improvement in the industry.

Waste360: Do you think we are any closer to a circular economy?

Jimmy Martin: What we’ve done for the past 10 years is ship a lot to China. We’re finally changing that, and that excites me. We are seeing fiber mills getting involved in this, the product side, even the metal side and, of course, the industry side, so we’re starting to be real about the circular economy. It’s harder work, but it’s the right thing to do. It’s starting to happen in the U.S. and we’re at the beginning, but it’s a “real” beginning and not a false start.

Need to Know

Starlight, Wingmate Partnership to Benefit Refuse Haulers

Starlight, Wingmate Partnership to Benefit Refuse Haulers

Starlight LLC, a provider of real-time business process solutions for the waste hauling and recycling industries, and Wingmate, a frontline lead gen program and sales management technology, announced that they will work in partnership to offer the Wingmate mobile lead gen platform integrated to Starlight’s Driver Mobile Application.  

Available beginning February 3, Starlight said its customers will be able to multiply the value of the Starlight Driver Application by opting to add Wingmate’s mobile application that “makes it simple and engaging” for drivers to generate sales leads. Starlight drivers generate sales leads and transmit them in real time to the sales staff by pointing the phone at the opportunity to geo-tag it and then talking into the app to provide details.

“We run Wingmate ourselves at 5280 Waste Solutions, and we’ve been very happy using it with our own drivers,” said Bill Bradley, CEO of Starlight LLC and 5280 Waste Solutions, in a statement. “Wingmate has paid for itself several times over, our drivers like it because they can track and get paid for the leads they generate and our other staff use it, too. It’s a great way to capture, organize and pursue leads on the fly, just as the team runs around the city in daily operations.”

With Starlight’s integration of Wingmate, hauling companies can start benefiting from opportunities employees identify daily in the normal course of operations and travel. People in the field see everything: new jobsites, competitive activity and locations and they talk with customers on the street and hear about new business and service requests.

“This information often slips through the cracks, and when it does make it through, it is rarely timely,” according to the companies. “Wingmate multiplies the opportunities and presents them instantly to your sales staff to pursue. This way, everyone on your team can track their leads and get paid for success.”

“It’s been great getting started with Bill Bradley and the Starlight team,” said Matt Leuschner, president of Wingmate, in a statement. “Wingmate was founded in 2016 to bridge the gap between sales and operations.” 

Bradley added that Wingmate will be offering a 15 percent discount from the retail price to every Starlight customer.

“The most appreciated part of our Wingmate platform is the ease of use,” noted Leuschner. “The solution is something drivers, salespeople and managers can really get behind and enjoy.”

Wingmate is headquartered in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has customers across North America.

Call2Recycle: More Than 7.5M Pounds of Batteries Recycled in 2019

Budget Dumpster Twitter Call2Recycle: More Than 7.5M Pounds of Batteries Recycled in 2019

Thanks to consumers' increasing battery recycling habits at retailers and municipalities, more than 7.5 million pounds of batteries were responsibly recycled in the U.S. in 2019, reports Call2Recycle, Inc., the nation's first and largest consumer battery stewardship organization. The Call2Recycle program achieved a 5 percent increase for all consumer batteries from 2018, with rechargeable battery collections growing 13 percent. Participating retail sites collected more than 3.3 million pounds of batteries, an increase of 7 percent from 2018, and municipalities collected more than 1.7 million pounds of batteries, an increase of 18 percent from 2018. Since the program's inception in 1994, more than 123 million pounds of batteries have been collected and recycled in the U.S.

"As we celebrated our 25th anniversary, we have been very encouraged to see battery collections grow, especially consumers recycling lithium-ion batteries, the most common type of rechargeable batteries," said Carl Smith, CEO and president of Call2Recycle, Inc., in a statement. "Batteries power our lives and lithium-ion batteries, in particular, aren't going away. This year's 36 percent increase in lithium-ion batteries collected is a positive sign that consumers are becoming more and more aware that the portable cordless devices—from electric toothbrushes, tablets, laptops and smart watches—that we use every day contain batteries that need to be safely and responsibly managed at their end of life."

Residents of Vermont, the first U.S. state requiring primary battery producers to finance a collection and recycling program for single-use batteries, recycled more than 166,000 pounds of rechargeable and single-use batteries. A 2019 Ipsos poll, conducted on behalf of Call2Recycle, found that awareness of battery recycling increased among Vermont residents. Six in 10 Vermonters believe that single-use batteries can be recycled, a 13-point increase from 2015. Since launching its partnership in 2016 with Call2Recycle as its appointed stewardship organization, more than 500,000 pounds of batteries have been collected and recycled in Vermont. 

Consumers can participate in the program by bringing their used batteries to a convenient drop-off location, which can be found using the Call2Recycle locator. The program's collection network allows for easy and accessible battery recycling, with 86 percent of residents living within 10 miles of a drop-off location. Before dropping off their batteries for recycling, consumers should review tips on how to safely prepare their batteries.

Waste Management to Use Aluminum Cups at Phoenix Open

Waste Management to Use Aluminum Cups at Phoenix Open

Ball Corporation and Waste Management announced a collaboration to bring Ball's infinitely recyclable aluminum cups to the PGA TOUR's 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. The event, which convenes more than 700,000 fans over the course of seven days, has long focused on championing sustainability. Inclusion of Ball's aluminum cup is a part of Waste Management's commitment to educating fans on how to "Recycle Right."

Ball, a leader in cutting-edge, sustainable aluminum beverage packaging, designed the lightweight aluminum cups in response to growing consumer preference for more sustainable products. Waste Management, the title sponsor of the Phoenix Open, is adopting the aluminum cups to help forward its mission of creating the largest zero waste sporting event in the world for the eighth consecutive year.

"The Waste Management Phoenix Open is a shining example of how events big and small can make sustainability a core part of their mission," said John A. Hayes, Ball's chairman, president and CEO, in a statement. "We're proud to join together with Waste Management to bring fans the aluminum cup and help meet their zero waste goal, while also expanding the cups to golf fans."

During the tournament, 7,000 of the 20-ounce cups will be used in the Patriots Outpost, a tournament venue on the 18th fairway that is exclusively for active, reserve, veterans and retired U.S. Military to enjoy complimentary food and beverages while watching PGA TOUR golf in a relaxed and comfortable setting. Waste Management is also hosting the #BinThereDoneThat social media contest, in which fans are encouraged to submit their recycling trick shots via social media for a chance to win a 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open ticket package.

"We're excited to team up with Ball to bring the game-changing aluminum cup to fans at this year's Waste Management Phoenix Open," said Brent Bell, vice president of recycling at Waste Management, in a statement. "Waste Management is a leader in promoting sustainability and environmental solutions, and the introduction of the infinitely recyclable aluminum cup will play an important part in helping us educate fans about how to recycle right here at the tournament and when they return to their homes, communities and businesses."

Infinitely recyclable and economically valuable, aluminum is the most sustainable beverage packaging material, and like aluminum cans, aluminum cups can be easily recycled. In fact, 75 percent of the aluminum ever produced is still in use today. In addition to its sustainability and recycling strengths, the aluminum cup is lightweight, sturdy and cool to the touch. It also can be customized with logos and graphics.