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Articles from 2015 In October


10 Things to Know about Republic’s Third Quarter Results

Republic Services Inc. reported higher net earnings and revenue for its third quarter.

Here are 10 main points about the latest financial results for the Phoenix-based company, for the period ended Sept. 30.

  1. Net profits for Republic climbed 16 percent to $215 million, or 61 cents per diluted share, compared with $185.8 million, or 52 cents per diluted share, in 2014. Excluding certain benefits and expenses, adjusted net income totaled $184.7 million in 2015 compared with $186 million a year ago.
  2. Revenue rose 3 percent to $2.34 billion from $2.27 billion in 2014, according to a news release.
  3. The company’s core price was 3.6 percent, which consisted of 4.7 percent in the open market and 1.8 percent in the restricted portion of its business.
  4. The assessment from Donald Slager, president and CEO: "Our results continue to demonstrate the progress we have made with our strategy of profitable growth through differentiation, while capturing the benefits of a steady improvement in solid waste trends. Our initiatives are delivering strong results through a heightened focus on the customer experience and improving service delivery, while reducing costs through operational programs and efficiencies."
  5. For the nine-month period, net earnings advanced 16 percent to $577.7 million, or $1.64 per diluted share, compared with $497.3 million, or $1.39 per diluted share, for 2014.
  6. Revenue increased 4 percent to $6.82 billion from $6.57 billion.
  7. Republic also announced that it approved a repurchase of $900 million of stock, extending through Dec. 31, 2017. That is in addition to $67 million that was authorized earlier. At current prices, $967 million represents more than 6 percent of the company’s outstanding stock shares.
  8. Said Slager: "Our share repurchase program reflects our long-term commitment to returning cash to our shareholders. Since we reinstated our repurchase program in 2010, we have consistently and efficiently returned over $1.7 billion to our shareholders through repurchases and reduced our share count by approximately 14 percent."
  9. The company said it expects to achieve its full-year financial guidance, which it raised in July. It also gave its preliminary outlook for 2016: Diluted earnings per share should be in the range of $2.13 to $2.17.
  10. The company said it was continuing to make progress on its fleet-based initiatives. Currently, 16 percent of its fleet operates on natural gas, and 71 percent of its residential fleet is automated.

BLS Figures Show Increase in Waste, Recycling Injuries, Illnesses

New figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in its 2014 Workplace Injury and Illness Data show an increase in total recordable workplace injury and illness cases for the waste and remediation sector.

The injury figures come six weeks after the most recent BLS study showed that the number of fatalities in the industry had dropped to 27 in 2014 from 33 in 2013.

In addition, the data showed a slight decrease in injuries that resulted in job transfers or job restrictions while the rate of lost workday cases was steady year-over-year.

The BLS data for the waste and remediation sector shows:

  • The total recordable cases of workplace injury and illness in the Waste Management and Remedial Services category was 5.1 per 100, an increase from the 2013 rate of 4.7 per 100.
  • The rate for cases with days away from work was 2.2 per 100, the same rate as in 2013.
  • The rate for cases that resulted in job transfer or restriction was 1.2 per 100, a slight decrease from the 2013 rate of 1.3 per 100.

Bret Biggers, the National Waste & Recycling Association’s (NWRA) director of statistics and standards says the total recordable cases number is similar to where it’s sat in recent years. While it rose from 2013, it’s lower than the 2012 figure of 5.4. Overall, it’s the third highest figure in the last six years.

“Lost workday cases plateaued from last year,” Biggers adds. It had risen in each of the last five years. “The good part of the data is that this number didn’t go up. … Hopefully it’s reached a peak and can start coming down.”

The job transfer or restriction number, meanwhile, has generally stayed between 1.0 and 1.4 in the last six years. The 2014 figure is right in the middle of that range.

In addition, the BLS data found that in the subcategory for solid waste collection employees within the waste and remediation category was even higher:

  • The total rate of recordable cases for solid waste collection employees was 7.1 per 100, up from the 2013 rate of 6.4 per 100.
  • The rate of cases with days away from work was 3.3 per 100, slightly up from the 2013 rate of 3.2 per 100.
  • The rate of cases with job transfer or restrictions was 1.5 per 100, slightly up from the 2013 rate of 1.4 per 100.

Overall, the waste management and remediation services industries reported 19,900 total recordable cases in 2014, up from 17,900 in 2013. Of the 2014 injuries, 8,600 were cases with days away from work, that is, incidents where employees were unable to work for at least a day because of the illness or injury. Additionally, 4,500 were cases with job transfer or restriction, which means the employee was able to continue working, but in a different capacity as a result of their injury or illness.

In the U.S. as a whole, there were nearly 3.0 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2014, according to the BLS. Injuries and illnesses occurred at a rate of 3.2 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers. The national rate has declined 11 of the 12 past years.

Of the cases, 95.1 percent were injuries and 4.9 percent were illnesses.

Overall, private industry employers reported nearly 54,000 fewer nonfatal injury and illness cases in 2014 compared to a year earlier.

“Today’s BLS data reaffirms why our industry is committed to comprehensive approaches to safety that will save lives and reduce rates of injury,” NWRA President & CEO Sharon Kneiss said in a statement. “The private sector waste and recycling industry has been working together, across competitive lines and in the common interest, to take a holistic approach to addressing workplace safety."

Some of the efforts have included facility safety training programs, driver and collector training and awareness, according to Kneiss. The NWRA also continues to pursue efforts to have states pass "slow down to get around" legislation to help protect the industry's workers on the roads. Overall, 10 states have passed such legislation. 

“The increase in the injury and illness rate for collection employees, to levels not seen since 2008. is alarming, and the high injury rate for employees at recycling facilities remains a concern," SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman says. "Too many workers are getting hurt, despite the increased focus on safety at some employers and the ongoing introduction of new safety-related equipment and programs. SWANA will continue to expand the safety resources it makes available to the industry to help reduce injuries and get the waste collection industry off the federal government’s list of 10 most dangerous jobs. Nothing we do is more important.”

Clone of Special Report: Fleets

Special Report: Management Best Practices

Need to Know

NYC Appeals Foam Ban Ruling

New York City has appealed a judge’s ruling that stopped a ban on expanded polystyrene food containers from taking effect.

Supreme Court Judge Margaret Chan had decided in September that the sanitation commissioner hadn’t demonstrated that containers made of expanded polystyrene could not be cost-efficiently recycled. But she gave the commissioner, Kathryn Garcia, another chance to do so, which apparently was strongly considered by de Blasio administration officials because they took more than a month to file an appeal.

"This law protects 8 million city residents from environmental harms and its implementation should not be delayed," a Law Department spokesman said.

Continue reading at Plastics News

Need to Know

GFL Environmental Buying Transforce Waste Management Arm for $800M

A Toronto-based company is buying TransForce's waste management business in Quebec and eastern Ontario for $800 million.

Montreal-based TransForce -- which owns the Canpar parcel delivery operation and numerous other transportation companies -- says it will be exiting the waste management business when the deal closes Feb. 1.

GFL Environmental will be purchasing TFI's Matrec solid waste business, which includes landfill, transfer station and recycling operations.

Continue reading at CTV News

Need to Know

Garbage-Truck Heist in Seattle Leaves Destruction, Diesel Spill

An 18-year-old man driving a stolen garbage truck early Tuesday morning marauded through the Capitol Hill neighborhood, damaging cars, mangling about 10 bikes at a Pronto station and forcing the closure of several blocks of traffic.

Shortly before 6:40 a.m., the truck’s fuel tank was punctured during its rampage. Diesel fuel began leaking from the truck as it drove, covering several blocks until the driver hit another garbage truck. The stolen truck’s fuel tank ignited and flames could be seen spewing from its side. The fire was quickly extinguished.

After the crash, police chased down the suspect on foot and arrested him. He was taken to the East Precinct. The suspect was booked into the King County Jail on investigation of auto theft and malicious mischief, according to the Seattle Police Department’s blotter.

Continue reading at the Seattle Times

Need to Know

LA County to Spend $2M to Speed Cleanup of Battery Recycler

Los Angeles County will spend $2 million to help speed the cleanup of contaminated soil around a battery recycling plant that that violated hazardous waste laws and spewed toxic emissions for decades.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the funding request by Supervisor Hilda Solis, who accused the state of moving too slowly to clean up around the now-closed Exide Technologies plant in suburban Vernon.

Continue reading here

Need to Know

Indiana Trash Collector Side-Swiped By Semi, Killed

A garbage truck driver was killed early Thursday after police say a semi side-swiped him as he was making a trash pickup along U.S. 20.

Police and medics were called just before 7:30 a.m. Thursday to U.S. 20 just east of C.R. 800 West on a report of a fatal crash there.

According to a release from the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, John Winters, 56, of Findlay, Ohio, was driving a 2014 Freightliner semi-tractor and trailer westbound on U.S. 20 when he came up on a 2005 International garbage truck that had been stopped along the roadway.

Continue reading at WANE.com

Nine Takeaways from Covanta’s Third Quarter Results

Waste-to-energy (WTE) firm Covanta Holding Corp. posted a big jump in net earnings and an increase in revenue for its third quarter, aided by its contract with New York City and its acquisitions.

Here are nine highlights regarding the Morristown, N.J.-based company’s latest financial results, for the period ended Sept. 30.

  1. Net income for Covanta increased fivefold to $34 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with $7 million, or 5 cents per share, in the 2014 period.
  2. Revenue increased 1.9 percent to $422 million from $414 million a year earlier. It rose primarily because of Covanta’s contract for the New York City Marine Transfer Station, as well as two environmental service acquisitions, according to a news release.
  3. Same-store North American WTE revenue declined by $10 million, hurt by lower recycled metals pricing and lower energy market prices. Meanwhile, non-WTE waste and service revenue increased by $27 million.
  4. The take from Stephen Jones, Covanta president and CEO: "We had another strong operational quarter, maximizing plant production and continuing to execute on our strategic initiatives … In terms of growth, the acquisitions in the Environmental Solutions group allow us to further expand our suite of service offerings to our clients and increase the value of the waste we bring into our facilities. In addition, our new regional metal processing facility will help us to produce a higher value product while giving us new options for marketing and transporting material in response to very difficult market conditions."
  5. For the nine-month period, Covanta posted a $9 million loss in 2015, or 7 cents per share, compared with a $3 million profit, or 2 cents per share, in 2014.
  6. Revenue slipped 2.7 percent to $1.21 billion from $1.25 billion a year earlier.
  7. Covanta affirmed its guidance for 2015, which set adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of between $420 million to $460 million. Actual EBITDA is 2014 was $474 million.
  8. Covanta’s earnings per share beat the analyst consensus estimate by 1 cent, according to Money Flow Index. Revenue beat analyst expectations of $405.2 million.
  9. During the quarter Covanta Environmental Solutions acquired Waste Recovery Solutions Inc. (WRS) and Chesapeake Waste Solutions, two privately held environmental services companies located in Pennsylvania. And it began operations at a new metal recycling operation in Fairless Hills, Pa.