Waste360 is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Need to Know

Omaha, Neb., Braces for Higher Recycling Costs

FRC: Funding Now Available for Foam Recycling Programs

The city of Omaha, Neb., is bracing to pay more for residential recycling and is looking at a bill of up to $4 million.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, the city’s mayor and City Council have discussed setting aside up to $2 million in the 2021 budget for recycling costs. However, the city’s only bid from Firstar Fiber to process recycling came in at nearly double the city’s estimated costs.

The report notes that if the bid is accepted for 2021 through 2026, the city would go in one decade from profiting from recycling to paying $4 million a year. Officials have said a $2 million cost could be managed without a tax increase; however, it’s unclear what might happen if the recycling contract costs $4 million.

Omaha World-Herald has more:

Omaha has been bracing to pay more to recycle residents’ plastic, paper and aluminum. This week, city officials got their first look at the new bill: up to $4 million.

Mayor Jean Stothert and the City Council have for months discussed the need to set aside up to $2 million in the 2021 city budget for recycling costs. But when the city unsealed the sole bid to process recycling Wednesday, officials learned that the estimated cost could double.

Stothert told The World-Herald that the bid from current processor Firstar Fiber is “so unacceptable” that she’s considering all options, including rebidding the contract with a different approach.

Read the full article here.

Need to Know

REMONDIS, Neste Partner to Develop Chemical Recycling of Plastic Waste

REMONDIS, Neste Partner to Develop Chemical Recycling of Plastic Waste

Neste, a provider of renewable diesel, renewable jet fuel and an expert in delivering drop-in renewable chemical solutions, and REMONDIS, one of the world's largest privately owned recycling, service and water companies, have signed an agreement to collaborate in the development of chemical recycling of plastic waste. The companies will focus on developing and accelerating chemical recycling with a target to reach an annual capacity to process more than 200 kilotons of waste plastic.

Mechanical recycling of plastics has been making a positive contribution to circular economy, raw material security and climate protection for decades. Through this new partnership, REMONDIS and Neste combine REMONDIS’ waste collecting and sorting capabilities with Neste’s experience and know-how in oil refining and processing of low-quality waste and residue materials. The companies wish to build an ecosystem around chemical recycling to enable other companies in the value chain to join the initiative and complement mechanical recycling by closing the material circle also for those plastics that are difficult or impossible to recycle. 

Chemical recycling of plastics breaks down plastic waste into a raw material for the plastics and chemicals industries to use in the production of new, high-quality plastics, chemicals and fuels.

"In order to establish chemical recycling of plastics at an industrial scale, it is necessary that the recycling industry and the chemical industry work closely together. The partnership between REMONDIS and Neste will focus on creating an optimal recycling process to make even more plastics circular," said Jürgen Ephan, managing director of REMONDIS Recycling, in a statement.

"We are driven by our purpose of creating a healthier planet for our children. With REMONDIS among our sustainability-oriented value chain partners, we can build a chemical recycling solution to truly expand the possibilities of recycling those materials we cannot recycle today," said Mercedes Alonso, executive vice president of renewable polymers and chemicals at Neste, in a statement. "Chemical recycling will enable us to circulate carbon in society over and over again and reduce crude oil dependence, which is one of Neste’s key targets as a sustainability leader in our industry. Collaboration between REMONDIS and Neste will bring us one step closer to fulfilling our commitment to process annually more than 1 million tons of waste plastic from 2030 onwards."

Need to Know

ISRI Announces New Hazard Recognition Safety Training Program

ISRI Announces New Hazard Recognition Safety Training Program

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) announced the formation of a “Hazard Recognition in Shipping/Receiving and Loading Dock Areas” safety training program. The program is the result of $160,000 in funding ISRI received as part of the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“The offering of a free Hazard Recognition in the Shipping/Receiving and Loading Dock Areas training program further emphasizes that safety is a core value for ISRI,” said Scott Wiggins, vice president of environmental, health and safety for ISRI, in a statement. “This program is unique in that it is designed specifically for the recycling industry. Every company in the industry, including those who are not ISRI members, should take advantage of this training. We are extremely grateful to OSHA for distinguishing ISRI’s qualifications to deliver high-quality safety training and the importance of hazard recognition in recycling.”

The course is designed for recyclers across all commodities that want employees to learn more about hazard recognition and mitigation in the operations environment. This includes:

  • How to recognize the hazards of and safely work around mobile equipment.
  • The importance of proper personal protective equipment.
  • An understanding of the importance of the control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout).
  • Good housekeeping practices.
  • Fall prevention and working around heights.
  • Safe stacking of materials.
  • Fire safety and prevention strategies.
  • The importance of in-bound materials inspection.
  • Hazard communication in the workplace.

Each class is approximately four hours long and is open to both ISRI members and nonmembers for no cost. Classes will be scheduled starting in January 2020. In addition to the class, the funding includes the development of safety training materials that are offered in both English and Spanish.

OSHA’s Harwood Grant Program awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations such as ISRI on a competitive basis. According to OSHA, the focus of the program includes providing “training and education for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces.”

Need to Know

Gerber, TerraCycle Join Forces for National Recycling Program

Gerber, TerraCycle Join Forces for National Recycling Program

Gerber, the early childhood nutrition leader, has partnered with international recycling company TerraCycle to help give hard-to-recycle baby food packaging a new life. This partnership is rooted in Gerber's and TerraCycle’s shared values around eliminating waste and supports the recovery of hard-to-recycle baby food packaging on a national scale.

Participation in the program is easy—parents can simply sign up on the Gerber Recycling Program page and mail in packaging that is not municipally recyclable using a prepaid shipping label. Once collected, the packaging is cleaned and melted into hard plastic that can be remolded to make new recycled products.

“Through this free recycling program, Gerber is offering parents an easy way to divert waste from landfills by providing a responsible way to dispose of certain hard-to-recycle baby food packaging,” said TerraCycle CEO and Founder Tom Szaky in a statement. “By collecting and recycling these items, families can demonstrate their respect for the environment not only through the products that they choose for their children but also with how they dispose of the packaging.”

As an added incentive, for every pound of packaging waste sent to TerraCycle through the Gerber Recycling Program, collectors can earn $1 to donate to a nonprofit, school or charitable organization of their choice.

Gerber believes the baby food industry should help create a world where babies thrive, and this partnership is one of many steps toward its goal to achieve 100 percent recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025.

“We’re thrilled to partner with TerraCycle as part of our broader sustainable packaging efforts,” said Gerber President and CEO Bill Partyka in a statement. “We know every parent’s top priority is to ensure a healthy, happy future for their baby. Our commitment to sustainability is rooted in giving parents a hand in making their baby’s future that much brighter.”

Gerber was founded on the ambition to give babies the best start in life, and that's why its work doesn’t stop at nutrition. As one of the world’s largest baby food companies, Gerber has upheld some of the industry’s strongest agricultural standards through its Clean Field Farming practices and is committed to reducing energy use, water use and carbon emissions in its factories.

The Gerber Recycling Program is open to any interested individual, school, office, or community organization.

Best Way Disposal Opens First Kentucky Transfer Station

Best Way Disposal Opens First Kentucky Transfer Station

Best Way Disposal held an open house and ribbon cutting for its first Kentucky transfer station—the Boone County Transfer Station located in Burlington, Ky. Best Way Disposal manages the collection of trash and recyclables and is a proven industry leader when it comes to developing, managing and operating landfills and transfer stations. Best Way Disposal knows the importance of ensuring a strong partnership between the local community and its transfer station operations.

"We are proud to open the Boone County Transfer Station to our customers and citizens to use," said Bill Wise, division manager at Best Way Disposal, in a statement. “Best Way Disposal has developed an excellent reputation in the markets it serves, and we are pleased to continue to provide the 'Best in Service' experience."

The Boone County Transfer Station will be open to the public on November 4. The transfer station will offer citizens a convenient opportunity to dispose of household waste, large items or truck/trailer loads on a concrete pad within an enclosed building that is located at 1505 Resource Dr. Burlington, Ky 41005.

Need to Know

Gerber, TerraCycle Join Forces for National Recycling Program

Gerber, TerraCycle Join Forces for National Recycling Program

Gerber, the early childhood nutrition leader, has partnered with international recycling company TerraCycle to help give hard-to-recycle baby food packaging a new life. This partnership is rooted in Gerber's and TerraCycle’s shared values around eliminating waste and supports the recovery of hard-to-recycle baby food packaging on a national scale.

Participation in the program is easy—parents can simply sign up on the Gerber Recycling Program page and mail in packaging that is not municipally recyclable using a prepaid shipping label. Once collected, the packaging is cleaned and melted into hard plastic that can be remolded to make new recycled products.

“Through this free recycling program, Gerber is offering parents an easy way to divert waste from landfills by providing a responsible way to dispose of certain hard-to-recycle baby food packaging,” said TerraCycle CEO and Founder Tom Szaky in a statement. “By collecting and recycling these items, families can demonstrate their respect for the environment not only through the products that they choose for their children but also with how they dispose of the packaging.”

As an added incentive, for every pound of packaging waste sent to TerraCycle through the Gerber Recycling Program, collectors can earn $1 to donate to a nonprofit, school or charitable organization of their choice.

Gerber believes the baby food industry should help create a world where babies thrive, and this partnership is one of many steps toward its goal to achieve 100 percent recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025.

“We’re thrilled to partner with TerraCycle as part of our broader sustainable packaging efforts,” said Gerber President and CEO Bill Partyka in a statement. “We know every parent’s top priority is to ensure a healthy, happy future for their baby. Our commitment to sustainability is rooted in giving parents a hand in making their baby’s future that much brighter.”

Gerber was founded on the ambition to give babies the best start in life, and that's why its work doesn’t stop at nutrition. As one of the world’s largest baby food companies, Gerber has upheld some of the industry’s strongest agricultural standards through its Clean Field Farming practices and is committed to reducing energy use, water use and carbon emissions in its factories.

The Gerber Recycling Program is open to any interested individual, school, office, or community organization.

Covanta Continues to Struggle with Commodity Prices in Q3 2019

Finance trends

Morristown, N.J.-based Covanta Holding Corporation released its third quarter 2019 results, reporting total revenue of $465 million, an increase of $9 million from the third quarter of 2018. Organic growth, excluding the impact of commodities, contributed $12 million and higher waste prices and strong energy-from-waste (EfW) plant production outweighed lower construction revenue in the quarter.

“Our third quarter results reflect solid operations and a strong waste market, which drove favorable year-over-year performance,” said Jones in a statement. "Waste processing and energy production are tracking toward record levels this year, and we continue to push waste pricing, with same-store tip fees up 4 percent in the quarter. While this has been a challenging year from a commodity price perspective, we remain focused on the areas we control, and I am very proud of our continued operational performance, as well as our progress on key strategic initiatives."

During the third quarter, Covanta continued to struggle with commodity prices, seeing a $13 million decline in revenue related to lower market prices in both energy and metals.

“As we discussed on the second quarter call, we continue to see a soft environment for many of the commodities we sell, and this has not improved over the last three months,” said Covanta's President and CEO Stephen J. Jones on a call with investors. “Scrap steel and ferrous started to decline in the second quarter, but HMS pricing appeared to be stable in the third quarter in the $220 per ton range. In October, prices took another leg down with the index reaching $192 per ton. At these price levels, we believe the markets will see a reduction in scrap flows, which should then stabilize prices.”

“Longer term, we expect to see continued domestic demand growth for ferrous scrap as new mill capacity comes online over the next two years,” added Jones. “However, while history tells us that prices should find market equilibrium again with prices above current levels, the timing of recovery is hard to predict.”

In an effort to combat commodity pricing challenges and to improve operations, the company is investing in technology.

In the metal processing side of the business, for example, Covanta recently invested in technologies to further separate the various types of nonferrous materials being recovered. According to Jones, the equipment began operations late in the third quarter, and the company is now separating higher-value heavy metals like copper and zinc from lower-value mixed nonferrous scrap.

Additionally, Covanta announced that it is developing its first Total Ash Processing System (TAPS), which is under construction at the Fairless Hills, Pa., metal processing facility. According to Jones, TAPS will reduce Covanta’s long-term cost of ash disposal and create new revenue opportunities.

“While we expected to be fully operational by the fourth quarter this year, we extended the construction timeline a bit to optimize the equipment,” said Jones. “This is the first system of its type, and it’s an exciting, long-term opportunity for Covanta so we want to make sure we get this first one right. We now anticipate starting up some components later this year before moving to commissioning of the entire system early next year.”

Covanta also is focusing on an area it views as a key opportunity: regulated medical waste. During the third quarter, the company grew regulated medical waste revenue by more than 40 percent as it continued to ramp up volumes at its three EfW plants permitted to accept this waste.

While regulated medical waste still represents a modest amount of the company’s profile waste revenue, Jones said Covanta sees very strong growth potential and is working with regulated medical waste collection companies to source more volume.

The company’s adjusted EBITDA was $125 million for Q3 2019, a $3 million increase compared to the third quarter of 2018. Excluding commodities, adjusted EBITDA improved by $12 million organically and the benefit of higher waste prices in plant production more than offset higher planned maintenance this quarter, according to Brad Helgeson, chief financial officer at Covanta.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter and full year, the company will lack $11 million and $17 million, respectively, in business interruption and insurance proceeds received in 2018.

“We knew coming into the year that it would be challenging to meet our 3 percent to 5 percent annual organic adjusted EBITDA growth target given this year-over-year comparison, and this remains the case,” said Helgeson. “However, we expect to be in our target range excluding the impact of insurance proceeds.”

Here are some additional highlights from Q3 2019:

  • During the third quarter, Covanta continued executing on its operating plan. “With solid performance in the quarter and line of sight on the remainder of the year, we’re affirming our full-year guidance of $420 million to $445 million in adjusted EBIDTA and $120 million to $145 million in free cash flow,” said Jones during a call with investors.
  • The company experienced a more than 20 percent decline in the commodities it sells, but according to Jones, Covanta was able to overcome the headwind by driving organic adjusted EBIDTA growth of 9 percent in the third quarter.
  • “During the quarter, we processed 5.5 million tons of waste, an 8 percent increase over last year,” said Jones. “This production includes 2.5 percent same-store tip fee volume growth, and some of our largest tip fee plants continue to run at or near record levels.”
  • The company continues to advance its U.K. development projects. Jones said Protos and Newhurst are well under construction and that Covanta is actively working with its partners to move the projects forward. Protos remains positioned to reach financial close in 2019, and Newhurst is expected to reach financial close in early 2020.
  • Transactions added $10 million to revenue in the quarter with the September 2018 acquisition of the Palm Beach waste-to-energy operations and the 2019 Q1 startup of the Manhattan Marine Transfer Station. Long-term contract transitions added $1 million for the quarter.

October 2019: Products that Power the Waste and Recycling Industry

Waste360 Product News highlights new and exciting products designed to enhance the waste and recycling industry.

This month's edition features six products, which include technology solutions, engines, shredders, rotary atomisers, reusable yard debris bags and more.

Flip through this gallery to view this month's featured products, and subscribe to Waste360 Product News here.

Interested in being featured in Waste360 Product News? Please send your product descriptions and photos to Waste360 Editorial Director Mallory Szczepanski at [email protected].

Covanta Continues to Struggle with Commodity Prices in Q3 2019

Finance trends

Morristown, N.J.-based Covanta Holding Corporation released its third quarter 2019 results, reporting total revenue of $465 million, an increase of $9 million from the third quarter of 2018. Organic growth, excluding the impact of commodities, contributed $12 million and higher waste prices and strong energy-from-waste (EfW) plant production outweighed lower construction revenue in the quarter.

“Our third quarter results reflect solid operations and a strong waste market, which drove favorable year-over-year performance,” said Covanta's President and CEO Stephen J. Jones in a statement. "Waste processing and energy production are tracking toward record levels this year, and we continue to push waste pricing, with same-store tip fees up 4 percent in the quarter. While this has been a challenging year from a commodity price perspective, we remain focused on the areas we control, and I am very proud of our continued operational performance, as well as our progress on key strategic initiatives."

During the third quarter, Covanta continued to struggle with commodity prices, seeing a $13 million decline in revenue related to lower market prices in both energy and metals.

“As we discussed on the second quarter call, we continue to see a soft environment for many of the commodities we sell, and this has not improved over the last three months,” said Jones on a call with investors. “Scrap steel and ferrous started to decline in the second quarter, but HMS pricing appeared to be stable in the third quarter in the $220 per ton range. In October, prices took another leg down with the index reaching $192 per ton. At these price levels, we believe the markets will see a reduction in scrap flows, which should then stabilize prices.”

“Longer term, we expect to see continued domestic demand growth for ferrous scrap as new mill capacity comes online over the next two years,” added Jones. “However, while history tells us that prices should find market equilibrium again with prices above current levels, the timing of recovery is hard to predict.”

In an effort to combat commodity pricing challenges and to improve operations, the company is investing in technology.

In the metal processing side of the business, for example, Covanta recently invested in technologies to further separate the various types of nonferrous materials being recovered. According to Jones, the equipment began operations late in the third quarter, and the company is now separating higher-value heavy metals like copper and zinc from lower-value mixed nonferrous scrap.

Additionally, Covanta announced that it is developing its first Total Ash Processing System (TAPS), which is under construction at the Fairless Hills, Pa., metal processing facility. According to Jones, TAPS will reduce Covanta’s long-term cost of ash disposal and create new revenue opportunities.

“While we expected to be fully operational by the fourth quarter this year, we extended the construction timeline a bit to optimize the equipment,” said Jones. “This is the first system of its type, and it’s an exciting, long-term opportunity for Covanta so we want to make sure we get this first one right. We now anticipate starting up some components later this year before moving to commissioning of the entire system early next year.”

Covanta also is focusing on an area it views as a key opportunity: regulated medical waste. During the third quarter, the company grew regulated medical waste revenue by more than 40 percent as it continued to ramp up volumes at its three EfW plants permitted to accept this waste.

While regulated medical waste still represents a modest amount of the company’s profile waste revenue, Jones said Covanta sees very strong growth potential and is working with regulated medical waste collection companies to source more volume.

The company’s adjusted EBITDA was $125 million for Q3 2019, a $3 million increase compared to the third quarter of 2018. Excluding commodities, adjusted EBITDA improved by $12 million organically and the benefit of higher waste prices in plant production more than offset higher planned maintenance this quarter, according to Brad Helgeson, chief financial officer at Covanta.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter and full year, the company will lack $11 million and $17 million, respectively, in business interruption and insurance proceeds received in 2018.

“We knew coming into the year that it would be challenging to meet our 3 percent to 5 percent annual organic adjusted EBITDA growth target given this year-over-year comparison, and this remains the case,” said Helgeson. “However, we expect to be in our target range excluding the impact of insurance proceeds.”

Here are some additional highlights from Q3 2019:

  • During the third quarter, Covanta continued executing on its operating plan. “With solid performance in the quarter and line of sight on the remainder of the year, we’re affirming our full-year guidance of $420 million to $445 million in adjusted EBIDTA and $120 million to $145 million in free cash flow,” said Jones during a call with investors.
  • The company experienced a more than 20 percent decline in the commodities it sells, but according to Jones, Covanta was able to overcome the headwind by driving organic adjusted EBIDTA growth of 9 percent in the third quarter.
  • “During the quarter, we processed 5.5 million tons of waste, an 8 percent increase over last year,” said Jones. “This production includes 2.5 percent same-store tip fee volume growth, and some of our largest tip fee plants continue to run at or near record levels.”
  • The company continues to advance its U.K. development projects. Jones said Protos and Newhurst are well under construction and that Covanta is actively working with its partners to move the projects forward. Protos remains positioned to reach financial close in 2019, and Newhurst is expected to reach financial close in early 2020.
  • Transactions added $10 million to revenue in the quarter with the September 2018 acquisition of the Palm Beach waste-to-energy operations and the 2019 Q1 startup of the Manhattan Marine Transfer Station. Long-term contract transitions added $1 million for the quarter.
  • Free cash flow for Q3 2019 was $22 million, compared to $85 million for the same period last year.
  • EfW tip fee prices were up more than 4 percent in Q3 2019 on a same-store basis. The company expects 4 percent full-year growth.
  • According to Helgeson, Covanta has seen a further reduction of metals prices since last quarter’s call. "We’ve revised our outlook range from metals revenue by a further $10 million to $20 million compared to previous expectations. This reflects lower scrap ferrous and aluminum market prices as well as a lower average sales price on nonferrous given the timing of startup of separation equipment at our Fairless Hills processing facility."
  • Covanta Environmental Solutions drove 10 percent growth in same-store profile waste revenue to Covanta’s EfW plants, increasing unit price and improving volume. In order to facilitate these high-value waste flows into the company’s EfW facilities, Jones said Covanta is focused on maximizing the volume of material that’s internalized through its materials processing facilities (MPFs). “The revenue internalized through our MFPs increased by 25 percent in the quarter as we continue to utilize these complimentary assets to service more customers and increase our profile waste sourcing capabilities,” said Jones. “We expect this rate of internalization to grow further over time, supporting our expanding profile waste business.”
Need to Know

NYC Waste Zone Bill Finalized Ahead of Possible October 30 Vote

NYC Waste Zone Bill Finalized Ahead of Possible October 30 Vote

The latest version of New York City’s commercial waste zone bill could be adopted by the City Council on October 30.

The updated bill advances what city officials call “a non-exclusive zoning model,” dividing the city into at least 20 zones in which a maximum of three waste companies can operate. It also creates incentives to switch to more sustainable vehicles and haul trash to more reputable waste transfer stations. There are also provisions to increase public safety training requirements for sanitation workers and authorize the City of New York Department of Sanitation to set a minimum rate waste haulers can charge customers.

City Council Member Antonio Reynoso told POLITICO the council is working on a timeline to have the bill passed at the October 30 meeting.

In an October 21 Crain’s New York letter to the editor, Kendall Christiansen, executive director of New Yorkers for Responsible Waste Management; Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce; and Lisa Sorin, president and CEO of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, claim “the amended version of Intro 1574 remains a deeply flawed scheme, even as the council tries to push it across the finish line this week—without public scrutiny.”

The letter goes on to say: “If adopted the day before Halloween, the outcome would be frightening—businesses will pay more, workers will lose their jobs and family-run carting companies will be driven out of business. The Sanitation Department commissioner would become a 'czar' of commercial waste, empowered to pick just a handful of companies to serve the entire city—a recipe for corruption.”

Read the full letter here.

POLITICO has more information:

An effort to fundamentally change how commercial waste is picked up and processed in New York City may be heading toward approval with newly drafted legislation that is set to be released Thursday.

The latest bill, details of which were described to POLITICO, represents an apparent deal between labor groups, some industry players, the City Council and the mayor’s office in a fight that has played out in the streets and the chambers of City Hall for six years. If passed, the measure represents the most significant reform of the city’s commercial waste industry since a city-led commission began removing organized crime from the industry in the 1990s.

Council Member Antonio Reynoso, chairman of the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste, told POLITICO the latest version includes several key changes from the original bill floated earlier this year. It advances what is known as a non-exclusive zoning model — dividing the city into sections in which a maximum of three waste companies can operate — and creates incentives to switch to more sustainable vehicles and haul trash to more reputable waste transfer stations. There are also provisions to increase public safety training requirements for sanitation workers and authorize the Department of Sanitation to set a minimum rate waste haulers can charge customers.

Read the full article here.