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Articles from 2015 In December

2015 Mergers and Acquisitions Database

This database tracks the key mergers and acquisitions in the waste and recycling industry.  Financial amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted. Click on a close date to see the full transaction details.

Top 10 Waste & Recycling Stories of 2015

There were some big themes, surprises and major developments for the waste and recycling industry in 2015. Here Waste360 takes a look at what we tabbed as the 10 biggest stories and trends in the waste and recycling industry for 2015. Much of this is based on the most-visited stories on our site from the past year.

Did we miss anything? Do you disagree with the selections? Let us know in the comments section below.

Meridian Waste Buys Two Haulers, Secures Funding

Meridian Waste Solutions Inc. has purchased two waste companies and secured $55 million in funding in part to pay for the deals.

Meridian, a Milton, Ga.-based waste company, acquired Christian Disposal LLC, which does business as Christian Environmental Services and is based in Winfield, Mo. The deal includes Christian's subsidiary, FWCD LLC.

Christian Disposal is one of Missouri’s largest integrated solid waste management companies, which provides solid waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services, according to a news release.

The second purchase was by the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Meridian Land Co. LLC, of certain assets of Eagle Ridge Landfill LLC. It includes hauling operations and a municipal solid waste landfill in Bowling Green, Mo.

Meridian Waste secured from Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group L.P. a $55 million credit facility, with $40 million of the total funded at closing.

Both the financing and the acquisitions allow Meridian Waste to become a fully integrated waste management operation with major hauling assets, transfer stations and a MSW landfill in the St. Louis marketplace, the company said.

Acquisitions have continued briskly in December. Peoria Disposal Co. (PDC) moved into recycling processing with the acquisition of Midland Davis Corp.’s Pekin recycling division and facility. Peoria, Ill.-based PDC’s affiliate Area Recycling Inc. (ARI) purchased the recycling operation in Pekin, Ill.

Waste Management Inc. received antitrust clearance from the Justice Department to acquire Southern Waste Systems. The Houston-based Waste Management expects to close the transaction by the year’s end.

Advanced Disposal made three waste hauler acquisitions at the beginning of the month. It bought Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Earth First LLC; Webb Waste Inc. of Macon, Ga.; and Ball Ground, Ga.-based AC Sanitation, Inc.

State of Washington Works to Clear Obstacles to Car Battery Recycling

Vehicle battery recyclers in the Evergreen State may soon face fewer fees and regulations if those involved in rulemaking with the Washington State Department of Ecology have their way.

That’s not a typo.

A widespread assessment of the agency’s rules about three years ago was the impetus for revisiting the nearly 25-year-old statute governing state-mandated vehicle battery recycling, says Kyle Dorsey, rules & policy coordinator for the Waste 2 Resources Program with the Washington State Department of Ecology.

“The agency is obligated to be a good steward of our rules, and this rule has not been updated since 1991,” Dorsey says. “If you read the rule, you will find that there are references to phone numbers and addresses, and other information and agencies that simply no longer exist. They're wrong. They're erroneous. Those need to be corrected, if nothing else.”

Beyond that, the current registration system for battery recyclers is handled by the state’s Department of Revenue, which then sends the information to the Department of Ecology. This system creates an unnecessary middle man and complicates the yearly process, he says.

“This all goes back to the governor's desire for us to have a more efficient rule-making process,” says Dorsey, adding that there is a $19 annual fee when a business registers to be a battery collector. “We can eliminate that process by creating a one-time registration on Department of Ecology webpage, free of charge. We think it's a good thing to clarify the language of the rules which is difficult to understand and then get rid of the for-fee registration program. We can do it more efficiently.”

The statewide vehicle battery recycling program has been highly successful with a nearly 100 percent collection and recycling rate. In fact, an estimated 1.2 million batteries were collected for recycling in 2013, based on tonnage reports.

“That number has been relatively stable, with some shifts due to commodity prices and/or vehicle sales,” says Andrew Wineke, a communications manager with the Department of Ecology.

Dorsey says a core charge was instituted to encourage people to bring the battery back to the point of purchase. The charge, which is applied during a retail sale, is to be refunded to the purchaser when a used battery of equivalent size is offered in exchange.

Outside of retail establishments and authorized hazardous waste programs, collectors must be authorized to accept vehicle batteries for recycling or transportation. That means salvage yards that acquire batteries in junk or damaged vehicles and any recycler who is not part of the local government, Dorsey says.

“The bulk of people who handle batteries are retailers and we don't require them to register,” he says.

The Department of Ecology has issued a notice of rule changes to more than 2,500 entities and expects to work through a simple revision process by March 2016. The department doesn’t expect much push back against its effort to simplify the registration process and make it free.

“In the last month, we've really started getting the word out there and so far all we have had is a positive reaction,” he says. “People are happy. It's less regulation, and it costs less. It's everything that you don't expect in a rule.” 

Need to Know

Garbage Truck Driver Saves Toddler After Near Drowning

Miramar police say a 1-year-old boy remains in critical condition after he was found without a pulse in a pool Monday.

The boy might not be alive at all but for the fast actions of a garbage truck driver.

Miami Herald news partner CBS4 reports the driver, Andy Perez of Waste Pro, heard children screaming for help at a Miramar home located at 3708 Island Drive sometime before 11 a.m.

“A boy came to me and asked me if I knew CPR,” Perez said.

Perez said he immediately raced into the home, breathing into the child’s lungs, giving chest compressions and pumping lots of water from the boy, being careful to keep the child’s head to the side to prevent him from choking on the water as it was being expelled.


Need to Know

Boy Obsessed With Trash Cans Gets Christmas Surprise from Local Garbage Men

Unlike most kids this Christmas, 4-year-old Jobiah Wells didn't wish for toys. Instead, Santabrought him the one gift he truly wanted: new trash cans from the local garbage men.

"It started when he was real young, before he was 2," mom Rachael Dick Well of Folsom, California told ABC News. "He was always cheering them [the garbage men] on and waving. Eventually, he started pulling all the cans out to the street, even the neighbors'.

"Somewhere in there, he developed a relationship with the drivers and would meet them religiously at the curb," she added. "It's really sweet."

Continue reading at ABC News

Need to Know

SF Recycling Program Lets Goats Eat Your Old Christmas Tree

With Christmas over, it’s time to ditch those decorative trees. While many end up on the curb, in San Francisco there’s one place where you can take your tree to be eaten.

City Grazing, in the city’s Bayview District, is happy to accept your un-flocked, untreated Christmas tree so that their herd of 80 goats can chow down on those discarded conifers.

The SF-based goat landscaping business is partnering with the SF Fire Department for the second year on the tree-recycling program.

Continue reading at KTVU.com

Need to Know

Calabasas Officials Wrap Up New City Waste Hauling Agreement

Calabasas officials approved a new seven-year franchise agreement with Waste Management to provide trash pickup and recycling services to the residents and businesses in the city.

The waste disposal company will pay a $219,000 annual franchise fee, and make a onetime administrative payment of $85,000 for the exclusive right to operate in the city.

Previously, Calabasas had separate exclusive franchise agreements for residential and commercial collection services. The new agreement combines the two.

Continue reading at The Acorn

Need to Know

North Las Vegas Truck Driver Accused of Recycling Fraud in Calif.

A North Las Vegas truck driver was arrested for recycling fraud in California.

On Nov. 2, a California Department of Justice Recycling Fraud Team  observed a white New Evolution Trucking big rig leave a North Las Vegas truck storage yard and enter California on a route that circumvented CDFA border checkpoints in Yermo and Needles, Calif. California law requires all drivers importing used beverage containers report the materials at a CDFA checkpoint.

Continue reading at KTNV.com

Waste and Recycling Industry Can Contribute Significantly to Ontario’s Greenhouse Gas Plan – Report

The waste management and recycling industry in Ontario can make a major contribution to the province’s new policy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to a new report.

As Ontario gets ready to implement a cap-and-trade policy for GHG, the waste and recycling business can play a significant role through reduction and/or capture of landfill gas emissions, and the reduction of tailpipe emissions from its truck fleet, as well as other methods, according to a news release on the report from the Ontario Waste Management Association.

The industry can benefit by creating offset protocols that facilitate growth in landfill gas capture and organics diversion, through partnerships with capped emitters who value the carbon-free energy generated at waste management operations.

The industry can gain from investment in efficiency and low carbon alternatives in their own operations, and through government partnerships for the direct investment of allowance auction revenue in building the foundation for the circular economy.

The development of a carbon allowance market, including offset protocols for landfill gas capture and organics diversion, will improve the economics of a number of industry options that if implemented would help the province meet its climate change mitigation goals.

 Those options include better landfill gas capture; increased rates of organics diversion to composting, digestion and waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities; and increasing recycling rates as well as reuse.

Also with recycling and reuse, the report recommends the industry push for the early development of offset protocols and/or other mechanisms for increasing the reuse and recycling rates of emissions-intensive materials such as paper products, plastics, glass, aluminum, steel and other metals.

The report states that those options have perhaps the greatest growth potential for emission reductions from the industry.

While the waste and recycling industry has reduced GHG emissions by 22 million metric tons annually, landfill gas capture, recycling and organic waste diversion rates are still relatively low. They need to increase dramatically for the province to meet its emission reduction targets, the report states.

The industry should work with government to analyze the impact of the cap-and-trade program on the economics of these options to determine how best to design the related protocols and to identify where direct investment of regulatory income or other policy options may improve the economics or risk profiles of the emission reduction options available.

The waste and recycling industry annually contributes 20 times more to reducing greenhouse gas emissions than its emissions from trucks and other equipment. Government policy should be designed to maintain and increase this positive impact, the report concludes.

In the United States one recent development that looks to benefit GHG is the extension of several federal tax credits aimed to support natural gas and other alternative fuels. President Obama is expected to sign the bill soon.

The biggest development lately in Ontario has been the October purchase by GFL Environmental of TransForce's waste management business in Quebec and eastern Ontario for $800 million. The solid waste business includes landfill, transfer station and recycling operations.