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Articles from 2005 In February


Strike Against Waste Management In New Jersey Ends

Trenton, N.J. — A strike against Houston-based Waste Management (WM) has ended. According to the Associated Press (AP), members of the Teamsters Local 701 voted 102-60 late last week to accept a five-year contract with WM. The vote ended a strike that lasted more than one month and disrupted garbage collection in and around Trenton, N.J.

According to the AP, "the new contract establishes an employer-supported pension plan for the first time and phases in equal pay scales for various positions."

Allied Waste Unveils New Financing Plan

Scottsdale, Ariz. — Allied Waste Industries Inc. has unveiled a new financing plan that the company says is aimed at "substantially enhancing liquidity, significantly extending maturities, reducing interest costs and improving its capital structure while accelerating de-leveraging."

The financing plan includes the issuance of the following: about $100 million of common stock: approximately $500 million of three-year, mandatory convertible preferred stock; about $600 million of 10-year senior notes; and the placement of a $3.45 billion credit facility.

The proceeds will be used to repay the remaining $195 million of 10 percent senior subordinated notes due in 2009; repay $125 million of 9.25 percent senior notes due in 2012; repay the $600 million 7.625 percent senior notes due in January 2006; repay the $70 million 7.875 percent senior notes due in March 2005; and fully repay amounts outstanding under the existing credit facility and reduce the term loan by about $100 million.

Waste Connections Reports $14 Million In Fourth-Quarter Net Income

Folsom, Calif. — Waste Connections Inc., Folsom, Calif., reported $14.4 million in net income on $163.7 million in revenue during fourth-quarter 2004. During the same period a year earlier, the firm posted $17.3 million in net income on $146.3 million in revenue.

For all of 2004, Waste Connections reported $72.3 million in net income on $629.4 million in revenue. During 2003, the firm posted $65.6 million in net income on $547 million in revenue.

Diesel Pollution Still Serious Health Threat, Report Says

Boston — Fine particle pollution from diesel vehicles kills nearly 21,000 Americans each year. That is one of the findings of a new study by the Boston-based Clean Air Task Force. Entitled "Diesel and Health in America: The Lingering Threat," the report also says that each year, diesel pollution causes more than 400,000 asthma attacks and 27,000 heart attacks.

To view the full report, visit www.catf.us.

Schwarzenegger Drops Plan To Eliminate CIWMB

Sacramento — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has withdrawn his proposal to eliminate 88 state boards and commissions, including the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB). Under the proposal, the California Environmental Protection Agency would have assumed CIWMB’s responsibilities.

Schwarzenegger informed the state’s Little Hoover Commission, which was studying the proposal before making a non-binding recommendation on whether or not the Legislature should pass it, of his decision in a Feb. 17 letter. "I have concluded that this proposal will benefit from further review," he wrote.

Bush Proposes Extending LFGE Tax Credit

Washington — In his proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2006, President George W. Bush includes an extension of the Section 45 tax credits for landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGE) projects. The credits currently apply to LFGE and waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities that are placed in service between Oct. 23, 2004, and Dec. 31, 2005, and applies to electric projects only. The inflation-adjusted credit rate for 2004 was .9 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). The credit is good for five years after the project begins operating.

Bush proposes extending the placed-in-service deadline until Dec. 31, 2007.

Palo Alto City Council Defeats Plan For Transfer Station

Palo Alto, Calif. — The Palo Alto, Calif., City Council has defeated, by a 5-4 vote, a proposal to build a recycling center and garbage transfer station in the city’s "baylands" area. According to The Mercury News, Public Works Director Glenn Roberts was the main proponent of the proposal, which called for the facilities to be built after "the city landfill [in the baylands] closes in a few years."

The baylands are "a collection of levees and wetlands at the edge of San Francisco Bay," according to the paper.

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. Reports Increase In Battery Collection

Atlanta — The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. has reported that it collected more than 4.4 million pounds of rechargeable batteries in the United States and Canada in 2004. That figure represents a 7.7 percent increase from 2003.

The nonprofit organization also announced that its Call2Recycle program has collected more than 48,000 cell phones since its launch in April 2004.

SWANA, World Bank Undertake Tsunami Relief Effort

Silver Spring, Md. — The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Md., the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Copenhagen, Denmark, and the World Bank, Washington, have created a partnership to help in the clean up of areas affected by the tsunami. The partnership will offer technical assistance in waste management.

As a first step, the World Bank has requested a list of individual SWANA members who are willing to travel to the affected areas and work on assessment teams. SWANA has contacted its Landfill, Special Waste and Landfill Gas Management Technical Division members to encourage them to apply to participate in the effort. Current estimates say that SWANA members would be needed for two- to four-week assignments. For information on how to get involved, visit www.swana.org.