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Articles from 2006 In June

SWANA announces 2006 Excellence Award winners

On Wednesday, the Solid Waste Association of North America announced this year’s Excellence Award winners. The awards were created to recognize outstanding facilities, operations and programs committed to what the organization judges to be the “environmentally and economically sound management of solid waste,” with an eye toward encouraging innovation in the industry.

“SWANA is proud to recognize the 2006 Excellence Award Winners and their dedication to advancing environmentally and economically sound solid waste management practices,” said John Skinner, Ph. D., SWANA’s executive director and CEO, in a press release. “These organizations are an inspiration to others in the solid waste industry.”

Winners will receive their awards on Sept. 21 at WASTECON 2006, held in Charlotte, N.C. This year, the organization presented 12 awards divided among its eight technical divisions:

Collection & Transfer Division:

Collection System Award GOLD – City of Hamilton Waste Management Division (Ontario) BRONZE – Keeping Frisco Clean… with Single stream (Texas)

Transfer Station Award GOLD – Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County – Puente Hills Materials Recovery Facility (Calif.) SILVER – City of Hamilton Waste Management Division (Ontario)

Communication, Education & Marketing Division:

Communication Award GOLD – Puget Sound Recycling Agencies/Department of Ecology (Wash.) SILVER – City of Boise – Public Works Department (Idaho) BRONZE – LaCrosse Disposal System (Wis.)

Public Education Award GOLD – North Shore Recycling Program – Garden Smart (British Columbia) SILVER – City of Seattle BRONZE – City of Hamilton Waste Management Division (Ontario)

Marketing Award SILVER – The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio

Landfill Management Division:

Landfill Management Award GOLD – Alliance Landfill (Penn.) SILVER – Chester County Solid Waste Authority, Lanchester Landfill (Penn.) BRONZE – ACUA Howard F. Haneman Environmental Park & Landfill (N.J.)

Landfill Gas Division:

Landfill Gas Control Award BRONZE – Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District (Utah)

Landfill Gas Utilization Award GOLD – Onyx Cranberry Creek Landfill (Wis.) SILVER – Lanchester Landfill Gas Utilization Project (Pa.) BRONZE – Cytec Industries (La.)

Special Waste Division:

Special Waste Management Award SILVER – Interior Removal Specialist, Inc. (Calif.) BRONZE – City of Nashua DPW Solid Waste Department (N.H.)

Planning & Management Division:

Solid Waste Management Systems Award GOLD – Charlotte County Solid Waste Management Division (Fla.) SILVER – Clinton County Solid Waste Authority (Penn.) BRONZE – City of Toronto Solid Waste Management Services Department

Waste Reduction, Recycling & Composting Division:

Recycling Systems Award GOLD – Interior Removal Specialist (Calif.) SILVER – Parkway School District Materials Recovery Program (Mo.) BRONZE – University City Public Works Department (Mo.)

Waste-to-Energy Division:

Waste-to-Energy Award GOLD – LCSWMA Resource Recovery Facility (Penn.) SILVER – Regional Waste Systems (Maine)

SWANA’s 2006 Innovation Award Winner:

Denver Solid Waste Management/Denver Recycles

Study shows 10 percent drop in Virginia waste imports

A new report form the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality reveals that in 2005, the state’s imports of solid waste fell 9.8 percent to 7 million tons. The 762,000-ton drop represents the first time the rate has declined since 2000. Governor Timothy M, Kaine and DEQ officials, while pleased, were unable to attribute the decline to any one factor, thought a decrease in storm debris is thought to have played a role. Despite the new figures, Virginia continues to trail only Pennsylvania as the second largest recipient of out-of-state waste.

Norcal implicated in San Jose mayoral scandal

San Jose, Calif., Mayor Ron Gonzales was arraigned Monday on six felony charges including bribery, conspiracy to misappropriate public money and falsification of public records. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Gonzales and his budget aide, Joe Guerra, are accused of illegally helping San Francisco-based Norcal Waste Systems win a contract with the city. The case could cost Gonzales over half a million dollars in legal fees, and on Wednesday six members of the city council are expected to demand his resignation. Meanwhile, Norcal faces four felony counts: conspiracy to cheat and defraud, bribery, conspiracy to misappropriate public moneys and misappropriation of public moneys.

In a statement released last week, Norcal claimed it is innocent of the charges levied against it: “Norcal Waste Systems denies any wrongdoing in connection with its bid for a garbage and recycling contract with the City of San Jose. Norcal committed no crime, either in the bidding process or in performance of the contract. Norcal will contest these charges vigorously and the company expects to be vindicated in court.”

California to require recycled carpet in government buildings

California has established the California Gold Sustainable Carpet Standard to reduce the amount of dangerous organic compounds that seep into the air from new carpet, according to a report in the Waste Business Journal. Starting September 1, all carpet installed in the thousands of state buildings must contain at least 10 percent recycled materials, which can come from old carpets or other recyclables. The standard is the latest step in implementing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Green Building Initiative, designed to improve the energy and environmental performance of new and existing state buildings.

Waste Management announces opening of bridge on June 23

Waste Management Inc., Houston, Texas, announced the opening of the Redwood Landfill Overcrossing at its landfill near Novato, Calif. The $7.7 million bridge will eliminate the need for southbound vehicles using the landfill to cross northbound traffic, according to a company press release. Approximately 400 vehicles are expected to use the bridge each day to access the landfill, including hauling trucks of various sizes, landfill employee vehicles, delivery and service trucks, and public self-haul autos.

Waste Industries to build landfill in North Carolina

Waste Industries USA Inc., Raleigh, N.C., has signed a 25-year agreement with Wake County, N.C., to build and manage a landfill in Holly Springs, N.C., according to a company press release. The landfill, slated to open in late 2007, is expected to earn $6 million in first-year profits. “We are very pleased that the county leaders selected our company to construct and operate this landfill which we believe will help meet the disposal needs of our growing communities for years to come,” said president and CEO Jim W. Perry in the release.

Ada County, Idaho, Commission reconsiders Allied Waste’s plan to open landfill

The Ada County,Idaho, commission is reconsidering Allied Waste’s plan to open a 560-acre landfill, according to a report in the Idaho Statesman. The commission, which initially denied the waste company’s application on a technicality, heard testimony on June 14 from a dozen people all opposed to the landfill. Representatives from two federal agencies said that building a landfill near the Boise airport will increase the risk of bird and airplane collisions. “Bird strikes cause $450 million in aircraft damage annually,” said Shane Koyle, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the report. The commission voted to close the public record and continue discussion on June 28.

Dell and Goodwill Industries of San Diego present electronics recycling program for residents

Dell and Goodwill Industries of San Diego have partnered to create Reconnect San Diego, a pilot program aimed at promoting electronics recycling, according to a Dell press release. The equipment will be recycled and remarketed through the Dell Asset Recovery Services program, and all profits will go to support Goodwill’s job training and employment services program. "This new alliance will really expand our existing electronics recycling program and further Goodwill's mission at the same time," said Mike Rowan, CEO of Goodwill Industries of San Diego County in the release. "Working with Dell will help us ensure we are implementing the latest environmentally sound recycling practices."

Minnesota residents will soon have to pay electronics recycling fee, or risk paying fine

According to an article in the Bradenton Herald newspaper, dumping old TV sets or computer monitors in the garbage will be illegal in Minnesota starting July 1st, and residents will have to pay up to $111 to properly recycle the devices or pay a fine. The new law is intended to recover tons of lead and other hazardous materials that are inside the electronic devices. Environmentalists say the recycling fee should be charged to the consumer at the time of purchase, but lawmakers have faced stiff opposition to the at-purchase recycling fee for five years from electronics manufacturers, the paper says.