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Need to Know

Waste Pro Names New CEO, COO


LONGWOOD, FL – July 23, 2020 – Waste Pro has announced President Sean Jennings, son of founder John Jennings, has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Longwood, Florida-based company. In addition, Senior Vice President Keith Banasiak has been named Chief Operating Officer.  

John Jennings was elected Executive Board Chairman and stated, “I am very proud of the leadership shown by Sean and Keith and look forward to focusing my energy on Waste Pro’s unique culture, the Waste Pro Way. Sean and Keith are two of the most talented people in the waste industry. They’ve both been leaders in one of our largest regions and have both brought their own unique skills to the company. Sean, being a millennial, has brought a younger perspective to the company through technology and with an emphasis on commercial business, while Keith is dedicated to building relationships and serving the community. Together, they will lead Waste Pro down its path to becoming a 100-year company.”

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Sean Jennings, a third-generation garbage man, joined his father in all aspects of the garbage business throughout his youth. Following graduation from the University of Alabama, where he majored in economics and finance, he spent a year working in collection and landfill disposal in Costa Rica.

When Jennings returned to the United States, he worked in operations and landfill construction in Georgia and Mississippi before joining Waste Pro in 2014 as Division Manager of the Tampa-Clearwater area. He then assumed the management role at the company’s Sarasota/Bradenton Division in 2016. As Division Manager, Jennings led the charge to build a compressed natural gas (CNG) station and recycling facility.

In addition to his roles as President and CEO, Jennings serves on several community boards.

In 2018, Waste360, the industry’s leading publication, honored Jennings with a 40 Under 40 Award, which recognizes “the next generation of leaders shaping the future of the waste and recycling industry.”


Banasiak, who was named Senior Vice President in 2019, has more than 30 years of experience in the waste industry. Prior to his promotion last year, he served as Regional Vice President of Waste Pro’s Florida West Coast operations, one of the company’s largest regions with more than 275,000 residential customers and more than 10,000 commercial customers across Florida’s West Coast from Taylor County south through Collier County.

A resident of Southwest Florida, Banasiak is involved in many local and regional community organizations, including serving as Chairman Emeritus of both Keep Lee County Beautiful and Keep Manatee Beautiful. He also serves as Chairman for the Community Cooperative and board member for The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. 

About Waste Pro USA

Waste Pro USA, Inc. is one of the country’s fastest growing privately-owned waste collection, recycling, processing and disposal companies, operating in ten southeastern states. Waste Pro, with revenues exceeding $700 million, serves more than two million residential and 40,000 commercial customers from over 75 operating locations. Waste Pro is headquartered in Longwood, Florida, and maintains approximately 300 exclusive municipal contracts and franchises.


Sustainability Talks

Levi Strauss is Turning Something Old into Something New


Americans discard 26 billion pounds of textiles each year. That’s a lot of waste.

Levi Strauss has created fully circular jeans that are made from old, recycled jeans. Using innovative technology from Renewcell they reconstruct the cotton into a material called Circulose, which becomes a form of rayon.

In addition, with trims and tags made from cotton the jeans can also be recycled more easily.

“As we look at new regulatory initiatives within the European Union that make it fundamentally illegal to landfill garments, the macroeconomics are now in favor of using discarded garments as a resource,” Paul Dillinger, vice president of global product innovation at Levi Strauss and Co. says. “Because it is becoming expensive to try to landfill this stuff. There’s actually tremendous supply that is ready to be activated.”

Read the original story here.

Sustainability Talks

Reusable Packaging Solutions for Subscription Services


With subscription services on the rise, especially in times when in-person shopping is a challenge, four service providers are seeking alternative, reusable packaging options from a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based designer and manufacturer.

Returnity Innovations has been commissioned by Hyber, Borobabi, FreshlySet, and Storytime to design and manufacture customized reusable shipping packaging for each of the rental and subscription services.

“Hyber, Borobabi, FreshlySet, and Storytime came to us with a strong desire to reduce their environmental footprint and participate in the circular economy,” says Mike Newman, CEO of Returnity Innovations. “They chose our solution because they wanted to create a unique packaging experience with their customers while acknowledging the triple-bottom-line.”

Since 2014, Returnity has been building out solutions and empowering the systems necessary for companies to shift to the new circular economy.

“Returnity will replace the use of over 6 million shipments of cardboard boxes and poly mailer bags with reusable packaging by August 2020,” says Newman.

Many brands are under real economic and public pressure to switch to lower cost, environmentally friendly ecommerce systems.

“Making the switch is not driven by packaging design -- it requires smart system design and implementation, and then finally the right packaging to fit that system,” says Newman. “Our work centers have expanded to focus on system development first, enabling a growing roster of clients to become circular in a cost-effective manner.”

Storytime is an unlimited book subscription service based in Orange, Calif., which provides parents with books that cover a wide variety of themes to address issues that matter most to parents and their children. The company was looking for a reusable shipping bag that could hold and protect children’s books.

“Customization was key because we needed a practical exterior that would hold up through lots of shipments but also wanted a bold interior that would excite parents and children,” says Jared Sippel, who co-founded the service with his wife Brandi. “Plus, the postal service can inspect our packages at any time, so having a zipper allows them to see the bag’s contents without totally destroying the packaging.”

According to Sippel, Storytime was a customer of several companies that used Returnity bags and were always impressed with the concept and quality.

“Learning more about Returnity’s mission and its 40-shipment guarantee sealed the deal,” he says. “We want the packaging to balance the practical goal of surviving as many shipments as possible and the aesthetic goal of surprising and delighting the parents and kids who receive them.”

Borobabi Co., a fully circular ecosystem for 100 percent organic baby, toddler, and maternity fashion retail, was seeking packaging that aligned with its mission to reduce waste and keep materials in a closed recirculation loop for as long as possible.

“We wanted a returnable bag that was a model of circularity; made from recycled materials that could be recycled at its end-of-life as well,” says Carolyn Amsinger, CEO and co-founder of the Paterson, N.J.-based company. “We also wanted to create a unique customer experience through our packaging that surpassed the mundane and wasteful cardboard boxes and plastic bags.”

Borobabi’s goal is to make it easy for parents to store, ship and participate in a circular economy.

“Choosing to work with Returnity was an easy choice; they are mission aligned with Borobabi’s desire to create viable circular economies that benefit both the public and the environment,” says Amsinger. “We are so proud of the partnership that we co-branded our bags with Returnity as an exemplar of how companies can work together to do good.”

Freshly Set is a tabletop rental service offering an online catalogue of tablecloths and accessories from top designer brands, delivered directly to the customer’s doorstep. Hyber is a fixed monthly subscription service that allows members to rent children's clothes without worrying about wear and tear or outgrowing products.

Returnity makes everything custom to client’s requirements. The company’s default fabric is rPET. It is durable, waterproof, cost effective and low footprint.

“Many opt for basic black because they do not want to signal what is inside, but others do have us print custom designs or integrate custom zipper pulls, handles and other unique brand flourishes,” says Newman. “We have done imprinting on every surface – inside and out! The life-cycle assessments we have done show that both rPET and standard PET are better over time compared to corrugate or poly mailers and are recyclable at the end of their use in standard PET recycling systems.”

Returnity enables the shift from single use to reusable shipping bags and boxes by designing tightly integrated logistics systems and the packaging necessary to make those systems effective, making it easy and cost effective to re-aggregate empty packaging, according to Newman.

“Re-aggregating empty packaging creates new transportation requirements -- but it is worth remembering that even cardboard boxes must be driven to recycling plants -- if they are in fact recycled,” says Newman. “Our life-cycle assessments have looked at the full scope of material manufacturing, outbound and return shipping, and processing for reuse, and shows that reusables lower resource consumption as you use them. In fact, our work with Green Story in Canada suggests that on average our packaging reduces energy consumption by 86% and water use by 97% over the lifespan of use.”

Landfill Operators Invest in New Tech to Conserve Airspace


Conserving airspace is a hot topic among landfill owners. They are as good at maximizing this space as their technology, processes, and skills sets are. It’s all about compaction and layering, and investing in traditional equipment like bulldozers and compactors.

But increasingly, new types of technology are entering the picture. Operators are installing GPS systems on their equipment and investing in drones to take aerial shots to produce topographical surveys. A few waste gurus are even learning to fly planes to do their own surveys.

“Airspace is our commodity, and landfills are designed and built to create that space for waste,” says Jason Munyan, chief of facilities management for the Delaware Solid Waste Authority. “You are getting paid to take waste, but really you are selling that space, so you want to use it wisely and be as efficient as possible.”

Compaction is key, Munyan says.

“Say you have 1 million cubic yards of airspace total, and that is all you will ever get out of the landfill,” he explains. “You may be putting waste in at 1,000 pounds per cubic yard. If you can get better compaction and get down to 1,500 pounds, that difference in compaction could result in about a quarter million tons more in the same finite airspace.”

Bulldozers push the waste into the desired area, and compactors do the heavy lifting, driving back and forth over waste, breaking it down and compressing it into a densely packed, tight mass. But operator technique is as important as the equipment.

Ideally, equipment operators get the weight as straight down on the waste as possible, at least when conditions on the working face allow that, says Munyan. And layering the incoming material is a technique of its own.

“Make sure you are not trying to compact 20 feet of waste at a time,” Munyan says. “If you have a 20-foot-thick layer, you are not touching the waste in the bottom. Usually you create lifts that are about 10 feet thick, sometimes less, and compact it in about three to five passes. But it will depend on the site, the waste type, and how operators have to work due to site-specific considerations like waste material and site contours.”

Some landfill operators think drones will be the next evolution in waste handling. Some have begun using the devices to provide data on elevation and remaining airspace. Today there are drones on the market that allow operators to get comparative aerial surveys of sites to gauge how much airspace was used in a given time and location.

Knowing the amount of waste placed between two surveys enables density to be calculated and helps determine whether procedures need to be modified.

Companies sell software services that incorporate a drone flying over a landfill site on a programmed flight path and taking photos that can then be developed into surveys. Some companies are developing systems that operators install on compactors or bulldozers that track where equipment is over time in order to get elevation data to help determine compaction rates.

“So instead of having to fly a drone every day, you can take information from the equipment to update the surveys,” says Munyan.Running the GPS is a skill set that a lot of operators don’t have yet. But I think it’s a good tool to get information quickly that lets you be a better facility manager.”

Some operators have brought on their own staff pilots to fly drones and take photos, as opposed to having to send photos for processing and have them developed into a computer-aided design plan.

“That could take weeks to months and is very expensive,” says Munyan. “Someone in-house could go out in one afternoon and fly a drone, send information for processing that evening, and the next day you have a map generated.”

At Southeastern Public Service Authority in Chesapeake, Va., landfill and environmental manager Henry Strickland obtained a pilot’s license to fly a drone over the authority’s site. A GPS installed on the equipment allows operators to get information daily on compaction. And Strickland periodically flies the drone to get elevation data for the entire site to calculate the amount of space used.

“Before, we were paying a company to fly over with a full-sized craft once a year to do a topographical survey,” says Dennis Bagley, deputy executive director at the authority. “We create that survey with a drone now. The aircraft company survey was $6,000, and now we have made a one-time $10,000 investment in the drone to obtain the same information.”

Baltimore’s City Department of Public Works is also among landfill operations that leverage drone technology to get topographic data.

“Drones are cheaper than flying a plane to get photos, and I think they get better information,” says James Rohrbach, chief of the solid waste disposal division for the Baltimore City Department of Public Works. “You can zero in on certain areas of the landfill for more detailed information that tells how much elevation has changed across an area, which allows you to calculate how much volume you used.”

Baltimore operates one landfill that receives about 250,000 tons of municipal solid waste annually. Half of that material is MSW ash from a Wheelabrator plant. The city has space until 2028 if the landfill receives the same mix at the same volume and if the Wheelabrator plant is in operation until that date.

The plant could shut down at the end of 2021 if air pollution requirements become significantly more stringent. An ordinance that would mandate these requirements was overturned, but the decision could be appealed.

“If they were to close at the end of 2021 when the new air pollution control requirements would take effect, and we receive all the waste just from the city that goes to Wheelabrator, the landfill would only last until 2024,” says Rohrbach.

Planning ahead, Baltimore Public Works is in the midst of a landfill expansion. But day to day, the department’s staff operates with the conservation of existing airspace in mind.

In 2019, Baltimore invested in a BOMAG refuse compactor that has an operating weight of 120,000 pounds. The city’s old Caterpillar compactor with an operating weight of 80,000 pounds serves as a backup.

“Anecdotally, the BOMAG seems to save space and material,” says Rohrbach. “When we are done compacting, the surface is smoother and packed down and easier to cover.”

Baltimore is also taking advantage of ash, laying it and spreading it across slopes to fill in cavities and smooth out the slopes. Then operators cover it with soil.

“We are saving space by using less soil, and spaces are being taken up by something that has to be landfilled anyway,” says Rohrbach.

Operators monitor the amount of volume used at least annually and leverage the data produced by the drone to calculate compaction density.

“If we look at space that we use annually versus the amount of trash we get in tons, we know how much space we use,” says Rohrbach. “That includes for things besides trash, like daily and intermediate cover soil and haul roads that eventually get landfilled. These all become part of the volume that takes up space, and we have to consider all of it.”

Rohrbach says he is also looking at GPS technology to install on landfill equipment, as operators such as Southeastern Public Service Authority have done.

“We are examining this as a way to help build lifts to the right size and height, but we need to see how much volume could be potentially saved with this technology,” he says. “We are always thinking about what can be done to save airspace and extend the life of the landfill.”

Need to Know

Wheelabrator Kemsley Enters Full Commercial Operation

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PORTSMOUTH, N.H., July 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Wheelabrator Kemsley, a new waste-to-energy facility at Kemsley in Kent, England, enters full commercial operation following a successful commissioning phase throughout early 2020.

Wheelabrator Kemsley is now operational as a combined heat and power facility and will generate up to 49.9 MW (gross) / 44 MW (net) of sustainable, baseload electricity to power U.K. homes and businesses. The facility will process up to 606,000 tons (550,000 tonnes) of non-recyclable waste from across Kent and the South East. The facility is pending planning approval for additional waste capacity and electrical output.

The facility will play a major role in reducing waste sent to landfill or for European export, saving carbon emissions when compared with sending the waste to landfill and making better use of non-recyclable material in the U.K. through the energy recovery process.  It will also provide valuable steam heat – up to 77.4 tons (70 tonnes) per hour – to DS Smith's adjacent Kemsley Paper Mill, helping to diversify its energy requirements. 

Wheelabrator Technologies, the largest pure play waste-to-energy platform and fourth-largest waste-to-energy business in the U.K., will process 2.4 million tons (2.2 million tonnes) of non-recyclable household and commercial waste each year, in turn generating 1.1 net MWh of baseload energy, enough to power around 500,000 U.K. homes and businesses. The portfolio of four strategically located assets includes:

  • Wheelabrator Parc Adfer at Deeside in North Wales, processing 220,000 tons (200,000 tonnes) of non-recyclable waste to generate 19 MW (gross) / 17 MW (net) per year 
  • Multifuel Energy Limited Ferrybridge 1 in Yorkshire, processing 799,000 tons (725,000 tonnes) of non-recyclable waste to generate 79 MW (gross) / 72 MW (net) per year (under a joint venture with SSE). 
  • Multifuel Energy Limited Ferrybridge 2 – also in Yorkshire, processing 755,000 tons (675,000 tonnes) of non-recyclable waste to generate 79 MW (gross) / 72 MW (net) per year (under a joint venture with SSE).

Wheelabrator Kemsley was built by EPC contractor CNIM, and in the four years of construction more than 800 jobs were created, including 46 full-time operational roles, and significant inward investment across the region was generated as a result of construction.  With a strong focus on safety, there have been more than four million man hours without a single lost-time incident and commissioning during early 2020 was completed carefully in line with U.K. Government COVID-19 safety and social distancing guidance. 


The fourth Wheelabrator Technologies waste-to-energy facility in the UK is now operational in Kent, England.

Robert Boucher, President and CEO at Wheelabrator Technologies, said: "To be able to complete construction, hot commissioning, grid synchronization and steam export to DS Smith during the COVID-19 pandemic is a fantastic accomplishment and a testament to the commitment of our team and our partners to work safely and Make a Difference. Takeover at Kemsley is the result of many years of commitment, hard work and strong partnerships with DS Smith, our customers and the communities we operate within."

Colin McIntyre, CEO of DS Smith's Paper and Recycling divisions said:

"Harvesting steam from Wheelabrator Technologies facility for our paper mill at Kemsley is a key part of our energy strategy. As the largest mill for recycled paper in the U.K., processing almost 1.1 million tons (1 million tonnes) of paper for recycling a year, achieving the right energy mix is vital. With the facility fully operationally, it will supply us with a third of the steam required to run our paper making operations.

"We are delighted with our strategic energy partnership with Wheelabrator, a partnership which enables a carbon reduction of 86,000 tons (78,000 tonnes) per year and contributes to one of our nine ambitious long-term sustainability targets – to reduce our CO2e emissions by 30 per cent per tonne of production by 2030."

While Wheelabrator Kemsley is now in full commercial operation, a Development Consent Order (DCO) application was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in 2019 to upgrade the energy output the facility and increase the waste throughput. If granted, the DCO approval would allow Wheelabrator to increase the output of the facility up to 75 MW (gross) / 66 MW (net) and process up to 724,000 tons (657,000 tonnes). A decision on the application is expected in Q1 2021. 

Wheelabrator's DCO application also contains plans for Wheelabrator Kemsley North, which is a proposed waste-to-energy facility which would be located on land immediately adjacent to Wheelabrator Kemsley. Wheelabrator Kemsley North would be a new single line waste-to-energy facility capable of generating up to 42 MW (gross) / 37 MW (net) of renewable baseload energy by processing up to 430,000 tons (390,000 tonnes) of non-recyclable waste each year. Together, both Kemsley facilities would generate enough energy to power more than 240,000 U.K. homes and businesses. 

The company also has a further series of advanced waste-to-energy projects in development in the U.K. including:

  • Wheelabrator Kelvin, a 441,000-ton (400,000 tonnes) facility in West Bromwich; and 
  • Multifuel Skelton Grange, a 450,000-ton (410,000 tonnes) facility in Yorkshire, which will be developed with SSE as part of the Multifuel Energy Limited 2 (MEL 2) joint venture. 

All three facilities are expected to commence construction in 2021. 

SOURCE Wheelabrator Technologies

Explore the Essential Elements of Good MRF Contracts


Resource Recycling recently hosted “How to Build a Better MRF Contract” with a discussion featuring: Liz Bedard, senior director of industry collaboration, The Recycling Partnership; Scott Mouw, senior director of strategy and research, The Recycling Partnership; and Scott Pasternak, project manager, Burns & McDonnell.

The main focus of the session was The Recycling Partnership’s new “Guide to Community MRF Contracts.” Bedard offered background on the organization and how it aims to bring all recycling stakeholders together, and she also emphasized that healthy recycling programs requires a “systems approach.”

The main reason the Partnership created this new guide, said Bedard, is that, “We strongly believe that healthy, balanced, mutually beneficially contracts between municipalities, communities, and MRFs are a critical component of a healthy recycling system. And we believe that many contracts out there right now are missing essential components for good, strong contracts—and that’s not good for the MRF, that’s not good for the community, that’s not good for recycling.” She went on to note that “the new normal” is resulting in “new complexities that necessitate good definition of the relationship between the communities and the MRFs.” The Partnership sees this guide as “important in strengthening recycling in the United States.”

Bedard also reminded the audience that while communities and MRFs are interdependent, they are not always aligned. A community wants predictability, and a MRF wants profitability—but what they both want, or should want—include stability, long-term vision, clear communications, and material quality. Ideal MRF contracts allow both parties to live through a range of market conditions, create shared risk and reward, establish strong communication and collaboration, and include clear expectations around acceptable materials and contamination.

Next, Pasternak and Muow dove into the MRF contracting process and the details of the guide itself. Pasternak encouraged the audience to spend time thinking about community goals and priorities before getting into the details of contracting. He noted key aspects that should be addressed up front, including:

  • the types of instruments that can be used for information gathering
  • P3 vs. PSA options
  • calendar considerations
  • contract length

The essential elements in MRF contracts, as laid out in the guide, are:

  1. Processing fees
  2. Revenue sharing
  3. Material value determination
  4. Acceptable materials mix determination
  5. Material audits
  6. Material quality/contamination
  7. MRF performance
  8. Rejected loads and residue disposal
  9. Education and outreach support
  10.  Contingencies
  11.  Reporting and communications

Muow explained that, “You wouldn’t look at a MRF RFP or contract and consider it a well-done RFP or contract unless you found each of these elements represented in a section or a clause.” He went on to elaborate about the elements and offer sample basic contract language or pointers that pertains to each.

Muow closed by noting that the best kind of MRF contracting process starts with a “moment of reflection,” to make sure the contract meets a community’s goals. He encouraged “internal huddling with your budget folks, your management, even your elected officials, and think about what your program’s needs are—and use that as the platform to have the conversation about what the MRF contract and process looks like.”

Need to Know

Covid’s Impacts Cause Stinky Trash to Pile High in Philly


Count Philadelphia’s waste collection crisis as the latest ill effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since COVID-19 began infecting large numbers of Philadelphians in mid-April, homebound residents have been generating more waste than usual — 30% more, according to city Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams’s estimate.

At the same time, garbage collection workers have been missing work in large numbers. Some of them have been infected by the virus. Others have been exposed to it, and so have had to self-quarantine.

As a result, residential garbage collection in the city has fallen progressively further behind schedule. Mayor Jim Kenney’s office says collection delays range from two to four days. Councilman Brian O’Neill says it’s more like five days.

O’Neill is pressuring Kenney to hire outside waste companies to help alleviate some of the collection delays. Kenney, known as a labor-friendly mayor, appears to be resisting that approach, likely because he believes that such a move would likely be painted as a union-busting tactic.

Read the original article here.

Need to Know

Baltimore County Pays Former Landfill Employee $30,000 for Racist Language


Jonathan Glynn, a former Baltimore County landfill employee, alleged that the acting landfill manager, James Dawson, “routinely” used racist language, “made derogatory racial jokes and slurs about black people” in 2012 and 2013 and moved him to a different work location in retaliation.

According to the ruling, the county fostered a hostile work environment and Gwynn received a wrongful retaliatory demotion. As part of a federal lawsuit, Baltimore County will pay Glynn $30,000.

Read the original story here.