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Articles from 2019 In August


Need to Know

Victoria, Australia, Denies Specific Sites Access to SKM Bailout

Victoria, Australia, Denies Specific Sites Access to SKM Bailout

Landowners in Victoria, Australia, who have been storing waste on behalf of defunct SKM Recycling have been told they will not receive assistance from a multimillion-dollar government bailout.

Earlier this week, the Victorian government announced a $10 million bailout to help pay for repairs and maintenance on machines at four sorting sites to prevent refuse going to landfill. SKM, which went into debt and stopped collecting materials from more than 30 area councils, had been storing tens of thousands of tonnes of waste at five warehouses and also had large piles in other locations.

According to the latest report from The Guardian, the government loan is aimed at helping clear up stockpiles and to get SKM’s plants up and running. However, for the estimated 60,000 tonnes of rubbish across several sites rented by SKM, the state has told landowners they will have to deal with disposal themselves.

The Guardian has more:

Companies holding tens of thousands of tonnes of waste on behalf of recycling group SKM have been told they will not receive any assistance from a multimillion-dollar state government loan aimed at helping clean up SKM sites, and say the material they are holding may end up in landfill.

This week, the Victorian government announced a $10m loan to receivers KordaMentha to “help clean up SKM sites and resume waste processing”.

The loan is aimed at helping clear up stockpiles and to get SKM’s plants up and running. Laverton will be the first to resume processing next month, and Hallam, Geelong and Coolaroo are expected to follow.

Read the full article here.

EPA Seeks Input for Hazardous Waste Worker Protections, Incinerator Emissions

EPA Seeks Input for Hazardous Waste Worker Protections, Incinerator Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted two information collection requests (ICR) just published in the Federal Register—one for EPA’s Worker Protection Standards for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, as well as Emission Guidelines for Existing Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units. Both ICRs have been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review and approval, with public comment periods ending September 30.  

EPA’s Worker Protection Standards for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response is a proposed extension of the ICR currently approved through August 31. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on November 27, 2018, during a 60-day comment period. The latest notice allows for an additional 31 days of public comments.

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) requires EPA to set worker protection standards for state and local employees engaged in hazardous waste operations and emergency response in the 27 states that do not have Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) approved state plans. The EPA coverage, required to be identical to the OSHA standards, extends to three categories of employees:

  1. Those engaged in cleanups at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, including corrective actions at treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facilities regulated under the agency’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
  2. Employees working on routine hazardous waste operations at RCRA TSD facilities.
  3. Employees involved in emergency response operations without regard to location.

The ICR renews existing mandatory recordkeeping collection of ongoing activities including monitoring any potential employee exposure at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, maintaining records of employee training, refresher training, medical exams and reviewing emergency response plans.

EPA’s Emission Guidelines for Existing Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units is a proposed extension of the ICR currently approved through November 30. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on May 6 during a 60-day comment period. This notice also allows for an additional 31 days for public comments.

The Emission Guidelines for Existing Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units fulfill the requirements of sections 111 and 129 of the Clean Air Act and affect the administrator of an air quality program in a state or United States region with one or more existing commercial and industrial solid waste incineration (CISWI) units. These regulations apply to sources beginning construction on or before June 4, 2010, or to sources starting modification or reconstruction between June 1, 2001, and August 7, 2013.

The guidelines do not apply directly to CISWI unit owners and operators, since they are applied through state implementation plans (SIP). If a state does not develop, adopt and submit an approved state plan, or if a state’s plan is not approved, the EPA must disseminate a federal plan to implement the emission guidelines in a state without its own SIP.

In general, all emission guidelines standards require initial notification reports, performance tests and periodic reports by the owners/operators of the affected facilities. They are also required to maintain records of the occurrence and duration of any startup, shutdown or malfunction in the operation of an affected facility or any period during which the monitoring system is inoperative.

Micron Waste Receives Health Canada Cannabis Research License

Micron Waste Receives Health Canada Cannabis Research License

Micron Waste Technologies Inc., a developer of waste treatment systems for cannabis and food waste, has received a Health Canada Cannabis Research License to develop its aerobic waste digester technology for the treatment of cannabis waste. The license, effective for five years beginning August 23, will be used to further develop the first waste treatment system that alters and denatures cannabis waste while recovering reusable water.

The company's research and development (R&D) team, led by Chief Technology Officer and Founder Bob Bhushan, will employ the new license to accelerate and expand the cannabis waste and wastewater programs, both through its Cannavore waste processing system and through its developing facility wastewater management program at the Micron Waste Innovation Centre in Delta, B.C.

"The Micron R&D team is focused on the current and future needs of cannabis facilities seeking sustainable waste management, both solid and liquid," said Bhushan in a statement. "Accordingly, the company is developing the most efficient, compliant management of green waste through our Cannavore digester technology. In addition, we are now expanding our wastewater treatment protocol to better assist licensed producers domestically and internationally to reclaim, reuse or compliantly discharge all facility wastewater generated in the cultivation of cannabis."

Micron also will begin profiling and cataloging cannabis cultivars, also known as strains, to identify resin and fiber content. Under the auspices of the company's new research license, in-house characterization test programs will commence to identify optimal microbe and enzyme blends for the highest performance in the Cannavore digestion process. Micron's proprietary live agent blends, based on its patented bioprocess, can then be targeted for rapid and efficient destruction, digestion and denaturing of biomass and active pharmaceutical ingredients according to leaf, flower and stalk ratios and cannabinoid content. 

Further to Micron's Cannavore solid waste management program, the company noted it is now positioned for core competency in overall cannabis facility wastewater management. Bhushan, who has more than 20 years of experience in digestion science and wastewater treatment in Canada and internationally, will lead Micron's cannabis facility wastewater mitigation consulting services, which will be offered to existing and planned cannabis facilities seeking to sustainably address both green waste and water management through the reclamation and purification of facility wastewater.

"Micron's team of scientists and engineers, assisted by the support of strategic partners Aurora Cannabis Inc. and BC Research Inc., is unique in the world in terms of specialization, experience and knowledge in the management of solid cannabis waste and the purification of cannabis-containing wastewater," said Alfred Wong, Micron's president and CEO, in a statement. "We intend to leverage this valuable portfolio of expertise to expand our potential revenue base, consulting to and servicing cannabis cultivators seeking overall sustainable, compliant solid waste and wastewater management.”

Micron's Cannavore waste system prototype continues to meet milestones at Aurora's Mountain facility near Calgary, where is it undergoing full throughput processing and stress testing. The world's first closed loop cannabis waste processing system was designed to Aurora's specifications to be a clean technology solution to process organic waste generated from the growth and cultivation of cannabis, while mitigating concerns about the potential environmental impact.

Micron currently has additional Cannavore systems under construction, working with strategic partner BC Research Inc. Micron's Organivore food waste system prototype is being upgraded with new technology developed for the Cannavore. In the company's New Verticals Program, additional waste targets are being assessed in food processing and brewing and spirits, using the onsite laboratory and Organivore test unit at the company's Innovation Centre.

Need to Know

Meridian Waste Acquires Two Augusta, Ga., Haulers

Meridian Waste Acquires Two Augusta, Ga., Haulers

Meridian Waste, an integrated, non-hazardous solid waste services company, acquired the contract assets of Waste Solutions and A&L Waste Removal, Inc. this month.

The acquisitions will fold in with Meridian Waste’s existing operations located at 1625 Marvin Griffin Road but expand collection services to Columbia County and Hephzibah, Ga. No trucks or employees transitioned at the closings.

“The company is looking to grow exponentially in the CSRA [Central Savannah River Area] marketplace as we know the region and have the local experience to provide quality collection and disposal services to an expanding residential and business community,” said Meridian Waste Area President Bobby Williams in a statement. “We view both strategic acquisitions and organic sales growth as vital to our success and look forward to participating in the region’s expansion by offering infrastructure services such as construction and demolition debris roll-offs, commercial frontload containers and residential cart collection services.”

Need to Know

Texas Denies Medical Waste Facility’s Request to Operate in El Paso

Texas Denies Medical Waste Facility’s Request to Operate in El Paso

The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality has denied the registration of a medical waste facility to operate in El Paso’s Lower Valley.

During a recent meeting, commissioners raised concerns about the types of waste that would be processed at the facility, explaining why they did not want the facility in the neighborhood. According to a CBS 4 News report, the types of medical waste that would have been processed at the facility and disposed at the Greater El Paso County Landfill are: discarded human organs and other body parts and tissue removed during surgery, human blood and blood products, contaminated syringes, used scalpels, as well as animal carcasses, body parts and bedding of animals that have been infected with agents that may produce human infection from Arizona, New Mexico and other parts of Texas.

CBS 4 News has more details:

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has decided to not allow the medical waste facility to operate in an El Paso neighborhood, according to Texas State rep. Cesar Blanco.

The commission held its final hearing in Austin to determine whether a medical waste facility will receive permission from the state to operate at a lot along Billy the Kid Street.

The registration for MedCare Environmental was denied.

Read the full article here.

Need to Know

St. Cloud, Fla., Votes to Terminate 20-year Leachate Contract with WCN

St. Cloud, Fla., Votes to Terminate 20-year Leachate Contract with WCN

The St. Cloud, Fla., City Council is sticking with its previous decision in June to cancel the city’s 20-year leachate contract with its area landfill owner, Waste Connections Inc. (WCN).

The city signed its contract with Waste Connections in 2009 to accept the leachate from the JED Landfill. According to an Osceola News-Gazette report, roughly 13,000 gallons of leachate had been entering the city’s wastewater treatment system until June. That led to a City Council vote to terminate the practice after concerns arose about tons of coal ash from Puerto Rico entering the landfill and its subsequent impact on the leachate, the report notes.

Since the council’s initial decision in June, the city has met with Waste Connections officials to discuss its contract and potential consequences of early termination.

Osceola News-Gazette has more information:

Despite a likely lawsuit, the St. Cloud City Council last week voted to maintain its June decision to cancel the city’s leachate contract with nearby landfill owner Waste Connections.

The city signed the 20-year contract to accept the liquid run-off from the mountains of garbage at JED Landfill, known as leachate, in 2009.

About 13,000 gallons of leachate had been entering the city’s wastewater treatment system daily until June. That’s when the City Council voted to stop the practice amid concerns about tons of coal ash from Puerto Rico entering the landfill and its subsequent effect on the leachate.

Read the full article here.

Need to Know

Hartford, Conn., WTE Plant Experiences Second Major Breakdown

Hartford, Conn., WTE Plant Experiences Second Major Breakdown

A waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in Hartford, Conn., is back in working order after a turbine breakdown in June. The breakdown marked the second major malfunction the facility experienced since November 2019, the Hartford Courant reports.

The Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority, which operates the plant, stated that the most recent breakdown was “more manageable” than last year’s failure. The Courant notes that the November 2018 loss of both the plant’s turbines kept the facility closed until late January and prevented a full return to service until almost March. That event cost an estimated $15 million, forced tens of thousands of tons of trash to be shipped for out-of-state disposal and resulted in a 15.3 percent increase in fees for 51 member cities and towns.

Hartford Courant has more:

The aging regional trash-to-energy plant in Hartford is now back in full operation after another turbine breakdown in June that hampered operations at the facility for nearly two months – the second major malfunction since November 2018.

Thomas Kirk, president of the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) that runs the facility in South Hartford, called the recent breakdown “much more manageable” than a catastrophic equipment failure that completely shut down the old plant last year.

Read the full article here.

August 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 seven products, which include technology solutions, leachate treatment systems, rotator containers, multi-stream recycling stations 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].

NWRA Releases Statement About Incident at Headquarters

NWRA Retains The Vogel Group to Advance Industry Compensation Requests

On August 28 around noon ET, a shooting took place at the Arlington, Va., headquarters office of the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA). The incident was a result of a domestic violence dispute, and both the suspect and victim involved in the shooting sustained gunshot wounds and were transported by medics to an area hospital with critical injuries, according to a press release issued by the Arlington County Police Department.

Warrants for aggravated malicious wounding, felon in possession of a firearm and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony were issued for the suspect, Mumeet Muhammed, 47, of Washington, D.C.

NWRA has issued the following statement:

On Wednesday, August 28, the Arlington, Virginia headquarters office of NWRA was the scene of a shooting.  It appears that the shooting was the result of a domestic situation involving one of our employees who was injured in the incident.  She was taken to a local hospital and is in good condition.

We are taking all appropriate measures to assist staff in dealing with the situation.  The office will remain closed for the foreseeable future so that the police can complete their investigation and a damage assessment can be conducted.  We request that you not contact the office or staff to inquire or express your concerns until management and staff have time to deal with the situation through appropriate channels.

We will be providing additional information after the Labor Day weekend.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers as we deal with the aftermath of this incident.

ARLnow.com has more information:

Two people have been shot in an office building in Crystal City.

Police and medics responded en masse to the shooting, on the 1500 block of Crystal Drive. A female victim and a male suspect were both shot after police received multiple 911 calls about a possible domestic violence situation in an office suite, according to scanner traffic. Police confirmed later Wednesday afternoon that the shooting involved “a male suspect and female victim who were known to each other.”

The shooting happened around noon at the offices of the National Waste and Recycling Association. Police were previously called to the same office on July 15 for a report of a domestic situation involving threats made by a man against a female employee, ARLnow can report exclusively.

Read the full story here.

Need to Know

Johnson County, Ind., to Open New Recycling Center

Johnson County, Ind., to Open New Recycling Center

A new recycling center in Johnson County, Ind., is set to open on September 10, which is more than a year after the district closed all its recycling drop-off locations.

The new center, which will be located on Arvin Road in Franklin, will accept paper, cardboard, plastic, metal and glass.

WTHR has more information:

Good news for people in Johnson County. The recycling district is opening a new service center, more than a year after closing all of its recycling drop-off sites.

The new center will officially open September 10 in Franklin.

Read the full article here.