Industry News

Departments - Industry News

August 31, 2012
CDR Staff

// Company News

Waste Management Restructures Operations
Waste Management Inc. (WM), headquartered in Houston, has announced plans to reorganize its operations. WM says the goal of the restructuring is to flatten the company’s management structure to allow it to sharpen its focus on its three major initiatives: yield management, improving efficiency in operations and meeting customers’ needs.

The principal organizational changes that will take place include:

  • removal of the management layer consisting of four geographic groups (Eastern, Midwest, Southern and Western);
  • consolidation and reduction of the number of areas managing the core collection, disposal and recycling businesses from 22 to 17;
  • reduction of corporate support staff to better align their support with the needs of the operating units while reducing costs; and
  • elimination of about 700 employees.

Additionally, WM has announced the following appointments:  

  • James Trevathan Jr., previously executive vice president – growth, innovation and field support, has been appointed executive vice president and COO.
  • Jeff Harris and John Morris have each been appointed senior vice president, field operations. Harris was most recently senior vice president – Midwest Group, and Morris was most recently chief strategy officer. In their new roles, they will oversee the 17 operating areas.

David Steiner, president and CEO of WM, says, “The steps we are taking to restructure our organization are expected to provide two very important results for us. First, the restructuring is expected to reduce our cost structure by about 100 basis points in 2013. This is a good step toward our longer-term goal to reduce costs by 200 to 400 basis points. Second, we believe that eliminating a layer of management and restructuring our support staff around our three major initiatives will intensify our focus on achieving those initiatives.”

Steiner continues, “Jim Trevathan has been in a role where he had all of the operations staff that supports the field reporting to him. In order to improve the connection between that staff and field operations, it makes sense to have the persons responsible for field operations also reporting to Jim. In addition, we have two excellent executives to fill those field operations roles in Jeff Harris and John Morris. The 17 area vice presidents will report directly to one of these two senior vice presidents.”

James Fish Jr., who was recently named CFO of the company, states, “We will continue to focus on taking costs out of the business through procurement programs and other business improvement initiatives. Reducing our administrative overhead is the next logical step, which we are now taking. A simpler and flatter organization will not only result in lower SG&A (selling, general and administrative) costs but should also allow us to more efficiently identify and execute opportunities. We specifically designed this restructuring with the primary goals of streamlining the delivery of corporate support, while not disrupting our front line operations.”


// Mergers & Acquisitions

Highstar Capital Reaches Deal to Acquire Veolia ES
Star Atlantic Waste Holdings II, a part of the investment firm Highstar Capital, based in New York City, has reached an agreement to purchase Veolia ES Solid Waste Inc., from Veolia Environmental Services North America.

Star Atlantic will merge the Veolia assets with its existing solid waste investments, which include Advanced Disposal Services Inc. and Interstate Waste Services Inc. The combined business will operate under the name Advanced Disposal Services (ADC). Star says it will become the largest privately owned environmental services business in the United States. The waste management division will have operations in 20 states, have annual revenues of about $1.4 billion, a fleet of more than 3,000 trucks, 47 landfills, 92 transfer stations and 5,450 employees.

Charles Appleby, ADC CEO, says, “Veolia ES Solid Waste Inc. is a tremendous business with high-quality employees and assets. The opportunity to select best practices from VES SW, Advanced Disposal Services and Interstate Waste Services will create a strong company with compelling growth prospects. We look forward to working with our customers, employees and community partners as we provide comprehensive environmental service solutions.”

Heavy and civil engineering construction firms added 6,200 workers (0.7 percent) in July and 10,800 (1.3 percent) since July 2011. (Source: Associated General Contractors)


// Forecasts & Statistics

Construction Spending Reaches Highest Level Since December 2009
Construction spending in June rose to a 2-and-a-half year high as double-digit percentage increases in private residential and nonresidential construction more than offset an ongoing downturn in public construction, according to an analysis of new federal data released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Washington.

Association officials say they expect the disparity between private and public construction is likely to persist and urged policy makers to put more funding into infrastructure projects.

“The June spending gains come on top of upward revisions to May and April totals, reinforcing the notion that private construction is now growing consistently,” Ken Simonson, the AGC’s chief economist, says, “Even more encouraging, the improvement is showing up in a wide range of residential and nonresidential categories.”

Simonson notes that total construction spending gained 0.4 percent for the month and 7 percent year-over-year. Private nonresidential spending climbed for the fourth consecutive month and was 14 percent higher than in June 2011. Residential construction increased 1.3 percent for the month and 12 percent year-over-year, with new multifamily construction soaring 3.4 percent and 49 percent, respectively, and single-family homebuilding up 3 percent and 19 percent.

The construction economist says that five of the 11 private nonresidential categories in the U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly report registered double-digit percentage gains in spending from June 2011 to June 2012: power and energy construction (including oil and gas-related projects), 26 percent; hotels, 26 percent; manufacturing and educational, 19 percent apiece; and transportation (mainly trucking and rail facilities), 17 percent. There also were 7 percent year-over-year increases in health care, commercial (retail, warehouse and farm) and office construction.

Public construction spending appears to have stabilized in recent months but the June 2012 total was 3.7 percent less than a year earlier, Simonson notes. He says only two of the Census Bureau’s 13 public categories posted year-over-year increases.

“Private nonresidential and multifamily construction should continue to grow in the second half of 2012 and beyond,” Simonson predicts. “Single-family homebuilding also should top last year’s figures, although progress may not occur every month. As a result, total construction spending in 2012 will be positive for the year for the first time since 2007 even though public construction will remain in the doldrums.”

Association officials say construction growth will remain unbalanced, however, unless lawmakers enact more funding for essential water, wastewater and other infrastructure projects. “Although Congress has kept highway spending from falling, other types of infrastructure, including our aging water systems, need attention,” says Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC chief executive officer.

“There is nothing to be gained from letting our infrastructure deteriorate further.”


// Company News

Revolution Recovery Opens Facility in Delaware
The salvaging and C&D recycling company Revolution Recovery has opened a new facility in New Castle, Del.

The new space is designed to provide a wide range of recycling services to the area, including receiving secondary materials at its 42,000-square foot facility and dumpster rental for construction or residential sites.

The facility officially opened for business in April 2012. The company also is certified in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) documentation and reporting.

Company founders Jon Wybar and Avi Golen say they feel that the new Delaware location serves as another step in the right direction for the company and the environment. “We are fortunate to have our environmental goals align with our economical goals: the more we recycle, the more profitable we are,” say the co-owners. “Our success translates to the success of our communities and benefits the environment as a whole.”

Wybar and Golen say the new location serves as the next step in fulfilling the mission of Revolution Recovery: to keep materials out of landfills.

Revolution Recovery now has the ability to service locations between Scranton, Pa., and Dover, Del., and is able to handle more materials, including wood, drywall, metal, rubble, cardboard, plastics, paper, ceiling tile, carpeting, fiberglass and shingles.

Through various methods of repurposing, the company says it is able to reuse or recycle 80 percent of the materials it receives.


// Legislation & Regulations

OSHA Cites New Jersey Concrete Recycler
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a Newark, N.J., concrete recycling company with 11 serious safety violations after a worker fatality.

The company operates under two names: T. Fiore Demolition Inc. and T. Fiore Recycling Corp. According to OSHA, the agency began an investigation of the company following the death of a worker who was crushed in a conveyor belt. OSHA claims the company failed to install machine guarding prior to allowing the worker to operate alongside the conveyor system.

OSHA says the 11 serious violations involve the following: inadequate guardrails; inadequate grab bars on fixed ladders; a lack of safe access to scaffolds; unsafe debris accumulation on scaffold platforms, which creates trip and fall hazards; a lack of “lockout/tagout” training and procedures for machines’ energy sources as well as not providing lockout/tagout devices to workers who service dangerous equipment; unguarded moving machine parts, belts and pulleys; and the improper storage of compressed gasses.

Proposed penalties for the company total $47,600.


// Mergers & Acquisitions

Gator Waste & Recycling Purchases Florida Company
Gator Waste & Recycling, Auburndale, Fla., has announced the acquisition of All American Custom Container, an Auburndale company that rents roll-off dumpster services for solid-waste and recycling. The deal includes the acquisition of All American’s customer base, containers and trucks.

Dee Dee Sowder, manager of All American, will join Gator’s sales and administrative staff. Gator also will add All American’s drivers to its staff.

Gator also has a facility in Orlando, Fla. The company is owned by Rizzo Services, a Sterling Heights, Mich., waste and recycling firm.


// Green Building

Missouri Home Incorporates American and European Green Home Building Practices
Active House USA, a custom sustainable home under construction in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves, Mo., is bringing together leading green, sustainable, and environmentally conscious building practices from around the world to the United States.

The prototype home combines expertise from sustainable building practices in the United States and from European Active House Alliance practices. Construction began in early May 2012, with occupancy expected by September 2012.

The Active House USA home is incorporating Active House Alliance standards used in existing Active House Homes built around the world, and to meet, or exceed, four North American sustainable building certifications: Energy Star, EPA Indoor Air Plus, Building America Builder’s Challenge and ANSI ICC-700­–the National Green Building Standard.

Project The prototype home is being built as an infill project in an historic neighborhood. The original home on the lot was in poor condition and not a good candidate for renovation, according to the developers.

Manager Matt Belcher says his company, Verdatek Solutions, has diverted as much as 80 percent of an entire deconstructed home for reuse through cooperative organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and Re-Source St. Louis.

“After performing an environmental analysis on the building and removing items such as asbestos and floor tiles, we normally give ‘first crack’ at donating some of the viable components to participating organizations where interested parties can procure and reuse the materials,” says Belcher.

The Active House Alliance U.S. building partner is Kim Hibbs of Hibbs Homes, a Certified Green Professional through the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) and a custom green home builder in the St. Louis area.

“From careful deconstruction and recycling of materials, such as interior framing in the original home, to the extensive use of VELUX No Leak skylights for natural light and passive ventilation, solar panels for water heating, geothermal wells for a good part of the energy requirements, and other green elements and techniques, we are building a very efficient home that will perform well,” says Hibbs. “We even ground the concrete foundation of the original home into gravel for fill in the new construction.”

Stephan Moyon, director of sales for VELUX America, says that the project will demonstrate to construction professionals nationwide that quality, energy efficient skylights and windows can work together to result in a highly energy efficient home.


// Company News

Peña’s Disposal Service, Cutler, Calif., pictured here, was honored by CRRA for Outstanding Construction & Demolition Debris Diversion.

California C&D Recycler Wins Statewide Award
The California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) has chosen Peña’s Disposal Service, Cutler, Calif., as the 2012 winner in the association’s statewide Outstanding Construction & Demolition Debris Diversion category.

Peña’s says that the award follows its receiving the contract to handle construction and demolition recycling for California’s Tulare County and seven of its incorporated cities in 2011.

According to Peña’s, under the previous hauler, the recycling rate was 56 percent. During the first three months of the new contract under Peña’s, the recycling rate increased to 82 percent. Today, the average recycling rate remains 82 percent, with a one-month record high of 89 percent.

Additionally, because of the C&D contract with Tulare County, Peña’s Disposal was able to add 25 jobs for Tulare County residents, according to company vice-president Art Peña.

“This kind of improvement in recycling was noticed in Sacramento, and Peña’s is honored to be recognized,” Peña says. “We are a small, family-owned, company competing with national companies. But the accomplishment of our staff is really remarkable. We are pleased to do our part to get Tulare County closer to the state’s overall rate for diverting waste from the waste stream and into recycling.”

Peña’s Disposal’s Cutler operation handles household hazardous waste, green waste, electronic scrap and construction and demolition waste.


// Legislation & Regulations

Sacramento County DA Files Case Against Recycler
The office of Sacramento County, Calif., District Attorney Jan Scully has filed a civil enforcement action against River City Waste Recyclers, which operates five recycling yards in the county.

The action is part of a joint effort by the District Attorney’s office, along with the Sacramento County Counsel, Sacramento County Environmental Management Department, the Sacramento County Building & Code Enforcement Department, the California Department of Weights & Measurements, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, the Cosumnes Fire District and the Sacramento Police Department.

RCWR, owned and operated by Bryan Wilson and Gyan Kalwani, processes recyclables that include wood, metal, batteries and vehicles. This action charges unfair business practices, violation of zoning laws, and weights and measurements regulations and seeks abatement of a public nuisance. Environmental violations covered in the action include:

  • Operating a wood chipping facility without proper permits and procedures, resulting in spontaneous combustion fires;
  • Creating clouds of dust that pollute the air for nearby residents;
  • Releasing hazardous wastes into the ground, including gasoline, diesel fuel oil, used oil, ignitable liquids, cleaning agents and heavy metals;
  • Storing hazardous waste without the proper permits;
  • Illegally transporting hazardous waste;
  • Operating rock crushing equipment without a permit;
  • Illegally operating a “chip and grind” operation; and
  • Illegally operating a “green waste facility.”


// Conferences & Events

WasteCap to Host Training in Conjunction with the 2012 C&D Recycling Forum
WasteCap Resource Solutions, Milwaukee, will host a day-long training course Sept. 26, 2012, in conjunction with the 2012 C&D Recycling Forum, Sept. 23-25 at the Hilton Long Beach and Executive Meeting Center in Long Beach, Calif. The course is designed to provide the skills to develop, manage, monitor, document and promote a successful recycling program for construction and demolition (C&D) debris. Participants receive three year accreditation in construction waste recycling as well as training to obtain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) construction waste management points. Additionally, LEED AP’s and Green Associates are eligible to receive 7.5 Continuing Education Units through this USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) approved Professional Development Course.

WasteCap invites anyone interested in learning more about developing and executing a successful C&D recycling program to attend the course. The day will kick off with registration and networking at 8:00 a.m. and run until 4:30 p.m. Continental breakfast and lunch are included in the registration price.

Registration is $325 for WasteCap members and C&D Recycling Forum attendees, $475 for non-members and $225 for students. Registration is available online at training-registration.

WasteCap Resource Solutions has more than six years of experience in training building professionals on reuse and recycling of materials. WasteCap developed the training in 2005 as part of their mission to transform waste into resources. For more than fifteen years WasteCap has provided on-site construction waste recycling plans and monitoring for builders, developers and owners to meet their waste minimization and recycling goals.

To register for the C&D Recycling Forum, visit


// Demolition Projects

Pittsburgh Civic Arena Demolition Completed
Demolition work on the Pittsburgh Civic Arena site has been completed. George Boehm, the vice president of demolition and excavation company Noralco Corp., reports the project was completed in July.

“We are making a parking lot out of recycled asphalt and crushed concrete.” said Boehm, when interviewed in late July. “We are bringing in 400 tons of milled asphalt to be used and 6 inches of recycled concrete to be put down as sub-base.”

Demolition on the Civic Arena began in the fall of 2011 under the supervision of Boehm and superintendents John Mullen and Michael Tomasits, both of Noralco. The arena served as a an entertainment and sports venue for Pittsburgh for more than half a century and was home to the Pittsburgh Penguins professional hockey team.

“Our recycling rate is somewhere between 97-and 98 percent,” says Boehm. “You can’t get much better than that.”

All of the stainless steel on the roof­—an estimated 300,000 pounds—was recycled into various collectors ornaments that were sold to benefit the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation youth charities.

“It is a high-profile job and everything went pretty smoothly, and everyone was very happy with the way it turned out as far as recycling and as far as helping the community,” adds Boehm.

The Penguins took possession of the lot in August and will develop it for commercial and residential use.

For further reading on Noralco and the Pittsburgh Civic Arena demolition, see the cover story, “Still Standing” in the March/April 2012 issue of Construction & Demolition Recycling magazine available online at


// Company News

Green Energy plans to process up to 1,000 tons of C&D per day at the site. The post-processing recovered materials will be sold for reuse as recycled materials, processed for compost, mulch, renewable green fuels and electricity. The company expects to reduce landfill impact by 85 percent or more using its recovery and conversion strategies.

Fire May Halt Michigan C&D Recycling Facility Plans
Green Energy Renewable Solutions Inc. has reported a fire occurred at the property located adjacent to its planned Highland Park, Mich., C&D recycling facility on July 14 at the former Sanders factory building. This is the location of the property where the Las Vegas-based company had purchased a 5-acre parcel in November 2011, and subsequently contracted to purchase the adjacent parcels of land (approximately 10 acres combined).

The two buildings located on the parcel are the former Sanders factory building of approximately 450,000 square feet, and a 25,000-square-foot maintenance building.

Green Energy had planned to close the acquisition of the two properties by mid-August, pending completion of an environmental study.

Pending further information on the investigation of the fire and determination of any material cost increases due to environmental issues caused by the fire, the company says it may exercise its option to cancel the purchase contract for these properties.

The combined 15-acre tract was secured for purpose of developing a C&D recycling plant and as a future site for a waste-to-energy plant that would use waste wood and other materials as fuel to produce renewable fuels and electricity. Strategically located, the property is attractive to locally contracted haulers and is already zoned appropriately for acceptance and processing of C&D waste, says Green Energy.

“While the fire was an unfortunate event, it is important to realize that Green Energy does not currently own nor have financial investment in the damaged building,” Joe DuRant, CEO of Green Energy, states. “We are hopeful that the investigation of the fire will conclude that no material environmental issues have occurred, and that we can proceed with the planned redevelopment of this site.

DuRant continues, “In the event that the pending fire investigation results in material delays, or conditions make this location untenable, we will plan to seek an acceptable alternate site in Highland Park. I have spoken to State Representative Johnson and Highland Park Mayor Windom, and affirmed our commitment to develop this project. Green Energy will continue to work with the city to bring state-of-the-art recycling facilities and waste-to-energy conversion technologies to the Highland Park Community.”

The company says it expects to meet with the mayor, city and county officials in Highland Park to formalize an action plan to proceed with the demolition and begin the permitting process for the recycling operations.

The company’s proposed development plan for the Sanders factory building calls for demolishing the manufacturing space while preserving and restoring the historic front portion of the building for use as its corporate headquarters. The restoration plan includes conversion of the front space for corporate offices, meeting and training facilities, as well as public meeting space that will be available for local community use.

The space created by demolition of the factory portion of the building would serve as the location for a new structure to house the C&D recycling facility and waste-to-energy plant.

Pending receipt of further information, the company says it plans to proceed immediately to complete environmental surveys. Upon conclusion, assuming no material environmental issues, final architectural and landscape plans will be produced and the site plan will be filed with the city and county for review. Once permits are approved, Green Energy plans to process up to 1,000 tons of C&D per day at the site. The post-processing recovered materials will be sold for reuse as recycled materials, processed for compost, mulch, renewable green fuels and electricity. The company expects to reduce landfill impact by 85 percent or more using its recovery and conversion strategies.


// Legislation & Regulations

New York C&D Recycler Enters Into Plea Agreement
The Bronx County Recycling LLC and its principal Salvatore Cascino, have entered into an Administrative Order that prohibits the company from handling construction and demolition debris and related solid wastes in New York State, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced. The order is part of a plea agreement under which Cascino pleaded guilty to offering a false instrument in the second degree, a class E felony.

Additionally, the defendant paid a $20,000 fine. The order resolved outstanding civil violations at the facility from 2008 and assessed an additional $5,000 penalty paid at the time of the plea, according to the DEC.

In a statement, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, “The improper and unauthorized disposal of construction and demolition materials can negatively affect the environment. We monitor what goes into the waste stream to help ensure that solid waste is disposed of properly. By not reporting unauthorized waste received by Bronx County Recycling, Sal Cascino blatantly disregarded the laws that protect the environment.”

The investigation into Cascino’s actions was conducted by DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI). The criminal case was handled by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.

“Falsely reporting information which tracks illegal solid waste is not only illegal but attempts to challenge the state’s ability to protect citizens and the environment of the state of New York. It is the height of professional and personal irresponsibility,” Schneiderman said. “My office will vigorously enforce the Environmental Conservation Laws to protect the health and safety of the people of the state of New York.”


// Association Activities

NDA Environmental Excellence Awards Recognize Several Projects
The National Demolition Association (NDA), Doylestown, Pa., presented the 2nd Annual Environmental Excellence Awards to four companies that the organization says have performed demolition projects that demonstrate significant environmental conservation and community improvement while bringing about a discernible positive impact on the quality of life in the U.S. and Canada.

The winning projects, which were honored at the NDA Annual Convention in San Antonio in March, are:


Project: Prichard Stadium Sports Complex Demolition, Fort Hood, Texas

NDA Member: Charter Environmental, Boston, Mass. Charter led abatement and demolition of the 60-year-old Prichard Stadium Sports Complex in Fort Hood, which was demolished to make room for a new hospital. The project exceeded the client’s recycling goals, reusing or recycling 99.56 percent of the debris. Among the many steps taken during the project was concrete being crushed on site and stockpiled for construction of the new medical center.


Project: Demolition and Remediation of Newton North High School, Newton, Mass.

NDA Member: Costello Dismantling Co. Inc., West Wareham, Mass. To make way for athletic fields and grounds adjacent to the new high school, Costello handled the difficult demolition of the former school, coupled with a massive environmental remediation scope of work. All interior block walls were asbestos-contaminated, which had permeated the inner cavities of the masonry block walls and settled on top of ceiling tiles.


Project: Woodside Dam Demolition Project, S.C.

NDA Member: Envirocon Inc., Portland, Ore. Envirocon’s Woodside Dam demolition project restored the river to its natural state, allowing it to flow freely again over native bedrock for the first time in more than 100 years, and fish and wildlife to flourish. By removing two reinforced concrete dams and PCB-contaminated river sediments, Envirocon is letting the river regenerate itself.


Project: Sappi Fine Paper Property Project, Muskegon, Mich.

NDA Member: Melching, Inc., Nunica, Mich. The former 1.1 million square foot Sappi Fine Paper mill sits on a 119-acre site, with nearly one mile of Muskegon Lake shoreline. When complete, the project will transform the site into a redevelopment project that will include a green energy biomass power plant, a potential ship repair dry dock repair and other manufacturing operations.

For information on the 2013 awards, visit


// Legislation & Regulations

New Jersey Contractors Indicted for Mishandling Asbestos
Frank J. Rizzo and Michael Kouvaras, and the company they ran, Deuteron Capital LLC, doing business as South Street Fillit Recycling of Riverside, have been indicted by a New Jersey grand jury on charges that they unlawfully removed asbestos from a closed hospital in Riverside without a license, using workers who were not trained or equipped to do the job safely, according to New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa.

They were charged with conspiracy; unlawfully causing the release of a toxic pollutant; abandonment of toxic pollutants and violating the Asbestos Control and Licensing Act. The charges stem from a joint investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Environmental Crimes Unit and the Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division.

The attorney general’s office alleges between August 2010 and March 2011 the defendants used untrained day laborers, including inmates from a halfway house, to remove asbestos from the hospital buildings in connection with demolition at the site. The two men and the company were alleged to have engaged in asbestos removal without the required license from the New Jersey Department of Labor, and their illegal activities allegedly caused the release of asbestos dust and debris.

Kouvaras, the owner of South Street, and Rizzo, the project organizer, allegedly directed unlicensed workers to remove asbestos or asbestos-containing material, bury about 50 bags of asbestos in the ground, and dump bags of asbestos on the floor of a boiler room so that it would appear that vandals had removed the asbestos while stealing copper and steel.

Division of Criminal Justice detectives executed a search warrant at the site and discovered material containing asbestos strewn on the floor of the boiler room.