Industry News

Departments - Industry News

March 19, 2013
CDR Staff

// Mergers & Acquisitions

WM Recycle America Acquires Greenstar
WM Recycle America LLC, a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc. (WM), based in Houston, has acquired Houston-based Greenstar LLC from Ireland-based NTR plc. The deal will provide Waste Management’s customers with what the company says is greater access to recycling solutions by adding the operations of one of the nation’s largest private recyclers to WM’s already extensive recycling network.

Last year, the acquired operations of Greenstar and its subsidiaries managed about 1.5 million tons of recyclables for more than 12,000 customers at 12 material recovery facilities (MRFs) located in the eastern United States, including seven single-stream plants, and a brokerage business for recovered material. With this acquisition, Waste Management will have the capacity to manage about 15 million tons of recyclables per year.

“Acquiring Greenstar advances our growth and transformation strategy to extract more value from the material that we manage,” says William Caesar, president of WM Recycle America. “We have a stated goal of managing 20 million tons of recyclable material by 2020. With these assets, we have the capacity to achieve almost three-quarters of that goal and extend our ability to provide the recycling services that customers want,” he adds.

// Legal Issues

Contractor Pleads Guilty to False Documents Charges
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has announced that Champion Dirt Inc. has pled guilty to two first-degree felony counts of securing execution of a document by deception and has paid a $10,000 fine.

Billy Ray Martinez, president of the Conroe, Texas, company also has pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts and was ordered to serve two years probation and pay $340,000 in restitution to the TCEQ. Martinez paid $169,000 at sentencing and is required to pay the remaining balance within the term of his probation.

The TCEQ Environmental Crimes Unit discovered that Martinez and Champion Dirt, an excavation and construction company, obtained grants from the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) by submitting false documents to the TCEQ.

The TERP is a voluntary incentive program administered by the TCEQ designed to help Texas meet federal air quality standards by reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide.

TERP grants help offset the cost of replacing or upgrading older, high-emission trucks and off-road equipment with newer models and engines that have substantially fewer emissions.

// Asphalt Shingles

CertainTeed to Open New Asphalt Shingle Plant
CertainTeed Corp., Valley Forge, Pa., has announced plans to open a new asphalt roofing shingle plant in the Midwest. When operational, the plant will service markets in the central region of the United States. In addition, the company says it is currently evaluating several locations throughout the Midwest to locate the facility.

CertainTeed says the new facility will be its first greenfield roofing plant since the company built its Oxford, N.C., plant in 1978. The company says the Oxford facility is currently the world’s largest shingle plant.

Some of the company’s roofing products are made with recycled materials, CertainTeed says on its website, citing “pre- and postconsumer recycled content [including] slag, stone granules, corrugated mixed paper and sludge.”

“We’re proud to be building a brand new facility, which means local construction jobs, local production jobs and local transportation and material supply jobs that will bring renewed vitality to the chosen community,” says Tom Smith, president of CertainTeed Roofing.

“When you consider the fact that we have excellent facilities positioned in Texas, Ohio and Minnesota, locating a fourth plant in this region will significantly bolster our ability to optimally service customers in the central U.S.,” says Smith.

Upon completion of this new facility, CertainTeed will own and operate five, four-wide laminated shingle lines in North America. Currently, CertainTeed operates 10 asphalt shingle plants, one low-slope commercial roofing facility and three stand-alone granule production plants throughout the United States.

Stat Snapshot
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, December 2012 construction in place totaled $885 billion, the highest since September 2009. Read more in the Construction Industry Outlook on p. 36.

// Association Activities

CMRA Expands Awards Program
The Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA), Aurora, Ill., has developed two new categories of recognition for its awards program honoring the construction and demolition recycling industry, including a C&D Recycling Hall of Fame. The awards will be announced during C&D World, the association’s annual meeting April 20 to 23, 2013, in Tampa, Fla. Also new to CMRA’s program is the Member of The Year Award, which will be bestowed on the association member who has done the most to advance the association’s agenda during the past year. In addition, the association will continue to honor the most important person in C&D recycling with its annual C&D Recycler of the Year Award.

“The establishment of a Hall of Fame provides a way to spotlight the pioneers and leaders in the C&D industry,” says John Adelman, current CMRA president and president and CEO of CPRC Group. “But our goal with all these awards is to recognize excellence within the C&D recycling industry. It always means more when the recognition comes from one’s peers.”

The Hall of Fame honors prominent leaders and pioneers in the construction and demolition recycling industry who have made an extraordinary contribution to the industry and have earned the respect of the industry. The various awards are described as follows:

Candidates for the Hall of Fame:

  • Must exemplify leadership defined as outstanding and enduring contributions to the success of the industry and to improving the processes, efficiencies and/or the human relations of the industry in an active capacity for a minimum of 10 years;
  • Business actions and personal behavior should demonstrate courageous thinking and actions as well as vision and innovation; and
  • Candidates can come from the industry as an owner, operator or vendor.

Association Member of the Year

  • The Member of the Year will be selected based on extraordinary service to the mission of the organization and the C&D recycling industry during the previous 12-month period;
  • Candidates must exemplify leadership, defined as outstanding and enduring contributions to the success of the CMRA and to lending quantifiable contributions to association; and
  • They must either serve on a committee or the CMRA’s board of directors.

C&D Recycler of the Year

The Recycler of the Year recognizes recycling operations in the construction and demolition recycling industry that have made an extraordinary contribution to the industry through the one or more of the following criteria:

  • Advancing business operations that result in increased recycling percentages;
  • Developing novel methods of marketing and conducting business;
  • Innovative practices in employer-employee relations;
  • Ensuring safer operations;
  • Protecting the environment; and
  • Developing industry standards.

More information is available by calling the CMRA at 630-585-7530.

// Disaster Recovery

USACE Issues Advance Contract Initiative RFP
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) under its Advance Contract Initiative (ACI) to remove Hurricane Sandy debris from Fire Island, N.Y.

The decision to issue the RFP follows a decision by the USACE’s New York Recovery Field Office to terminate an existing contract with Custom Earth Recycling LLC of Bay Shore, N.Y.

The USACE says it terminated the contract because of what it says is “the urgent and compelling need to complete the debris removal mission on Fire Island by the end of March.” The resolution of the GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office) protest could take up to 120 days.

“The Corps of Engineers has pre-awarded contracts in place for major emergency response missions such as debris. These contracts are part of the ACI,” says Lt. Col. John Knight, commander of the New York Recovery Field Office. “ACI enhances the Corps’ ability to respond quickly and effectively by using a contractor registry to assist us with disaster response missions.”

The ACI task order will include debris removal from right-of-way and from eligible private property, transportation off of the island and disposal in a safe and environmentally sound manner. It also will require the separation and disposal of C&D debris, segregation of “white goods,” such as refrigerators and other appliances; disposal of electronic scrap, such as televisions and computers; disposal of vegetative debris; and sifting eligible sand.

// Carpeting

UK Group Reports Increase in Carpet Recycling Carpet Recycling
UK (CRUK), an organization managed by resource recovery specialist Axion Consulting, has reported that the diversion of carpets from landfills in the United Kingdom increased to 21.4 percent in 2012, a 30 percent increase from the prior year’s diversion rate of 16.5 percent.

According to CRUK, 85,000 metric tons of carpet were diverted from landfills last year; CRUK has set a target of a 25 percent diversion rate by 2015.

CRUK notes that of the 85,000 metric tons diverted in the U.K., about 36,000 metric tons were either recycled or reused, while 49,000 metric tons were redirected to energy recovery through cement kilns and power generation plants. The organization notes that energy recovery increased by 44 percent to 15,000 metric tons.

The amount of waste carpet recycled grew in 2012 by 12.5 percent—4,000 metric tons—as new outlets have developed and established ones have grown.

Laurance Bird, CRUK director, says these achievements are a testament to sustained efforts across the entire supply chain in capturing rising waste tonnages plus entrepreneurial commitment to developing new outlets and markets for all types of recovered carpet waste.

“New recycling opportunities [are] continuing to emerge as growing awareness is matched by practical endeavor, so it’s a positive story,” Bird says, highlighting increased recycling capacity at specialist facilities that are able to handle carpets via reuse, recycling and energy recovery.

“While an estimated 78.6 percent of end-of-life carpet still ends up in landfill, our goals for 2013 will continue to drive higher carpet recycling rates through a number of initiatives, including local authority encouragement on segregation,” Bird adds.

Other CRUK goals for 2013 include a 23.5 percent landfill diversion target and increasing reuse, recycling and energy recovery outlets, resulting in improved choice, collection and transport logistics across the United Kingdom.

// Company News

CRT Recycling Receives Project Approval
CRT Recycling Inc., located in Brockton, Mass., has received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for “Beneficial Use Determination Activity,” which the company says is tantamount to approval of a project that will recycle nonleaded TV cathode ray tube (CRT) panels into a new product.

The nonleaded CRT panels will be screened multiple times to assure the absence of lead, sorted, crushed and separated by particle size and ultimately used as a secondary material substitute for sand or stone aggregate, says the company. The material will then be used as a material to make cement.

The company notes that replacing sand or stone aggregate with the recycled CRT panels reduces the need for stabilizing additives to limit the expansion of concrete.

// Mergers & Acquisitions

Chicago Recycling Firms Merge
Lakeshore Waste Services and Recycling Systems Inc. (RSI) have merged, creating a newly formed company called Lakeshore Recycling Systems LLC (LRS), with primary operations in the Chicago area.

The private equity firm Tensile Capital Management, based in San Francisco, provided the financing. Additionally, Comerica Bank provided the debt financing for the deal. Livingstone Partners, Chicago, acted as the financial advisor to the two companies.

LRS describes itself as a diversified waste services company providing commercial, residential, recycling and roll-off collection services to commercial and municipal customers. According to Livingstone, LRS owns and operates the largest material recovery facility (MRF) in Illinois, processing nearly 1 million tons of material per year.

“We are confident that our people and our assets coupled with the expertise and capital from our new partners will allow us to rapidly expand from our combined position as a top-three independent in Chicagoland,” says Josh Connell, CEO of Lakeshore.

“RSI is pleased to be joining forces with Lakeshore,” says Jerry Golf, RSI president.

“The merger of Lakeshore and RSI creates a formidable player in the Chicago waste market,” says Doug Dossey, Tensile managing partner.

“The company’s recent success in the municipal markets, including a steadily growing relationship with the city of Chicago, bodes well for its long-term growth trajectory and creates an ongoing need for the type of flexible capital that Tensile can provide,” Dossey adds.

Steve Miles, a partner with Livingstone, adds, “We believe the creation of LRS is illustrative of the types of transactions smaller independents in the waste management industry must pursue in the face of an increasingly consolidated and capital-intensive marketplace.”

// Association Activities

American Biogas Council and US Composting Council Join Forces
The American Biogas Council (ABC) and the U.S. Composting Council (USCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which the organizations say has been created to accelerate the growth of the organics recycling industry. The two organizations represent more than 900 organizations.

“Organic material is a valuable resource and should be treated as such,” says Michael Virga, executive director of the USCC. “Federal, state and local policy should reflect this fact and facilitate the handling of organic material according to its highest and best use.”

According to the associations, composting and biogas systems both use natural processes that yield a variety of saleable products from the organic materials fed into them. Both processes reduce greenhouse gas emissions, recover valuable soil nutrients and reduce the need for additional landfill or incineration capacity. Biogas systems produce a renewable substitute for natural gas and yields nutrient-rich residuals that the associations say can be naturally processed into compost or fertilizer products.

In a joint press release, the USCC and ABC say that in addition to reducing water pollution, improving soil health and stimulating plant growth, the organics recycling industry employs more people per ton of material than landfill disposal or incineration. “However, today, the political and regulatory infrastructures do not support these fundamental, natural and energy-producing processes that are essential to the economic, environmental and social needs of a sustainable community,” the press release states.

“We can create thousands of U.S. projects and jobs if as a society we all get smarter about how to use our food residuals, yard clippings, wastewater sludge and all the organic material we put into our trash every day,” says Patrick Serfass, ABC executive director. “Three key steps will get us there: educating leaders and citizens about biogas system and composting benefits, leveling the playing field with smart policies and removing unnecessary barriers to project development.”

// Association Activities

APA Gets the ‘FACTS’ out About Asphalt
The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA), a coalition of the Asphalt Institute, the National Asphalt Pavement Association and the State Asphalt Pavement Associations, has kicked off its Asphalt FACTS campaign to raise public awareness about what the group says are the many benefits of asphalt pavement.

The Asphalt FACTS campaign is centered on a new website,, which highlights information about asphalt pavements.

“Every day, we all use asphalt roads without giving them a second thought. Most people don’t understand how technologically advanced asphalt pavements have become and the important role they play in sustainable infrastructure,” says Mike Kvach, executive director of the APA. “Asphalt FACTS will help raise the awareness of those who use, buy and design roads as to the benefits of smooth, economical asphalt pavements.”

According to the APA, 94 percent of U.S. roads are surfaced with asphalt. The APA says that asphalt creates the smoothest surface for driving, ensuring a quieter, more comfortable ride, as well as helping to optimize fuel economy.

The alliance adds that asphalt roads can be built more quickly and cost effectively than other pavements, and they can be designed as a perpetual pavement that needs only periodic maintenance to remain in good shape.

The APA says its mission is to establish asphalt pavement as the preferred choice for quality, performance and the environment. The APA says it will accomplish this through research, technology transfer, engineering, education and innovation.

According to Kvach, asphalt pavement is the most recycled material in America. “A wide range of recyclable materials—roofing shingles, ground tires, glass—are incorporated into asphalt pavements.”

// Conferences & Events

ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 to Feature Demolition & Recycling Pavilion
ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 has announced it will have a new Demolition & Recycling Exhibits Pavilion that will showcase products specific to C&D recyclers and demolition contractors. The Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA) is the pavilion sponsor.

“Recycling is an important facet of our industries; more demolition contractors are attending the show, and this pavilion is one way CMRA serves industry needs,” states Megan Tanel, ConExpo-Con/Agg show director and Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) vice president of exhibitions and events.

ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 will be held March 4-8, 2014, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. The event is every three years and involves the construction and construction materials industries. More information on attending ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 is available at

// Personnel Activity

GBB Names Principal Associate
The solid waste management consulting firm Gershman, Brickner & Bratton Inc. (GBB), Fairfax, Va., has hired Stephen Simmons as a principal associate. Simmons has more than 30 years of experience with solid waste management and renewable energy companies.

According to GBB, Simmons will bring the company a range of skills and expertise, including project and construction management; technology assessment and selection; waste shed and energy market evaluation, sales and contract negotiation; facility due diligence and acquisition management; environmental assessment and permit management; and budgeting and cost control.