// Facilities News
Earth First Breaks Ground on C&D Recycling Center
Earth First LLC, based in Fort Wayne, Ind., has broken ground on a recycling and transfer station in Fort Wayne, Ind. According to the company, when the construction is complete, Earth First will operate northeast Indiana’s only complete C&D recycling operation.
Material to be handled by the new plant includes brick and block, concrete, drywall, wood, cardboard, plastics, metals, glass and paper. The 20,000-square-foot facility will contain a sorting line for separating materials, a two-ram baler for handling old corrugated containers (OCC) and plastics, loading docks and trailer bay for shipping residual waste.
The $2 million facility is scheduled to be open by March 2013 and will result in 15 new jobs. Earth First has a fleet of trucks that will bring material to the site. Additionally, third-party customers also will be able to deliver material to the facility, Earth First’s first C&D facility.
The company, founded in 2009 by Gregg Walbridge and Jason Pickerman, serves the recycling and solid waste needs of companies and residents in northeast Indiana.
Kirk Salerno, a representative for Earth First, says the Fort Wayne area is an ideal location for the plant because no facility in the area currently has the ability to process C&D material, “which has created the opportunity build the facility and divert the materials that are currently going to the landfill.”
Earth First was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Recycling Market Development Program to assist in buying equipment for the facility.
// Highways & Roads
Gas Tax Not Funding Highway Needs, Says Research Firm
Market research firm SBI Energy, Rockville, Md., says, “There is a growing disconnect on both the federal and state levels between the amount of money being generated from fees paid by users of the U.S. road system and the amount of money required to maintain and expand that system.”
The research firm says the trend toward more fuel-efficient cars and alternative-energy vehicles also has created a reduction in fuel use that reduces the amount of gasoline tax revenue.
According to “The U.S. Road, Bridge & Tunnel Construction Market” study from SBI Energy, as long as both state and federal governments refuse to increase their respective gas taxes or implement other user-based funding schemes, long-term funding prospects are “bleak.” Capital spending for roadways has averaged a 6 percent per 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since 1950, says SBI Energy. However, a new forecast anticipates the CAGR of spending during the next decade to be just 4.8 percent between 2013 and 2022.
// Legislation & Regulations
EPA Finalizes Rules Affecting Boilers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced finalized changes to Clean Air Act standards for boilers and certain incinerators. The agency says the changes have been designed to achieve extensive public health protections by slashing toxic air pollution, including mercury and particle pollution, while at the same time addressing feedback provided by industry and labor groups. As a result of the changes, 99 percent of the approximately 1.5 million boilers in the U.S. are not covered by or can meet the new standards by conducting periodic maintenance or regular tuneups, according to the EPA.
EPA also has finalized revisions to the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) Rule designed to provide clarity on what types of secondary materials are considered nonwaste fuels and provide greater flexibility in rule implementation. This final rule classifies a number of secondary materials as categorical nonwastes when used as a fuel and allows for operators to request that EPA identify specific materials through rulemaking as a categorical nonwaste fuel.
According to the EPA, implementing these standards will avoid up to 8,100 premature deaths, prevent 5,100 heart attacks and avert 52,000 asthma attacks per year in 2015.
More detailed information on the final standards for boilers and incinerators is available at www.epa.gov/airquality/combustion.
// Legislation & Regulations
California Paint Stewardship Program Takes Effect
The California Paint Stewardship Program requiring paint manufacturers to develop a take-back system for leftover paint took effect Oct. 19, 2012.
// Mergers & Acquisitions
Casella Makes Acquisition
Casella Waste Systems Inc., Rutland, Vt., has acquired the outstanding stock of Blow Brothers Inc., which does business as Bestway Disposal Services and BBI Waste Industries. The acquisition of the companies, based in Brentwood, N.H., closed on Dec. 6, 2012.
BBI provides solid waste collection, transfer and liquid waste services in seven locations in New Hampshire and Maine.
Bestway also operates a portable toilet service and supplies roll-off containers for contractors and individuals conducting renovations, clean-outs and construction projects.
According to Casella, the acquisition will allow it to “internalize additional waste and recyclables and consolidate operations, routes and transportation.”
Additionally, the company says it will be able to “internalize additional waste and recyclables and consolidate operations, routes and transportation.”
“The BBI team has built an exceptional solid waste company that is well regarded by its municipal, commercial and residential customers,” says John Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems. “The company and its employees are a great addition to our team and will play a key role in our effort to serve our customers and create value for our stakeholders.
“BBI’s operations overlay well with our footprint in New Hampshire and Maine and we expect the acquisition to drive incremental value from our existing operations and provide a growth platform in several new market areas,” adds Casella.
The program targeted for household and commercial consumers of paint was established by a new law, AB 1343 (2010) introduced by California State Assembly Member Jared Huffman. The new program is the second and largest of its kind in the U.S. Oregon’s pilot program started two years ago. Connecticut and Rhode Island are planning similar programs.
Paint manufacturers, through the American Coatings Association, created PaintCare, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization to administer the state programs. The nonprofit will arrange for recycling and proper disposal of unused paint and conduct public education about proper paint management.
Huffman says he believes that this California PaintCare program will be particularly helpful to consumers and local governments. “This is an important program that will make paint recycling more convenient for Californians, reduce the financial burden on local governments, and protect the environment,” he says. “It allows industry to take the lead in developing a safe and reliable system for the recovery and proper management of leftover paint. It’s a win-win-win.”
“This program will make proper paint management more convenient for the public by setting up hundreds of new paint drop-off sites at retailers throughout the state,” says Marjaneh Zarrehparvar, executive director of PaintCare. “It will also help local governments that partner with PaintCare by paying for the paint they already accept through their household hazardous waste programs.”
// Mergers & Acquisitions
Waste Services of Florida Acquires Choice Environmental Services
Waste Services of Florida Inc. has acquired Choice Environmental Services Inc. for $123.25 million in cash. Choice Environmental is a solid waste management company headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Waste Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Toronto-based waste management company Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd.
“As one of the largest independent waste and recycling service providers in Florida, Choice Environmental brings residential, commercial and industrial collection operations, along with transfer and material recovery facilities, that are well-positioned in southern and central Florida,” says Joseph Quarin, vice chairman and CEO of Progressive Waste Solutions. “We are very pleased to add these assets, which strongly complement our existing collection and disposal footprint in Florida, to our growing network.”
Choice Environmental, a wholly owned subsidiary of Swisher Hygiene, generates annual revenue of about $72 million through six collection operations, one municipal solid waste transfer station and one MRF. The company, in business since 2004, serves more than 150,000 residential and 7,500 commercial customers in the Southeastern, Southwestern and Central Florida regions. The company has 320 employees and more than 150 collection vehicles.
// Demolition Projects
Rhino Demo Completes Louisiana Demo Job
Rhino Demo, based in Hattiesburg, Miss., has completed a demolition project near Baton Rouge, La. The project was scheduled to take six months, but the company reports it was able to complete the project in less than four months.
The industrial demolition included buildings which belonged to Lion Copolymer, a producer synthetic rubber and chemical foaming agents.
The demolished structures included a 200-foot methanol column, an extended batch structure, as well as hundreds of pounds of concrete and other structures.
Rhino Demo estimates 97 percent of the demolished materials from the industrial demolition at Lion Copolymer were recycled.
Ricky Myers, a representative for Rhino Demo, says much of the demolition material was ferrous and nonferrous, which the company shipped off site for recycling. However, the company estimates that it will end up recycling 10,000 tons of concrete as well, primarily on site and to be used as road base for the company.
After completing the Lion Copolymer project, the company is set to start a demolition project at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. The project will include an interior demolition at the Johnson Commons, the former student dining hall. Myers says he expects this project to take roughly one month, with completion by the end of 2012. He estimates that the company will be able acheive a recycling rate in excess of 90 percent on the project.
// Mergers & Acquisitions
ReEnergy Acquires Boston C&D Facility
ReEnergy Holdings LLC, an Albany, N.Y.-based renewable energy company, has acquired United Waste Management Inc.’s (UWM) C&D processing facility in Boston. The facility has been in operation for more than 40 years.
“We are very excited to complete the acquisition of the UWM facility in Boston,” Larry Richardson, ReEnergy CEO, says. “This addition to our portfolio exemplifies our strategy to build a vertically integrated renewable energy company. The UWM facility will increase ReEnergy’s presence in the construction and demolition processing and recycling market in eastern New England and in particular, will enhance our ability to recycle the C&D debris generated in the city of Boston, converting a significant percentage of the recovered wood into high-quality fuel that will be used to generate renewable energy.”
ReEnergy Holdings says the Boston facility will complement its existing operations, which include eight renewable energy generation facilities in New England and northern New York and two C&D processing facilities that service the eastern New England/Boston metropolitan area marketplace: ReEnergy Gateway/LL&S in Salem, N.H.; and ReEnergy Gateway/ERRCO in Epping, N.H.
Tom Beck, ReEnergy’s chief commercial officer, says, “ReEnergy will strive to continue to provide a valuable service to the companies that collect and transport construction and demolition material that’s generated in the area.”
ReEnergy Holdings LLC is owned by Riverstone Holdings LLC and a senior management/co-investor team comprised of experienced industry professionals.
Including the acquisition, ReEnergy says it owns 300 megawatts of installed renewable energy generation capacity and recovers an average of 70 percent of the nearly 500,000 tons per year of C&D it processes.
// Legislation & Regulations
Massachusetts Demolition Firm Fined over Asbestos Violations
Total Dismantling and Carting Services Inc., Swampscott, Mass., has been ordered to pay the commonwealth of Massachusetts $100,000 in civil penalties for alleged improper removal and disposal of asbestos-containing waste.
According to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s complaint, Total Dismantling and its successor, The Total Group Inc., violated the state’s Clean Air Act by repeatedly removing and disposing of asbestos-containing material without notifying the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) that the work was going to occur.
“Companies are not permitted to risk public health, safety or the environment by failing to properly handle asbestos or by failing to disclose when they are working at demolition sites that involve asbestos,” Coakley says. “It is especially important to take the proper precautions in a heavily traveled area like the Boston waterfront.”
The complaint also alleges that Total Dismantling and Carting Services and Removal Specialists demolished the former Hook Lobster Building in 2008 after it burned in a fire without removing all of the asbestos-containing material first and without notifying MassDEP. The company also allegedly failed to use proper containment procedures at the Hook Lobster demolition site and during transport to an unpermitted storage site.
If the defendants comply with the judgment and commit no violations during a five-year probationary period, the court will suspend half of the penalty.
// Highways & Roads
NCAT Study Evaluates Role of Tire Rubber Asphalt
The National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT), Auburn, Ala., announced the results of a study which evaluates the role of ground tire rubber powder in asphalt mixture performance.
The study indicates that the asphalt manufacturing process, whether cryogenic or ambient, does not impact the performance of the rubber material or, ultimately, the asphalt.
Ground tire rubber (GTR) can be blended with asphalt to beneficially modify the properties of the asphalt for highway construction. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, benefits of using tire rubber in asphalt include:
- Longer lasting road surfaces;
- Reduced road maintenance;
- Cost effectiveness over the long term;
- Lower road noise; and
- Shorter breaking distances.
In recent years, as oil prices have risen, the number of states reassessing the potential of GTR mixtures has begun to increase; however, according to NCAT, little research has been published that characterizes the influence of particle size, grinding technique and blending methodology.
The NCAT study addressed these needs and indicates that surface area and particle size of the rubber had the most influence on the modified asphalt binder—smaller particle size, which equates to larger surface area, provides better performance. Based on the study results, researchers also recommend:
- Ground tire rubber should be considered an appropriate asphalt binder modifier to achieve critical high-temperature performance in mixtures.
- Ambient and cryogenic GTR performed equally in terms of binder modification and separation. Specifications should not distinguish between the two types of materials when the GTR is 30 mesh or smaller.
- Ten percent rubber is an appropriate level of loading for asphalt binders.
According to the Rubberized Asphalt Foundation (RAF), 70 percent of state transportation agencies, including California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Texas, have reaped the financial benefits of using rubber-modified asphalt (RMA) on their highways. The RAF states that rubberized asphalt can save between $2 and $5 per ton compared with conventional polymer-based asphalt.
Recently, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) amended the state’s road construction specifications to include recycled rubber as an alternative to oil-derived polymers.
Rubber particulate modification of binders has been performing in the market for more than 30 years in various parts of the country, and this research will support the understanding of how to use tire rubber to make performance graded asphalt, NCAT says. The study’s findings, along with phase two work with asphalt mixtures and slight modifications to the performance grade specifications, will allow states the means to capture the high performance characteristics of tire rubber in asphalt systems.
The study was conducted at NCAT’s facility in Auburn, Ala., with the assistance of partners Blacklidge Emulsions, Lehigh Technologies and Liberty Tire Recycling.
The full study is available at www.ncat.us/files/reports/2012/rep12-09.pdf.
EPA Issues Memorandum on PCB-Contaminated Building Materials
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final reinterpretation memorandum regarding polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated building materials. The memorandum titled, “PCB Bulk Product Waste Reinterpretation” is available at www.epa.gov/pcbsincaulk/pdf/wste-memo_102412.pdf.
The proposed reinterpretation of the EPA’s position PCB-contaminated building materials is specifically addressing the definitions of bulk product waste, which includes PCB-contaminated caulk or paint as well as remediation waste that includes PCB-contaminated masonry or concrete.
The EPA says this distinction is important as it determines the appropriate cleanup requirements and disposal options.
The reinterpretation being proposed in the notice would allow building material such as substrate “coated or serviced” with PCB bulk product waste at the time of disposal to be managed as a PCB bulk product waste, even if the PCBs have migrated from the overlying bulk product waste into the substrate.
Caulk and other PCB-containing products like paint and sealants were used in many buildings in the 1950s through the 1970s. More information is at www.epa.gov/pcbsincaulk/reinterpret.htm.