The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and HealthAdministration (OSHA) has cited L.L.E. Construction LLC for exposing employees to fall and other hazards at a construction work site in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The company faces $146,554 in proposed penalties.
Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS), Morton Grove, Illinois, announced Oct. 4 that it has acquired Madison, Wisconsin-based Royal Container Service, a dumpster and recycling services provider based in southern Wisconsin. According to the LRS, the acquisition creates a scalable waste and recycling platform in southern Wisconsin and expands the LRS service area. Financial terms were not disclosed and the acquisition is effective immediately.
As a result of the acquisition, Royal’s 50 employees, 25 trucks and more than 1,000 roll-off dumpsters will now be a part of LRS. The company also will oversee control of three facilities previously owned by Royal located in Madison and its surrounding communities, including one of the few automated construction and demolition (C&D) recycling facilities in Wisconsin. Royal manages nearly 100,000 tons of material and successfully recycles or diverts in excess of 75 percent of that material.
“We welcome all Royal employees and customers to the LRS family through this milestone acquisition as we expand into southern Wisconsin,” LRS CEO Alan Handley says. “We look forward to offering Royal customers access to all LRS services, including residential and commercial waste collection, roll-off dumpsters, portable restrooms, street sweeping and on-site storage. Royal’s leadership team has always run a first-class customer-focused operation, and we look forward to working with their senior leadership team as we continue to execute on our aggressive geographic expansion.”
Royal has been led through its transition by owners David Vander Velde, Steve Olsen and Kim Lindholm. Effective immediately, Velde will remain part of the Royal team managing daily operations and Olsen will remain on as an active shareholder in LRS. Through their efforts and leadership, LRS says Royal has outrivaled other local waste providers and is the hauler of choice for contractors throughout Dane, Sauk and Columbia County, serving approximately 80 percent of construction hauling needs for Madison-area contractors. With over 1,500 customers, Royal will utilize this key knowledge and pride of service as it works alongside LRS.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the LRS family and look forward to offering our customers more services than ever before,” Velde said. “As a company that excels in construction services with a strong roll-off presence, expanding to residential and commercial waste collection is exciting and will create great opportunities for our employees who live and work in the area. Wisconsin has always been home to our company and team, and we look forward to serving this vibrant community.”
A demolition company’s former employee has pled guilty in a federal court of conspiring with a New Jersey-based scrap metal firm to pay less than market value for metal generated at demolition sites.
According to an October online report from Newark, New Jersey-based NJ.com, the plea came from a former senior vice president of a demolition firm who admitted accepting $340,000 from the CEO and president of Secaucus, New Jersey-based Cinelli Iron & Metal Co. Inc. The announcement of the plea was made by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
The NJ.com report names Frank Aiello as the person who made the plea, although it does not name the demolition firm.
Aiello reportedly sold scrap metal generated at demolition sites at below market value to Cinelli Iron & Metal in return for gifts and favors from the Cinelli executive officers, who benefitted from the padded profit margin. The collusion activity took place from 2013 to 2016, according to the plea.
Per legal document language, “The principal goal of the conspiracy was for Aiello to use his position to enrich himself by soliciting and accepting gifts, payments and other things of value from the two Cinelli conspirators in exchange for actions favorable to their business, and for the Cinelli officials to enrich themselves by secretly obtaining favorable action through corrupt means.”
The guilty plea for Aiello pertains to wire fraud charges that could carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Aiello’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 15. 2019.
Equipment maker Metso Corp. says its Lokotrack LT200HP mobile cone crushing plant now features a direct v-belt drive from the gearbox designed to deliver fuel consumption savings of 15 percent or more compared to hydraulic-driven cone crushers. The LT200HP also complies with European Stage V emission regulations, the Finland-based global equipment supplier says.
“Fuel consumption and efficiency are always at the top of our customers’ priority lists, and reducing emissions levels has become an increasingly important issue in recent years,” says Kimmo Anttila, vice president of Lokotrack Solutions for Metso. “In this respect, the LT200HP delivers on all counts with a fuel consumption savings of 15 percent or more.”
Lokotrack LT200HP is designed for secondary and tertiary crushing operations such as producing aggregates for railway ballast, road construction, asphalt and concrete fractions. In addition to being more efficient, the reconfigured LT200HP also features several safety and maintenance improvements, according to Metso. These include elevated service platforms designed to provide safe, easy access to service and maintenance points and other changes designed to make daily maintenance quicker and easier.
The LT200HP is also available with the Metso ICr wireless information and control system, which allows customers to monitor and control the crushing plant from an excavator cabin. The entire Lokotrack train of Metso primary Lokotrack plants or Metso mobile screens can be controlled with Metso ICr, according to the firm.
“The compact transportation dimensions of the Lokotrack LT200HP combined with its powerful Nordberg HP200 cone crusher make it a winning solution for mobile crushing and screening,” Product Manager Jouni Hulttinen comments.
The U.S. construction industry added 23,000 new positions in September, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors, Washington, analysis of data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the past 12 months, the industry added a total of 315,000 net new jobs, an increase of 4.5 percent. Nonresidential construction employment expanded by 18,600 net jobs monthly, while the residential sector added just 4,400 net positions, according to an ABC news release.
Though construction unemployment rose to 4.1 percent in September, it remains low by historical standards, the association says. National unemployment dropped to 3.7 percent across all industries, the lowest rate since December 1969.
“For several years, job growth has been just right—not too hot, not too cold,” says ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “The term ‘Goldilocks economy’ is often tossed around, with the implication being that employment growth has been solid enough to keep consumers spending and businesses confident, but not so fast that inflation and interest rates spike, causing asset prices to fall in value.”
Basu says economists were collectively expecting around 180,000 jobs to be created in September and an official rate of unemployment of 3.8 percent.
"That’s effectively what occurred,” Basu says. “But these are not the important numbers. The most important number is average hourly earnings growth, which has been at the high point of the cycle recently. Conventional wisdom suggests that if average hourly earnings were to grow 3 percent or better on a year-over-year basis, that would be bad news from the perspective of financial markets. This suggests that the grinding search for talent is driving up compensation costs and that interest rates will continue to head higher.”
Basu says contractors will notice an increase in borrowing costs.“What’s more, construction firms will find it increasingly difficult to recruit labor,” Basu says. “This week’s announcement by Amazon regarding its increase in minimum wages indicates that firms are having to pay more to attract and retain workers. It is perfectly conceivable that more junior members of the construction workforce also heard about Amazon’s new $15 minimum wage."