MAY 2009 NEWS:









Waste conversion into fuel skyrockets

The Edmonton Waste Management Centre is home to a collection of state-of-the-art, sustainable waste processing and research facilities including North America’s largest co-composting facility.
Waste conversion interest is fueled by the 36 billion gallon quota by 2022

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Last June it was announced that the City of Edmonton, the Alberta government and two technology companies would invest $70 million dollars to build the world’s first and largest chemical processing plant to convert municipal waste into methanol, ethanol and other biochemical derivatives.

In following up on the story, American Recycler learned that this project is actually happening. This project could become the prototype for handling municipal waste in the future.

According to the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy, approximately two-thirds of everything that is dumped into landfills contains cellulose and is a potential source of fuel. More importantly, cellulosic ethanol yields approximately 80 percent more energy than is required to grow and convert it.

Ethanol, of course, is a renewable transportation fuel that today is largely made from grains such as corn and wheat, but cellulose ethanol can be made from agricultural byproducts, such as straw, corn cobs, and corn stalks, which are often discarded as waste, or made from new crops like switchgrass, the tall, native grass that once covered most of the North American prairie.

Test plots of switchgrass at Auburn University have produced up to 15 tons of dry biomass per acre, and five-year yields average 11.5 tons, enough to make 1,150 gallons of ethanol per acre each year. And, switchgrass thrives with little or no irrigation or fertilizer. more

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Republic and Allied: The first 100 days
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Republic Services merged with Allied Waste a little over four months ago. Both companies report that the transition was smooth and the merger a success. The merger increased the number of landfills owned by Republic from 59 to 213 with synergistic savings of $150 million.

Last December Republic Services, Inc. and Allied Waste Industries, Inc. completed their merger, which created the second largest waste and environmental services company in the States, now operating as Republic Services, Inc. The hundred day mark has come and gone, and though the honeymoon may be over, the combined companies still seem to be thriving.

The merger of the companies only happened after a long courtship where each partner had time to get acquainted and learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. “What’s interesting is that there had been talks between the two companies for almost five years. It wasn’t until the early part of 2008 when the conversations were reinitiated and the deal ultimately came together,” said Doug Borro, Republic’s vice president of program management for the merger.

A quick overview of the deal: Republic, with approximately $3.3 billion in 2008 revenues, acquired Allied with approximately $6.1 billion in 2008 revenues through an all stock transaction. Proforma guidance for 2009 is $8.4 billion.

A week after the June merger announcement, the functional leaders of both companies held an engagement party in Floridia. Doug Borro commented on the cocktail party before the formal meeting, “The level of camaraderie was uncanny. We all seemed to gravitate towards our counterparts at the other company and the emotional merger was immediate. I was with Allied during the BFI acquisition and while we did the mechanical merger it was a very hard emotional merger between the people.” more