Daily Digest: Markets force closure of New York recycler
Plus, a report from the 2018 ISWA World Congress, two former mayors join Rubicon boards and more in our daily roundup.
In the Daily Digest, the Waste Dive team rounds up insights and moments you may have missed.
END OF THE LINE
Green Stream Recycling, which operates a MRF for the town of Brookhaven, New York, will stop accepting material as soon as next week. Newsday reports the company, co-owned by Joe Winters of Winters Bros. Waste Systems and Anthony Core of Omni Recycling, is now expected to dissolve as a result of tight market conditions.
In the near-term, Brookhaven has said it will select a new contractor to temporarily take over the MRF for at least six months before exploring longer-term options.
Under a 25-year single-stream contract signed in 2013, Green Stream is obliged to pay Brookhaven $20 per ton of incoming material and cover plant operation costs. The company is allowed to retain any additional revenue in exchange. Though with no revenue coming in, Green Stream hasn't paid Brookhaven since July, and the town now says it's owed $1.7 million. Local officials are also seeking more than $367,000 in reimbursements for disposal fees from rejected material.
Green Stream was formed in 2013 to address a lack of local infrastructure with the aim to "forever change recycling on Long Island." The company helped Brookhaven retrofit its MRF, originally built in 1991, to handle an expanded list of materials via single-stream processing, and saw a significant uptick in participation from residents as a result.
That optimism began to shift this year when the facility reported material was backing up due to limited market options, according to the Long Island Advance. Last month, Newsday reported that Smithtown, which has an agreement with Brookhaven, might consider leaving its contract early to go elsewhere. Brookhaven has also told the town of Huntington it wouldn't renew a processing contract that expires this year. Those two are among multiple local governments or school districts that rely on the Green Stream facility.
Following similar questions about whether Winter Bros. would honor a contract with the Long Island town of Oyster Bay earlier this fall, and ongoing challenges in multiple upstate communities, this is another sign of how New York is struggling to adapt to new post-China market conditions.
IN OTHER NEWS
New details on GFL-Waste Industries deal — Press Release
GFL Environmental has announced plans to commence a private offering of $400 million in senior notes, due 2026. Gross proceeds will be funded into escrow. Net proceeds, along with proceeds from proposed borrowing for up to $1.31 billion of senior secured term loans and certain cash equity contributions, will be used to finance the pending acquisition of Waste Industries. The deal, announced earlier this month, appears likely to go down as the largest of 2018 and marks a significant U.S. expansion for the Canadian company.
Rubicon Global adds former mayors to boards — Press Release
Rubicon is expanding its "smart cities" credentials with two high-profile new additions that will likely be familiar to those following urban sustainability trends. Stephen Goldsmith, former mayor of Indianapolis and deputy mayor of New York, is joining the company's board of directors. Michael Nutter, former mayor of Philadelphia, will join its board of advisors. Nutter is known in part for a 2015 law that requires all new residential construction in Philadelphia to include in-sink food disposers.
According to the company, the two "will work with the Rubicon executive leadership team in key advisory roles, specifically around technology adoption and the growth of Rubicon’s smart city offering." While Rubicon is currently undergoing a sizable corporate restructuring, the company's smart city and local government work is said to be an ongoing priority.
Veolia to run Australia's first modern WTE facility — Press Release
Veolia has been selected to run the first mass burn combustion system of its kind in Australia. Located in Kwinana, near Perth, the project will be built by Acciona and financed by Phoenix Energy, Macquarie Capital and DIF Infrastructure. Once complete in 2021, it will have capacity for up to 400,000 metric tons of waste per year and generate an estimated 40 MW of energy. This is the latest in a series of waste-to-energy investments for the broader Macquarie Group, following the recent announcement that Macquarie Infrastructure Partners is set to acquire Wheelabrator.
SEEN & HEARD
Report from the 2018 ISWA World Congress
The 2018 ISWA World Congress opened on October 22 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Organized by the Waste Management Association of Malaysia, the event drew nearly 1,200 participants from more than 60 countries. After Malaysia, the largest delegations are from China and the U.S. This year's theme is “Sustainable Consumption towards Waste Minimization.” Several of the first day’s plenary sessions focused on climate change, marine litter, and closing open dumpsites.
The global effects of China’s restrictions on waste and scrap imports were mentioned in several sessions, especially because Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries have been responding to a vast increase in imports over the past year. SWANA Executive Director David Biderman spoke about the effect this has had on North American recycling programs, as part of a broad overview of trends, challenges, and opportunities in the U.S. waste and recycling industry. Several session attendees urged Biderman to focus on waste reduction.
The day ended with a welcome reception at a nearby restaurant featuring a wide variety of regional food, multiple performances by Malaysian dance troupes and networking late into the evening. The 2019 World Congress will take place in Bilbao, Spain during October 2019.
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