Daily Digest: 2 New York tuck-ins for Casella; Adidas ditching virgin plastic by 2024
Plus, a Casella landfill lawsuit is dismissed in Massachusetts, the U.K. pledges big money to fight food waste and more in our daily roundup.
In the Daily Digest, the Waste Dive team rounds up insights and moments you may have missed.
CASELLA'S NEW YORK EXPANSION CONTINUES
Casella Waste Systems announced Wednesday afternoon it has made two more acquisitions in upstate New York. The purchase of assets from WeCare Waste & Recycling LLC and Valley Sanitation is expected to add an additional $5 million in annual revenue. That brings the company's total acquired revenue this year to an estimated $55 million.
Both businesses describe themselves as women-owned and have business in mid-size market areas. WeCare, launched in 2009 as part of the larger WeCare Companies, provides residential and commercial roll-off services in the Geneva and Ithaca areas. Valley, which its website says has been in business "for over 20 years," services the Plattsburgh area.
Vermont-based Casella previously surpassed its annual target of acquiring $20-40 million in revenue with two larger deals, also for New York operations, at the end of August. Throughout the year, including earnings calls, events and acquisition announcements, Casella has described the potential pipeline for new deals as strong. Following recent permit approval for an expansion at the landfill it operates for Clinton County, and based on the company's map of existing landfill capacity in the Northeast, it has become increasingly clear that a key part of Casella's future lies in upstate New York.
IN OTHER NEWS
New Jersey-based Pace Glass hints at national expansion with European backing — Waste Dive
Judge dismisses lawsuit over Casella landfill in Massachusetts — Telegram & Gazette
A federal judge recently tossed a 2017 lawsuit brought against Casella Waste Systems by Toxics Action Center, Environment Massachusetts and 99 local residents over the Southbridge landfill. Casella, its subsidiary, and the town of Southbridge (which was also a defendant) contended the court didn't have subject matter jurisdiction and the judge agreed. At issue was whether the site had violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and Clean Water Act over alleged leachate discharge into nearby wetlands and drinking water wells. In a statement, Toxics Action Center said "the judge got this 100% wrong" and it was currently exploring further options.
Following an agreement with the state's Department of Environmental Protection, an estimated $10 million will be spent to install a water line connecting residents using affected wells to the public water supply. Casella has agreed to cover half the cost. The company later announced it would close the Southbridge site following an unsuccessful community vote over an expansion proposal in 2017. That is set to happen by the end of this year, and Casella is currently engaged in a separate legal fight with Southbridge over a previous promise to offer free collection service through 2027.
Adidas pledges to use only recycled plastic by 2024 — CNN Money
In news first reported by the Financial Times (paywall), the German company said it is phasing out the use of virgin plastic. Adidas plans to use an average of 41% recycled polyester in its upcoming 2019 line of apparel and footwear and continue that trend in future years. In addition, the company will end the use of all virgin plastic (an estimated 40 tons per year) in all retail, office, distribution and warehouse locations. The company also expects to sell upward of five million pairs of Parley shoes made from recovered ocean plastic this year, as compared to 1 million last year. While it's becoming increasingly popular for companies to set sustainability targets, more tangible plans that directly boost demand for recycled content are seen as the most effective and preferable within the recycling community.
Idaho cart washing company sued by hauler — Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls Press
Stories of local cart-washing companies have been popping around the country, and residents are often grateful for a pressurized solution to eliminate that foul-smelling gunk at the bottom. Yet one recent situation in Kootenai County, Idaho raises the question of whether such services may be illegal without prior authorization. Coeur d’Alene Garbage has sued Eco-Wash Solutions Northwest for more than $10,000 in damages because the hauler maintains that since it owns the estimated 60,000 carts, no one else is allowed to handle them. Eco-Wash equates the service to renters hiring a carpet cleaning company.
U.K. pledges £15 million to food waste reduction — Resource
U.K. Environment Secretary Michael Gove recently announced plans for new government action to address the “morally indefensible” issue of food waste. This plan is expected to focus primarily on food manufacturing and retail locations, where high volumes of material could be diverted via food rescue. The challenge in that is lining up logistics and getting businesses to fully integrate the process into their operations. A key part of this will be focusing on upstream reduction and obtaining good data — something in short supply according to a recent UN report. The U.K.'s Waste and Resources Action Programme estimates that 10 million metric tons of food is wasted in the country every year, and as much as 60% of that may be avoidable.
SEEN & HEARD
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