BUYING TIME FOR NY'S LARGEST LANDFILL
A community agreement worth more than $100 million is being considered between Waste Connections and the town of Seneca Falls, New York that would extend the Seneca Meadows Landfill's lifespan until 2037. Per a proposed memorandum of understanding, Waste Connections would pay the town an increasing percentage of gross annual revenues starting at a minimum of $5 million per year.
The Finger Lakes Times reports that this item was set for a vote at a town board meeting last night, but got pulled from the agenda at the last minute.
As it stands, Seneca Meadows is currently required to close by the end of 2025 under a local law passed in 2016. The company is challenging that in state court, but could potentially drop the suit if this new agreement is approved. The state's Department of Environmental Conservation approved a permit extension through 2025 last year, meaning that a new permit application would still be required.
Community tensions around this site have existed for years, with some area residents opposing it for environmental reasons while others support its economics benefits. This was a factor in the collapse of a $3.3 billion export contract between New York's Department of Sanitation and Progressive Waste Solutions (now a Waste Connections subsidiary) in May 2016. That contract was later awarded to Waste Management, with much of the material now going to the nearby High Acres Landfill.
This delicate balance between landfills being viewed as a boon or a burden by the communities where they're located is an issue the industry has become increasingly likely to try to appease with lucrative host agreements. In a recent interview with Waste Dive, Waste Connections CEO Ron Mittelstaedt said this is one of many reasons why he believes "there's a reckoning coming" around people's cost expectations for waste and recycling services.
IN OTHER NEWS
Macquarie is buying Wheelabrator from Energy Capital partners, planned IPO is off - Waste Dive
Austin's organics diversion mandate now applies to all commercial businesses - Waste Dive
Rumpke wants to expand Ohio's largest landfill - WCPO
Rumpke Waste & Recycling is seeking approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for a major expansion of its landfill in Colerain Township, located about 12 miles from Cincinnati. The proposal would add 240 acres to a site that currently has 330 acres permitted for disposal. Based on an average intake of 10,000 tons per day, that space is expected to fill up within eight years. This expansion would add an estimated 25 years to its lifespan.
Colerain Township lost a court fight over zoning in 2015 that could have prevented Rumpke from future expansion, but reached an agreement for annual payments of $1.25 million through 2021 and $1.1 million beyond that for every year the site remains open. Rumpke is now trying to make the case that communities would otherwise have to start exporting waste farther at higher costs. The permit application describes the landfill as "especially critical to the people and businesses in the Cincinnati area" and claims its closure "would undoubtedly result in a detrimental impact on the economic prosperity that is currently enjoyed in Cincinnati and which is due, in part, to low solid waste disposal costs."
New Jersey collection worker injured in rear-end collision - NJ.com & Asbury Park Press
A 27-year-old collection worker from Suburban Disposal Inc. was pinned between the back of his truck and a car on the morning of Oct. 2 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. He was airlifted to an area hospital and is said to be in stable condition. The car driver only suffered minor injuries. This is at least the fourth such incident within less than a month in the U.S. — following others in Michigan, Louisiana and Texas — where a collection worker was injured or killed by a vehicle.
Mexican subsidiary to reopen Washington mill - Resource Recycling
McKinley Paper Company, a subsidiary of Mexican company Bio Pappel, will reopen an idled paper mill in Port Angeles, Washington. The mill will be retrofitted to produce an estimated 250,000 tons of containerboard per year. McKinley currently expects to use recycled feedstock and likely focus on OCC. This is the latest in a series of U.S. paper mill announcements that have made the recycling industry increasingly optimistic that new capacity may help replace China's previous demand in the coming years.
California will launch EPR program for drugs and needles - Press Release
Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed SB 212 into law, which will establish a producer-funded takeback system for multiple types of medical waste. The program is set to take effect no later than 2021. According to the California Product Stewardship Council, this is the result of 13 prior county and local ordinances as well as years of lobbying at the state level. CalRecycle estimates that more than 290 million sharps end up in the waste stream each year. Research shows that this can pose a hazard to workers on collection routes, at MRFs or in other settings.
SEEN & HEARD
- Trash Talk: A Twitter Chat on Sustainable Waste Management and Climate Action (10 a.m. ET) Following the release of "What a Waste 2.0," the World Bank will be co-hosting a Twitter dialogue with Habitat Day and +SocialGood to explore "megatrends on solid waste management as well as innovative solutions to the global waste challenge to help fight climate change and create sustainable cities and communities."
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