Daily Digest: WCA expansion in Houston, school composting success in Omaha
In the Daily Digest, the Waste Dive team rounds up insights and moments you may have missed.
CONSOLIDATION IN HOUSTON
WCA Waste Corporation, based in Houston, recently announced a merger with Global Waste Services. Describing itself as "one of the fastest growing independent companies in the solid waste and recycling industry," Global provides collection services for a range of customers in the greater Houston area and also operates a MRF that handles 50,000 tons per year. (Check out this oddly entrancing video for a look inside the MRF.)
While financial terms weren't disclosed, Global's website cites a fleet of about 80 trucks and WCA described the deal as helping "to expand its sustainability efforts and offer more recycling options to Houston area customers."
WCA currently runs a fleet of more than 850 vehicles to service customers in 11 states. This latest announcement follows an expansion into Kentucky over the summer. The company also made two acquisitions in Missouri earlier this year. That all comes after a busy 2017, which included deals in multiple states and an expansion of the company's Houston headquarters.
The private company often operates with a lower profile than some of other big names headquartered around Houston — including Waste Management, Waste Connections and FCC Environmental Services — the latter of which will be opening its own brand new MRF in the city next year. Though CEO Bill Caesar did attract attention with a piece on recycling earlier this year that outlined effects from China's scrap import policies and why he believed the economics for residential service in particular were effectively broken.
IN OTHER NEWS
Meet NWRA's new safety VP: Kirk Sander — Waste Dive
Check out our introductory interview with the newest name in national industry safety, including what he learned while working at OSHA.
Omaha school composting program is a hit — Omaha World-Herald
Early reports from an organics diversion pilot at Fontenelle Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska are showing big promise. Within the first two weeks, the school has reportedly cut the amount of trash bags it's tossing from an average of 24-30 to three. Facilitated by Hillside Solutions, and processed into compost by Soil Dynamics, the program currently still costs more than disposal but could potentially change that equation by reducing pick-up schedules in the future.
This follows other Hillside programs at area schools, as well as a much larger effort in neighboring Lincoln. That city's public school system started an organics pilot at three schools in 2014 that has since expanded to 49 locations and should be citywide the 2019-2020 school year.
Waste Pro's expensive finish to Mississippi contract — The Daily Leader
The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors recently agreed on a fee structure to begin charging Waste Pro for collection assistance during the remaining two months of a contract. Following months of missed collections, county public works crews have been pulled off road or bridge jobs to pick up after the company.
Arrow Disposal Service is set to take over on Oct. 1, but previously said it couldn't start early due to concerns over contract interference law violations. Waste Pro has reportedly been losing drivers ahead of the contract termination, further exacerbating the issue. Early estimates show the company could see $42,000 deducted from its final two payments for service in August and September.
Sweden backing $6 million plastics project in Southeast Asia — UN Environment
The Sweden International Development Agency, in partnership with UN Environment and the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia, is backing a new four-year project to focus on plastic waste generated by Southeast Asian countries. The announcement was made in Bangkok, in recognition of "150 years of Thai-Swedish friendship and relations." This project will involve work with research institutions, companies, government agencies and other groups to minimize production of difficult to recycle plastic, improve collection for high-value material and improve public awareness.
It's estimated that as much as 75% of plastic waste in Southeast Asia may be mismanaged. This is the latest in a series of regional projects, including a recent RFP for projects from new investment firm Circulate Capital.
SEEN & HEARD
Today, #DSNY pays solemn tribute once again to those lost on 9/11. Many Sanitation Workers were exposed to hazardous materials during the cleanup. Watch our video where we remember all those who served: https://t.co/ChPp9wVWqV— NYC Sanitation (@NYCSanitation) September 11, 2018
ON THE AGENDA
- The Midwest Food Recovery Summit, a three-day affair, kicks off in Des Moines, Iowa today. Billed as "the only comprehensive food waste reduction and recovery conference" in the region, the event features a robust list of speakers including a member of the newly formed House Food Waste Caucus. If you attend and want to share any takeaways, please get in touch.
Do you have other events or webinars that should be on our agenda this week? Email [email protected]
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