Industry News / Bits & Pieces
An Appellate decision has affirmed an earlier Court decision in favor of The City of Montebello ( Arakelian Enterprises, Inc., v. The City of Montebello et al.). A large part of the issue was based on City voters in 2011 adding a section to their City Municipal Code which states in part, "is to ensure that the City Council utilizes a competitive process for awarding residential solid waste franchises." This prohibits the City Council from renewing existing residential solid waste franchises, and requires a competitive bidding process for awarding new franchises.
While not a part of the lawsuit, a big round of congratulations goes out to the group of Montebello waste haulers who publically pressed the issue to insure laws were followed and Montebello elected officials were representing their constituents best interests. And to our member Jack Topalian whose industry leadership was instrumental.
CalRecycle has settled with Action Sales and Metal for $1.8 million in restitution to the state's Beverage Container Recycling Program as part of a agreement resulting from illegal claims for refunds on out-of-state bottles and cans. The County investigation goes back to 2012 when a group was suspected of importing used beverage containers (UBCs) from Arizona and redeeming them for CRV refunds which amounted to about $700,000.
Last Friday the LA Board of Public Works approved rate increases for CLARTS, which went into effect this week. The MSW Gate Rate jumped from $54/ton to $58.50 /ton; minimum charges went from $54/load to $58.50/load; and Hard-To-Handle went fro $65 to $70.
The City noted, "The gate rates at CLARTS are being adjusted to offset greater operating expenses for the management of private and commercial waste at this facility. Future rate adjustments will continue to be made on an as needed basis to achieve full cost recovery.
Over at the Puente Hills MRF, following the January rate increase, it is reported no new increases are expected this year. Also negotiations continue with Orange County for waste disposal beginning in 2016.
Waste Management released their fourth quarter, 2014, financial report and noted ongoing challenges from its recycling segment. Commodity pricing for recyclables has fallen an average of 23.7% since Q3 of 2013. David Steiner noted that just within the past few weeks prices have decreased to an extent that will affect their 2015 financials. He added the company is exploring new contract structures to alleviate some of the risk of the low prices.
Steiner added that the company will recover its processing costs because "that's the only way we can make recycling viable over the long term." Steiner predicted the drop years ago. In November, 2013, he announced the recycling industry was not profitable and in need of a massive overhaul. At that time WM was losing money due to low commodity pricing.
Meeting yesterday with reps from the Mattress Recycling Council. Their program to identify/designate mattress collection locations at waste facilities, then collect the mattresses for recycling, and pay for the mattresses. They are now in the process to hire firms to collect the mattresses from the facilities. They are also working on how much the waste collector would be paid for the mattresses, $3 per unit was used as an example but the final amount has yet to be determined.
Recycling continues to expand as the product stream continues to grow and technology proves itself. In Citrus Heights, CA, a three-month experimental Energy Bag Pilot Program collected 6,000 pounds of difficult-to-recycle materials. The project was aimed at recycling packaging and plastics not generally accepted in the curbside recycling bin. Households were provided with purple bags for the items, 30% of City residents participated in the program. Materials collected for the program were processed at Agilyx in Tigard, OR, where they were transformed into synthetic crude via pyrolysis. Jeff Wooster at Dow Packaging commented, "The pilot proved that resource recovery of non-recycled plastics is a viable municipal process."
Industry Bits & Pieces will be a regular edition to our site.