EREF announces changes to board of directors
The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) announced changes to its board of directors on March 10.
The election of its 2020-21 officers include:
- Chairman: Pat Carroll, president, Environmental Solutions Group
- Vice chairman: Ven Poole, member of the board of directors, GFL Environmental Inc.
- Secretary/treasurer: James Little, executive vice president of engineering and disposal, Waste Connections Inc.
- Immediate past chair: Jim Dowland, retired corporate vice president of disposal operations, Waste Management
Carroll has been president of the Environmental Solutions Group (ESG) since 2010. ESG, whose corporate headquarters is in Chattanooga, Tennesee, is a combination of Heil Environmental, Marathon Equipment Company, 3rd Eye, Soft-Pak Software Solutions, Curotto-Can Company, Parts Central and Bayne. Prior to this role, Carroll was the president of DESTACO, a Dover company, for five years. DESTACO is a company focused on industrial automation components with manufacturing locations in nine different countries in the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America.
Prior to his role at DESTACO, Carroll was with Terex Corporation for five years—four years as president of the Telelect Utilities business and one year in business development at the corporate headquarters. Prior to his role at Terex, he spent 12 years with Ingersoll-Rand in their construction and mining business where he held a number of positions with increasing global responsibility in sales, marketing, new product development and business unit management.
“This is an exciting time to serve as EREF’s board chairman. With its recent growth, both from a programmatic and staffing perspective, the foundation is in a prime position to lead scientific discussions surrounding all aspects of solid waste,” Carroll says. “Expect to see a lot of crucial data and information coming from EREF this year.”
WM delays ADS acquisition due to COVID-19 concerns
On March 18, WM filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to update the acquisition's projected timing. Originally scheduled to close in March, the company now anticipates closing the acquisition in late Q2.
The update comes shortly after WM President and CEO Jim Fish reported the transaction to close on time during a Feb. 13 earnings call with investors.
“We anticipate that we will obtain antitrust regulatory approval by the end of March and close soon thereafter,” he said. “Our integration team has been working hard preparing for this close, and the team is positioned to move quickly to integrate ADS operations and to achieve our targeted synergies.”
Waste Pro acquires customers, landfill from RES
Waste Pro of Mississippi began servicing 700 customers previously serviced by RES effective March 1.
The arrangement includes the lease of RES’ 6,000-square-foot facility in Cleveland, Mississippi, which will become a satellite facility of Waste Pro’s Greenwood Division. The office will be home to 33 employees who are joining Waste Pro, in addition to rear-load, front-load and roll-off garbage trucks that are part of the acquisition.
In addition to providing new service to residents of 13 municipalities in the Cleveland area, Waste Pro will assume operations of RES’ C&D and Class I waste landfill located in Ruleville, Mississippi.
“We’re excited to come together with a company that is aligned with our core values of caring for our environment and providing excellent service,” Roland Joyner, vice president of Waste Pro’s southern region, says. “RES has built a reputation for excellent service in the Mississippi Delta, and we look forward to continuing that.”
DSNY announces pair of initiatives to better manage waste in NYC
The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) announced two new initiatives March 12 to better manage the waste created by city residents and businesses. New York City is denser than any other American city and lacks alleyways common in other locations. Because of this, New Yorkers for more than a century have placed their waste out for collection on the city sidewalks. DSNY’s new initiatives will seek to promote alternative strategies for setting out and managing waste for collection, opening up sidewalks for other uses.
First, DSNY published a proposed rule in the City Record that would require all new apartment buildings with 300 or more units to utilize containerized collection for their waste and submit a waste management plan to be approved by the Department of Sanitation. Many residential building developers do not adequately plan for the volumes of waste their future residents will generate, DSNY says, which results in large piles of bags left curbside on narrow sidewalks. This leaves waste accessible to rodents and other pests. Containerization requires waste to be kept in large containers, which are collected by specialized sanitation trucks, not put in bags on the sidewalk requiring collection by hand. Covered buildings that do not comply with this requirement will not be eligible for sanitation collection services. The rule will also cover any commercial-to-residential conversion with more than 300 units.
“City pedestrians navigate around piles of trash and recycling that take up significant sidewalk space,” DSNY Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia says. “It is time to make smarter, more efficient choices when it comes to the way New Yorkers set out refuse and recycling for collection in the public right of way. Today’s announcement is the first step in that direction.”
In another effort to make garbage and recycling set-outs cleaner and more efficient, the Department of Sanitation and the Department of Transportation (DOT) are collaborating in a “Clean Curbs” pilot program for commercial waste. Through the pilot program, private entities, such as Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) can apply for the opportunity to have sealed, on-street containers for their trash and recycling storage, which will reduce their need to set out bags of recyclables and garbage for collection on city sidewalks.
The Clean Curbs pilot program was developed after reviewing responses to DSNY’s and DOT’s Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) on containerized waste, including designs from the NYC-based Center for Zero Waste Design and from Marvel Architects with Recycle Track Systems, in partnership with Sam Schwartz Engineering and HR&A Advisors. The RFEI, released last year, sought creative solutions that would reduce the volume of refuse and recycling set-outs on city sidewalks, increase waste diversion, reduce truck traffic and greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste collection, and improve the cleanliness of city streets and sidewalks.
"We welcome the Clean Curbs program which will make it much easier to pilot shared waste storage in the parking lane, one of the strategies within the Zero Waste Design Guidelines,” Clare Miflin, founder of the Center for Zero Waste Design, says. “We hope that this will be the beginning of a multi-stakeholder initiative to redesign our city for circular material flows at every scale—from takeout containers to curbs to buildings to district scale infrastructure.”
“New York’s density, our lack of back alleys and the demands on our streetscape creates unique challenges. But we are looking to turn these challenges into an opportunity to make New York a global leader in waste reduction and material recovery,” Guido Hartray of Marvel Architects says.
While final designs of the Clean Curbs containers will be based on an applicant’s location and specific waste management needs, the entity will be required to sign a maintenance agreement with DSNY to ensure the area is kept clean and deiced for snow. The containers must meet strict requirements and specifications, such as being fully enclosed, rodent-proof, and compatible with carter operations and commercial regulations.
Applications for the Clean Curbs pilot program will be accepted beginning this spring and must be approved by the DSNY and DOT.
DOE announces $25M for plastics recycling R&D
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Washington, has announced up to $25 million in funding for plastics recycling research and development (R&D). The funding opportunity announcement is part of the department’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, which is a program that launched in November 2019 that aims to accelerate innovations in plastics recycling technologies.
“The Trump administration is committed to advancing plastic recycling technologies and the manufacturing of new plastics that are recyclable by design,” says Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes. “Through the Plastics Innovation Challenge, DOE is proud to take part in the development of technologies and strategies to improve how we manage plastics within and beyond America’s borders.”
The Advanced Manufacturing Office and Bioenergy Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy issued the joint funding opportunity announcement, titled “BOTTLE: Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics Out of Landfills and the Environment.” With up to $25 million in funding available, the opportunity will support the development of new plastics. The opportunity will also help develop recycling strategies that can break existing plastics into chemical building blocks that can be used to make higher-value products, DOE reports in a news release on the funding.
In addition, DOE also announced the launch of a new BOTTLE Consortium to further advance the Plastics Innovation Challenge. According to DOE, the National Laboratory-led BOTTLE Consortium is focused on designing new plastics and recycling strategies in collaboration with industry and academia. The BOTTLE Consortium currently consists of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Funding opportunity announcement topic areas include the following:
- Highly recyclable or biodegradable plastics,
- Novel methods for deconstructing and upcycling existing plastics, and
- BOTTLE Consortium collaborations to tackle challenges in plastic waste.
DOE reports that the application process for this funding will include two phases: a concept paper and a full application. All papers are due on April 22, and full applications are due on June 18. The complete funding opportunity announcement can be viewed online at www.energy.gov/plastics-innovation-challenge.
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