Newsworthy

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January 16, 2012

> MUNICIPAL

ReCommunity Acquires Two Michigan Facilities
ReCommunity Recycling, based in Charlotte, N.C., has acquired Great Lakes Recycling's (GLR's) single-stream plants in Huron Township and Roseville, Mich. ReCommunity also has acquired GLR' OCC (old corrugated container) processing facility in Michigan. The deal was completed Nov. 1, 2011.

Sandy Rosen, CEO of GLR, headquartered in Roseville, says his company will continue to operate facilities in the Michigan cities of Roseville, Warren and Flint as well as a recycling facility in North Tonawanda, N.Y.

"The plan going forward is to continue to handle most commodities but get out of the single-stream business," Rosen says.

In a press release issued by ReCommunity, Rosen says, "Selling was the furthest thing from our minds when we initially met with ReCommunity earlier this year. But once we got to know them and understand what they're about, we quickly became excited about the opportunity it presented for us, our employees and overall recycling in Southeast Michigan."

The Huron facility processes 70,000 tons per year, while the Roseville facility processes 80,000 tons per year.

ReCommunity currently operates recycling and recovery facilities in Ann Arbor, Saginaw and Southfield, Mich. The recent acquisitions increase the number of ReCommunity facilities to 20 MRFs (material recovery facilities) and one transfer station operating in 10 states.
 



> METALS

Republic Steel to Build EAF in Ohio
Republic Steel, headquartered in Canton, Ohio, has announced plans to build an electric arc furnace and associated equipment at its steelmaking plant in Lorain, Ohio. The company says it will spend $85.2 million on the project, which is in response to strong demand for its special bar quality (SBQ) steel.

SBQ steel is often used for automotive axles, drive trains, suspensions and other vehicle parts.

Jaime Vigil, Republic Steel CEO, says the project will bring 449 new jobs to the Lorain area.

"This investment in our Lorain plant will help Republic Steel maintain its position as the industry leader in SBQ manufacturing," Vigil says. "The additional capacity created by the new furnace will allow us more flexibility and efficiency in delivering the highly engineered products our customers require."

According to Republic Steel, its new furnace is expected to increase the company's steel production by 1 million tons per year. The EAF also will enable the company to produce bloom cast for the production of SBQ bar and seamless tube rounds.

Construction of the company's electric arc furnace is scheduled to begin in 2012 and to be complete in mid-2013.



> METALS

Icahn Makes Play to Acquire CMC
Carl Icahn, through his Icahn Enterprises LP (IEP) master limited partnership, has made a bid to acquire the steel and recycling company Commercial Metals Co. (CMC), Irving, Texas, for $15 per share, or approximately $1.73 billion. Icahn says he is CMC's largest shareholder, owning slightly less than 10 percent of its stock. Icahn, through IEP, also owns the scrap metal recycling firm PSC Metals, Cleveland.

In a letter sent to CMC's board Nov. 28, 2011, Icahn says the reason IEP is offering a 31 percent premium over CMC's Nov. 25 closing price is because of IEP's PSC ownership. Icahn says IEP would combine PSC with CMC's recycling assets while selling off CMC's noncore assets and immediately appointing a new management team.

On Dec. 19, CMC Lead Director Anthony A. Massaro issued a statement on behalf of the CMC board saying in part, "We believe this is an opportunistic attempt by Mr. Icahn to acquire CMC at a low point in the business cycle and at a time when the execution of our strategic plan – led by the company's new management team – is beginning to yield results. With his offer, Mr. Icahn is trying to take value for himself that rightfully belongs to CMC's stockholders."

Massaro added, "The CMC [board] strongly recommends stockholders reject Mr. Icahn's self-serving $15.00 per share offer and not tender their shares."

In his letter, Icahn had written, "We do not believe the current board is capable or willing to undertake the actions necessary to enable Commercial Metals to compete in the future."

The track record established by the current board and management team over the last several years is dismal. Unfortunately, a below-average operating performance fueled by a distracting and misguided international growth plan, combined with a disastrous investment record, has become the defining characteristic of Commercial Metals," Icahn states in the letter.

Icahn also writes that IEP is prepared to proceed to immediately negotiate and execute definitive documents.
 



> PAPER

SP Newsprint Files for Bankruptcy Protection
SP Newsprint Holdings LLC, Greenwich, Conn., and its subsidiaries SP Newsprint Co., SP Recycling Corp. and SEP Technologies LLC, have filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. In a statement, the company says it intends to use the bankruptcy process to explore options to continue its business.

"As a result of weak economic conditions, coupled with record prices for key raw materials," Ed Sherrick, SP Newsprint CFO, says, "the company's profit margins have been reduced to levels that are not able to support servicing of current outstanding debt. Therefore, the company is seeking court protection to maximize going concern value in an orderly manner."

The company is in the process of negotiating debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing with some of its lenders and agreed upon use of cash collateral in the interim, which it expects to provide liquidity during the restructuring process. In connection with the filings, the SP Newsprint is requesting customary relief to support its customers and employees as it explores its options.
 



> MUNICIPAL

Veolia to Sell US Operations
During its annual Shareholders Day, Dec. 6, 2011, France-based solid waste management firm Veolia Environnement Co. (VE) announced plans to sell its North American waste management and recycling division, Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp. (VESNA, profiled in the November 2011 issue of Recycling Today). The decision to sell its North American assets is part of what VE says is its overall plan to divest ¤5 billion (US$6.7 billion) in assets and to reduce the company's financial debt to less than ¤12 billion (US$16 billion) during the next two years.

"The strategic plan that we are announcing today is going to drive a profound transformation of our company in order to adapt to the current economic and financial environment and to quickly position Veolia Environnement to capture the most attractive growth opportunities," says Antoine Frérot, VE chairman and CEO. "It is an ambitious, but realistic plan. My management team and I are committed to this effort with conviction and confidence."

In response to VE's announcement, Richard Burke, VESNA president and CEO, says in a written statement, "These divestiture plans are in support of VE's existing program to pay down debt and increase cash flow, which has been in place since 2009 and was expanded earlier this year." He adds, "Our solid waste business is self-sustaining, profitable and highly marketable, and its sale will make a significant contribution to the financial well-being of Veolia globally."

Burke says the operations of Veolia ES Technical Solutions and Veolia ES Industrial Services are not directly affected by the future sale of VESNA.
 



> METALS

Niagara Metals Acquires Ben Singer & Sons
Niagara Metals, a scrap metal recycling company headquartered in Niagara Falls, N.Y., has added two new locations in the Buffalo, N.Y., area through its acquisition of Ben Singer & Sons. With the acquisition, Niagara now operates four scrap yards, including a feeder yard in Royalton, N.Y., which the company opened in 2010.

The facilities acquired include a 5-acre scrap yard in North Buffalo, N.Y., and a rail transloading yard in Lack-awanna, N.Y.

"We plan to grow in a disciplined manner. We now have experience in acquiring existing businesses and starting from scratch," a spokesman for Niagara Metals says. "We are excited and ready to provide the Buffalo market with the same first-class service we have provided in Niagara Falls for the last six years," he adds.

Niagara Metals, which is owned by Todd Levin, says it will retain all of the employees of Ben Singer & Sons, including President Lee Singer, who will join Niagara Metals' management staff. Jon Marantz, Niagara Metals' special projects coordinator, says, including the acquired employees, the company now has 35 employees.

Niagara Metals says it will upgrade and add equipment at the North Buffalo scrap metal facility, including installing a second truck scale, improving the facility's environmental controls, building new offices and adding truck-level loading docks.

Marantz says the new facilities will give Niagara Metals greater coverage of the densely populated Buffalo area. The acquisition also is designed to help Niagara Metals strengthen its retail and small business trade.

The Levin and Singer families have had a business relationship for more than 50 years.
 



> PLASTICS

Nextlife Adds Plastics Processing Line
The plastics recycling company Nextlife, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., has opened its newest film processing line in Frankfort, Ky. The new processing line is expected to add 15 million pounds of production capacity.

Nextlife says its film-to-film processing line will allow it to accommodate its customers' needs, including finding markets for film and rigid plastic scrap.

Ron Whaley, Nextlife CEO, says, "Our ultimate goal is to continue expanding the plastic waste we process, converting plastic waste typically destined for landfill into consumer products and packaging applications, including film-to-film applications."

Robert Dishman, Nextlife executive vice president of supply chain, adds, "As part of our strategic growth strategy, we plan on producing the cleanest post-consumer resins globally utilizing our newest technology. This additional capacity allows Nextlife to process more material creating additional demand for plastic waste."
 



> PLASTICS

ACC Launches Plastics Recycling Website
A new website, www.RecycleYourPlastics.org, has been designed to offer an easy-to-use gateway for information on plastics recycling in an effort to enable expanded collection and recycling of plastics across the United States.

The American Chemistry Council's (ACC) Plastics Division provided funding for the website, encourages recycling professionals to connect with one another to share information.

According to the ACC, RecycleYourPlastics.org is designed primarily for community recycling coordinators, solid waste officials and other professionals tasked with helping communities collect and recycle plastics. The site organizes existing resources on plastics recycling into searchable categories, such as consumer education programs, sorting technologies, containers, bags and film. It also includes tips and tools, best practices, case studies and ready access to experts and peers.

"We have consistently heard from recycling professionals that finding information on plastics recycling can be a challenge," says Steve Russell, ACC vice president for the plastics division, which headed the effort. "RecycleYourPlastics.org should make it easier to find useful information that contributes to recycling plastics."
 



> MUNICIPAL

C&A Carbone Hosts Briefing on Court Case
A court case that began in 2008 between C&A Carbone Inc., based in West Nyack, N.Y., and Rockland County over that county's flow control ordinance continues. Carbone claims the law restricts the open market for solid waste and recyclables in the lower Hudson River valley, while Rockland County claims the law seeks to increase the county's rate of recycling and provide safe and environmentally sound handling and disposal of solid waste.

Private companies operate the county's disposal facilities. Carbone argues this is outside the scope of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Oneida-Herkimer case, in which the Court upheld flow control to government owned and operated facilities.

On Dec. 8, 2011, in Tarrytown, N.Y., Carbone hosted its second briefing about the case, referred to as Carbone II, and on flow control legislation in general. David Biderman, National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) general counsel; Andrew Foster, Drinker, Biddle & Reath, Philadelphia; and John Chiaia, Chiaia & Associates Inc., Lyndhurst, N.J., participated in a panel discussion moderated by Joanne Wiley of C&A Carbone Inc.

Biderman provided an overview of flow control laws and explained the role NSWMA plays in coordinating industry opposition to such laws. Foster, who represents Carbone in the lawsuit, presented historical information about solid waste management in New York state and in Rockland County, while Chiaia highlighted the importance of industry involvement when legislative or regulatory changes are proposed.

As a decision is not expected until late 2012, Carbone says it plans to hold additional briefings.