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BMD, TriHaz Solutions merge operations

Deal combines two medical waste collection firms in the Southeast.

TriHaz Solutions LLC, Huntsville, Alabama, and BMD of TA Inc. have merged. The two firms state the merger will strengthen their medical and hazardous waste services in northern Alabama and southern Tennessee.

“BMD has served customers for over two decades, and their tradition of excellent service is a perfect fit with our mission and our experienced management and operations team,” says Kevin Webber, a partner with TriHaz Solutions. “We are thrilled to expand our service in North Alabama and South Tennessee,” says Bland Warren, another TriHaz partner.

Mike Vaughn, president of BMD, comment, “Not only will TriHaz continue our tradition of unmatched customer service, it also brings the resources of a full-service medical waste company. The enhanced capability to process and treat our customers’ waste is a great additional service for them.”

TriHaz provides medical, hazardous and pharmaceutical waste collection, treatment, and disposal services. The company also provides secure document destruction and compliance training services.

The combined companies will service a wide range of businesses, including hospitals, medical clinics and practices, dental offices, schools, laboratories, veterinary clinics, pharmaceutical companies and industrial hazardous waste generators.

Waste Management reaches agreement to prevent 'no pickup, no pay' bill from advancing

The bill would have forced haulers to refund customers for late collections, even in the event of natural disasters.

Florida Rep. Randy Fine withdrew a “no-pickup, no pay” bill March 2 that would have forced waste haulers and municipalities to refund customers if trash collection was more than four days late, even in the event of hurricanes and other natural disasters, Florida Today reports.

Fine filed House Bill (HB) 971 on Dec. 11, 2017, after complaints arose in his district, specifically in Palm Bay, Florida, over neglected service before and after the arrival of Hurricane Irma in September.

Under the bill, private companies and municipalities would have been prohibited from charging customers for collections that were more than four days late, required haulers to provide a refund for missed services on the customer’s next bill and forced collectors to pay a fine 10 times the amount of the charged bill if payment was more than 60 days delinquent.

Fine said he withdrew the bill after reaching an agreement with Waste Management Inc. of Florida to address some of his concerns over the missed collections.

Waste Management, which is headquartered in Houston, has agreed to a number of provisions to prevent problems in the future, including publicizing a telephone number citizens can call for missed collections, reviewing a proposal in which pickups would be increased from once to twice a week and analyzing best practices within the company to better address missed collections during other catastrophic events.

Fine issued a statement March 2 saying he wanted “to thank Waste Management for working with me to address the concerns of my constituents. The legislative process has worked. HB 971 was developed organically in response to requests from my constituents, and the attention it has garnered has created a cooperative partnership to get them resolved. I look forward to this shared commitment to ensure that all garbage is picked up in a safe and timely manner.”

Cleanup of illegal C&D recycling site completed after eight months

More than 300,000 cubic yards of illegally disposed material was piled four stories high on the East Cleveland site.

The cleanup of a former east Cleveland, Ohio, construction and demolition (C&D) recycling site turned illegal dumping ground has been completed, according to a release from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The six-acre dump site was purchased by Arco recycling in 2015 from the city of east Cleveland. The site was to be used to recycle C&D debris, such as concrete, wood and metal. However, residents began to issue complaints starting in 2016, claiming that illegal debris in the dump was causing health issues for neighboring citizens.

Subsequent inspections of the site found refuse piled four stories high, and little of the on-site materials showed signs of being recycled.

The pile of more than 300,000 cubic yards of illegally disposed C&D debris was removed following an eight-month cleanup period. The more than $8.8 million cleanup was paid for by Ohio EPA and done in cooperation with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the city of east Cleveland, the Cleveland Division of Air Quality and the Cuyahoga County Executive’s Office.

“I want to thank all of our local and state partners who helped us protect east Cleveland residents by eliminating this illegal dump,” Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler says.

Activity continues at the site as the contractor wraps up housekeeping activities that will ensure the property is cleaned to its preexisting condition.

Ohio EPA will work to recover the costs to clean up this site from the parties responsible. In addition, the agency says it is looking forward to talking with the community and elected officials about future options for this property.

Paper and packaging producer to help fund recycling efforts.

Boston-based Sappi North America, a producer and supplier of paper and packaging products, has become a funding partner of The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia. The national nonprofit uses corporate funding to improve recycling efforts in communities across the U.S.

The Recycling Partnership says less than half of recyclables in U.S. homes are getting captured for recycling; just 22 million tons out of an available 46 million tons are recycled every year. While the funding and management of recycling systems historically have fallen on the shoulders of cities and towns across the country, through The Recycling Partnership nearly 40 companies, including Sappi, are committing financial resources to work with the nonprofit and local governments to improve recycling.

Since 2015, The Recycling Partnership says it has invested more than $27 million in corporate funding toward recycling infrastructure.

“Sappi North America has been part of The Recycling Partnership through the Recycling Works in Publishing (RWIP),” says Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership. “We are grateful to have them now on board as a direct partner. The work Sappi has done throughout Maine and beyond with co-funding pedestrian recycling bins has been very successful. We look forward to working with their team on generating new ideas and partnerships to improve recycling in cities and towns across the United States.”

Laura Thompson, director of sustainable development and global policy initiatives, Sappi North America, says Sappi is committed to sustainability, particularly waste reduction and the best use of materials. “We’re excited to further this work by supporting The Recycling Partnership in its mission to transform recycling for good in the U.S.,” she says. “We are proud of the work that we have already completed with the Partnership over the years, and we are ready to make an even larger impact on recycling in our country moving forward.”

For the last two years, Thompson has served as the chair of RWIP. Last fall, Sappi worked with The Recycling Partnership to launch a recycling cart program in the city of Portland, Maine, increasing access to recycling for the city’s residents. The Portland project is helping to inform greater collaboration with the Ocean Conservancy and its Trash Free Seas initiative, a public awareness program designed to educate consumers and reduce pollution in the world’s oceans. Sappi also is a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), and a supporter of ASTRX, a joint initiative between SPC and The Recycling Partnership, which aims to increase recycling by strengthening each element of the materials supply chain to create reliable and valuable manufacturing feedstock.

“The paper industry has very high recycling rates compared to other materials,” Thompson says. “Recent statistics show we are recovering over two-thirds of paper in circulation—but that means there are still nearly 20 million tons of paper-based materials that are not being recovered each year. Through efforts such as designing for recyclability to improving infrastructure, access and education, we can further improve our industry’s recycling efforts,” she says. “We see The Recycling Partnership as a key player in making this goal a reality, and we’re proud to help further its mission.”

Waste Management trains collection drivers to help deter crime in the community

Collection drivers in Illinois undergo training to assist police in stopping crime as part of the Waste Watch program.

Waste Management of Illinois Inc., Galesburg, Illinois, and the city of Berwyn, Illinois, have partnered to expand a community safety program through the company’s Waste Watch Program. Waste Management (WM) is headquartered in Houston.

Waste Watch is a program in which waste collection drivers are trained to assist local police and emergency service agencies by reporting suspicious activities and potential emergency situations to law enforcement authorities.

“This program is like a neighborhood watch program, as our drivers are in these communities every day,” Vaughn Kuerschner, public sector manager for Waste Management, says. “Waste Management drivers may stop at as many as 16,000 homes a week in the city of Berwyn.”

WM’s operations teams and security groups participated in training sessions with Berwyn police officials Feb. 21 to help identify what to look for on the road.

“I would like to commend the staff of Waste Management for training their employees to recognize the signs of suspicious activity and report it to the police,” Berwyn Police Chief Michael Cimaglia says. “Our officers will always be outnumbered and can’t always be everywhere at all times, so we depend on the extra eyes of our residents and the good people that serve and work in this city to remain vigilant on questionable conduct and crimes in progress.”

As part of the program, drivers, equipped with radios and phones, are trained on the best ways to report and communicate any potential threats to the police.

“Many of the drivers work in and drive the same streets week after week. It’s noticeable when something is out of the ordinary,” Randy Dettloff, residential driver for the city of Berwyn, says.

WM developed Waste Watch in 2004 and has seen the program expand to more than 270 communities nationwide.

“We sincerely appreciate the Berwyn police staff for taking personal interest in this program and for sharing their in-depth knowledge in law enforcement and public safety with our drivers,” Kuerschner says. “Upon completing this training, Waste Management’s drivers are now able to assist authorities if they see any activities out of the ordinary on their routes.”

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