Latest MAI Environmental News
Mar 5, 2020
St. Germain acquires MAI Environmental MAI specializes in environmental and geological projects throughout Maine and New England. St. Germain , Westbrook, Maine, announced March 4 that it has acquired MAI Environmental , a South Portland, Maine-based environmental consulting and field-testing services firm. MAI was founded in 2000 by Maine licensed geologist John Marchewka and specializes in complex environmental and geological projects throughout Maine and New England. This acquisition expands St. Germain’s environmental investigation, remediation and site redevelopment services and, as a result, MAI Environmental clients will have access to a full suite of environmental consulting; civil engineering; and environmental, health and safety (EHS) compliance services, the company says. Mark St. Germain, president of St. Germain, says that clients can expect “business as usual” and that the acquisition will ultimately benefit customers through the combined resources and expertise of a single, full-service provider. Volvo CE partners with Waste Management to achieve zero waste to landfill The journey to zero landfill was a multi-year, multi-step process in partnership with Houston-based Waste Management, the site’s waste service provider. Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) announced its Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, campus has achieved zero landfill status. The North American campus is only the second Volvo CE location worldwide to earn this designation, which is certified by Volvo Group. The first one is in Braas in southern Sweden. The company says that all waste that is generated is either recycled, composted or converted to electricity. This includes material from day-to-day manufacturing and assembly operations, office activities, preventive and reactive maintenance of equipment and facility systems, and its on-site cafeteria. Volvo CE’s Shippensburg campus consists of seven standalone buildings on 192 acres, with a total area of 838,342 feet under roof. The site employs over 800 people. The journey to zero landfill was a multi-year, multi-step process in partnership with Houston-based Waste Management , the site’s waste service provider. “The Volvo Core Values team has worked closely and earnestly with departments across the Shippensburg site to become a zero-landfill facility. This has led to employees making good decisions and doing the right things,” Rich Halter, safety and environmental manager at Volvo CE, says. “Not only are we keeping wastes from entering landfills, but we have also significantly reduced our costs for waste handling.” In six years, Volvo CE says the site saw its waste handling costs slashed by over 50 percent. In 2019 alone, the site recycled 1,171 tons of cardboard, paper, wood, scrap metals and plastics. These efforts equate to saving: 4,248 mature trees or, 3,757 tons of greenhouse gas emissions or, 769,300 gallons of water, enough to meet the daily fresh water needs of 10,257 people. The site has progressed its diversion efforts over the last decade. In 2012, office and shop floor areas began single-stream recycling. By 2016, the site had implemented composting of pre-kitchen waste, wood pallet recycling, plastic foam and rubber scrap recycling, and eliminated a trash compactor whose waste was designated for landfill disposal. In 2017, all buildings and offices transitioned to multi-stream recycling. Landfill waste began being diverted to a waste to energy facility in York, Pennsylvania, where it is incinerated, producing steam that then powers turbines to produce electricity. By the end of 2018, all waste was fully diverted from landfills. Volvo’s team works closely with Waste Management on devising new methods to smartly reduce waste and cost. Waste fractions can be tracked and generated for review at any time, and all new manufacturing projects undergo a waste evaluation by a Volvo cross-functional team to ensure they meet zero landfill requirements. Several recycling industry stakeholders had the opportunity to testify during a hearing March 4 in front of the House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change of the Committee on Energy and Commerce to discuss solutions to challenges facing residential recycling streams. “Recycling has long been an essential tool in our environmental protection toolbox,” said Frank Pallone Jr., Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, at the beginning of the hearing. “Unfortunately, it is clear from the plastic pollution in our oceans that our recycling system is simply not working. Plastic pollution is contaminating our air, our land and our water, and contributing to the climate crisis. Recycling can play an important role in addressing climate change and reducing pollution in our communities, while also boosting local economies. But we will only realize those benefits if we modernize an outdated system. At the same time, we cannot forget that ‘recycle’ is the third ‘R’ in ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,’” he continued. “As we examine ways to address the plastic waste crisis, we must consider what happens to materials both before and after they reach the consumer. That means reducing the amount of waste we generate in the first place, while also creating the right incentives to reuse recyclable materials. And we now understand the important role composting can play in reducing waste going to landfills and contaminants in our recycling stream. This is particularly important if we substitute compostable products for single use plastics and other difficult to recycle items.” Suggestions to the committee Each witness offered the committee with suggestions on ways to improve recycling in the U.S. According to a news release from ISRI, Johnson identified existing pressure points in the residential recycling stream and provided a number of potential policy solutions in his testimony. ISRI suggested several practical solutions and policies that could improve recycling in the U.S., including the following: • promoting ISRI’s Design for Recycling initiative; • funding for recycling education; Closed Loop Partners , New York, plans to invest $2 million in Reterra Corp. , a Houston-based advanced recycling company. Reterra turns waste byproduct streams of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic that are produced in the recycling process into high-value intermediary products. “Reterra’s advanced process serves a critical role in lowering the cost of PET recycling by capturing even the smallest discards of material and making a high-value product from them. This solves a system-wide issue that will become increasingly important as the market for recycled plastics continues to grow,” says Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners. According to a news release from Closed Loop Partners on its investment in Reterra, Reterra’s technology transforms the discards into a liquid intermediary that becomes useful feedstock for a number of different applications. The investment from Closed Loop Partners will help finance the move into Reterra’s recently acquired new facility and upgrade equipment to increase capacity and meet new customer demands. Closed Loop reports that the new plant will double capacity immediately, allowing the company to increase processing to about 100 million pounds of materially annually in two years. “For the last five years we’ve been operating at capacity, but with the help of Closed Loop Partners we are now able to take our business to the next level and capitalize on the growing market demand for our products,” says Jason Ball, president of Reterra. The investment comes via Closed Loop Partners’ Infrastructure Fund, its first project finance fund. The fund is backed by large brands and retailers and aims to build recycling and circular economy infrastructure across the U.S. to better recapture materials and return them to manufacturing supply chains. Sacramento Municipal Utility District selects SCS Engineers for landfill closure SCS will assist SMUD’s Environmental Services staff in designing and engineering a closure and post-closure maintenance plan, as well as engineering to cap the landfill. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has selectedSacramento-based SCS Engineers to provide engineering and construction supportservices for a landfill closure located on SMUD’s North City Substationproperty. SCS will provide the necessary services aligned with SMUD’sEnvironmental Protection Policy for the closure. “Our team has extensive experience in similar landfillclosure projects,” Wendell Minshew, senior project manager at SCS, says. “Weunderstand and support the district’s environmental commitments, as well as itsfiscal responsibility to the communities it serves.” SCS will assist SMUD’s Environmental Services staff indesigning and engineering a closure and post-closure maintenance plan, as wellas engineering to cap the landfill. SCS will handle the project permitting,engineering, waste management, construction quality assurance and projectmanagement support, as well as provide community outreach pertaining to theproject. Once the project is in place, the SCS team will also monitorand generate the necessary landfill gas and groundwater reports, the companysays.