GBB Waste Outlook

Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. - Solid Waste Management Consultants

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July 2008 - In This Issue


Material and Cost Tracking & Reporting Software

Business Intelligence for the Waste Industry!

  • Compiles cost and tonnage data into a full cost accounting model

  • Provides quick access to cost and tonnage reports

  • Improves ability to track performance and monitor operations

  • Facilitates management of contracts

>> More info


GBB will be present at the following industry events. We look forward to seeing you there!

California Resource Recovery Association  Conference
Burlingame, CA
August 3-6, 2008

Harvey Gershman
Recycling Processing Panel

Recycling & Sustainability Summit -
Recycling Alliance of Texas

The Woodlands, TX
August 16-20, 2008

John Roderique, Speaker
"C&D Recycling Overview and Case Studies"

North Carolina SWANA Fall Conference
Wrightsville Beach, NC
August 25-29, 2008

Harvey Gershman, Speaker
"Alternative Technologies to Landfilling"

National Recycling Coalition's Annual Congress & Expo
Pittsburgh, PA
September 21-24, 2008

Harvey Gershman, Panelist
"State of Recycling and Opportunities for Innovation"

WTE Research & Technology Council Meeting
New York, NY
October 16-17, 2008

Wastecon 2008
Tampa, FL October
21-23, 2008

Visit the conference / tradeshow section of our Website for a continuously updated list of events!

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Speaker's Corner

"Status of Waste-to-Energy and Conversion Technologies"

SWANA e-session

This e-session, presented by Frank Bernheisel, GBB VP, provided a review of waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies as an element of integrated solid waste management systems. It included a brief look at plants worldwide with a focus on facilities, technologies and companies operating in the U.S. It also reviewed the results from the Clean Air Act retrofits in the U.S. and provided an overview of current economic parameters for WTE. Lastly, alternative technologies being promoted and considered in the U.S. in several active procurements and the risks and challenges associated with implementing these technologies were reviewed.

An overview of the presentation is available at:

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Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.

Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.
8550 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 203
Fairfax, VA  22031
Phone: 703.573.5800
Fax: 703.698.1306

For more info about GBB:

C&D Recycling Facility a Confirmed Success Story in Portland, ME
Not Just Going Through the Motions Yields Successful Public-Private Partnership

Riverside Recycling

Almost three years after announcing the long-term agreement with a new contractor to run its C&D Riverside Recycling Facility, the City of Portland, ME, now has hard data confirming the educated hunch it had as the ink was still drying on the contract: they were entering into a public-private partnership that was destined to be a success for all involved.

Based on lower costs for operations and new revenues from more aggressive materials marketing, the bottom line is that the City is saving almost $1,000,000/year under the new agreement. The expectations set forth in the summer of 2005 are finally becoming a reality.

In 2004, the City of Portland faced a situation where the operator's contract from 1996 had been amended several times and was set to expire. Major issues included little to no data regarding tonnages - overwhelmed immediately; no scales - all transactions initially by estimated volumes - lot of "freebie" tonnages; operator received a set management fee per month - no incentives to perform well; contract artificially limited operator's cash flow and hindered his ability to move materials; lack of direct City involvement with site management operation; material not moving; poor record keeping; fires; and unpleasant customer experience.

The City hired GBB to review the history and evolution of the existing Riverside Recycling Facility, evaluate the services being provided at Riverside, review the economics of the business arrangement with the Contractor and recommend options for moving forward once the current contract term expires.

Riverside Recycling

In a press release published in August 2005, GBB Executive Vice President Bob Brickner noted something that rings even more true today, with the luxury of hindsight: "Jurisdictions that take a close look at the details of their operations and options can often generate important savings. The City of Portland had the foresight of questioning what they were doing and looking for expert opinions. They avoided simply going through the motions, and this decision will pay off for years to come."

Ultimately, GBB developed a Request for Proposals to find a partner with expertise in material handling; equipment or available capital to get equipment; demonstrated commitment to recycling and the ability to help the City clean up and redevelop the site. A new and improved Riverside Recycling Facility was born with a public-private partnership with the selected contractor, CPRC Group (formerly Commercial Paving and Recycling).

With the new contract, the City pays the contractor a set fee per ton on material leaving the facility (with exceptions); the contractor has financial incentive to recycle; the City controls the scale, the money and the customer service experience; the City keeps all tip fee revenue; and the contractor accepts ownership of the material as soon as it hits the ground. Incentives for the contractor are fees per ton equal to landfill transfer and disposal cost and raising their profit margin by finding lower cost alternatives to landfill.

Annual Savings of Almost $1 Million

Two and a half years after starting the new and improved facility, approximate annual costs are $350,000 (CRPC costs of $3,000,000 minus revenue from commercial customers of $2,650,000) as opposed to approximate former costs of $1,280,000 (city operations of 16,000 tons + Resident "freebies" of 16,000 tons = 32,000 tons x $40/ton) for an annual savings of almost $1 million plus better customer service.

Mission accomplished!

An overview of a case study entitled "Evolution of Managing C&D in Portland Maine" is available at:

Related Web Links:

>> Selected GBB C&D Project Experience

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Transfer Services Procurement Underway for Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Authority
GBB Assisting GDRRA with Extensive Procurement and
Detroit-Area Expertise

The Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Authority (GDRRA) selected GBB to assist with the procurement process for transfer and disposal services for all of the waste stream currently coming into the large Authority refuse-derived fuel plant. By the end of the summer, and based on the current schedule, GBB will have helped complete a fast-track transfer services procurement for new 10-year contract(s) that will take effect on July 1, 2009.

"With Authority staff, we are approaching the GDRRA procurement from a strategic standpoint, rather than a simple call-for-bids, to foster proposers' participation and creativity in responses in order to maximize the Authority's return on investment and create win-win partnerships with selected contractors," noted Bob Brickner, GBB Executive Vice President. "Prices for six (6) options are being solicited, including certain yard waste composting and landfilling responsibilities."

In addition to its national procurement expertise, GBB is very familiar with the Detroit area, having assisted the neighboring Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA) in obtaining more competitive costs for collection, transfer station operation and disposal services in 2006. The SOCRRA effort led to impressive results that included:

  • Long-term agreements yielding expected overall savings exceeding 16% as a whole when the proposed 2007/08 total cost of service is compared to 2006/07;
  • Assured landfill disposal capacity; and
  • The ability to expand recycling efforts.

Related Web Links:
>> Press Release

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Santa Monica Approves Public/Private Partnership Concept for Transfer and Recycling Services

Santa Monica

The Mayor and City Council of Santa Monica, CA, conceptually approved a public/private partnership for transfer and recycling services that will help the City increase diversion rates and improve its infrastructure for handling solid waste and recyclables. The unanimous approval of GBB's recommendations triggers the next stage of negotiations based on the current Preliminary Term Sheet.

"The effort by the City of Santa Monica to modernize its solid waste recycling and disposal through a public private partnership extends back a full decade," said P. Lamont Ewell, Santa Monica City Manager. "A renewed effort by the City with professional guidance and support from GBB over the past two years has brought us to the goal line. We have an executed Preliminary Term Sheet with which to finalize Service Agreements so that implementation can go forward with our private partners. The City looks forward to its solid waste and recycling infrastructure becoming a model for decades to come."

Advantages of the partnership include making maximum use of the existing private facility; avoiding duplication of transfer capability; reducing total capital investment required by the City; providing the ability to receive and process selected commercial waste loads for greater diversion and recyclable revenues; lowering cost per ton transferred; and possibility of receiving a Host Fee for all non-City waste transferred.

>> Press Release
>> Streaming video of GBB's presentation to council
(select item 8-B and click "GO" for presentation)
>> Detailed City Staff Report

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Turning Your Challenges
Into Success Stories!

(c) 2008 - Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.