Smurfit-Stone set to exit bankruptcy
By Jim Johnson
Smurfit-Stone Container Corp.,
one of the world’s largest paper
recyclers, expects to exit bankruptcy court protection next
spring — a little more than a year
after the company sought shelter.
The Creve Coeur, Mo.-based
company’s plan calls for the exchange of unsecured debt for equity in the reorganized firm, according to a plan filed with the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Delaware.
Smurfit-Stone and its U.S. and
Canadian subsidiaries filed for
bankruptcy court protection in
The company said all existing
secured debt would be fully repaid
with “cash or new debt instruments or a combination thereof.”
But all existing stock in the
company would be cancelled and
existing holders of both common
and preferred shares of stock
would receive nothing.
Converting all of the unsecured
debt into equity in the reorganized company will significantly
reduce Smurfit-Stone’s long-term
debt, the company said.
CEO Patrick Moore said the
filing “is an important step toward Smurfit-Stone’s successful
emergence from the reorganization process.”
“Our employees, customers,
suppliers and other supporters
have been instrumental in our
ability to reach this important
milestone,” Moore said. “We remain focused on tackling the many
challenges that remain ahead.”
Both Moore and current Chief
Operating Officer Steven Klinger
are scheduled to be on the board
of directors for the reorganized
company. That group also will include what the company calls “a
number of independent directors”
selected by unsecured creditors.
Smurfit-Stone also said it has
prepaid a $43 million term loan
it secured in the United States to
keep operating after filing for
bankruptcy protection. The company expects to repay a similar
$7 million loan in Canada by the
end of the year.
The company anticipates stock
in the reorganized company will
be traded on the New York Stock
Exchange or Nasdaq.
The reorganized company and
a new Canadian subsidiary will
assume “all existing obligations
under the qualified defined benefit pension plans in the United
States and Canada.” The company also will assume all labor
agreements in the United States
Smurfit-Stone expects to emerge
from bankruptcy court protection
late in the first quarter or early in
the second quarter of next year, the
Smurfit-Stone handles more
than 7 million tons of recyclables,
mostly recovered fiber, each year.
When the company filed for
bankruptcy court protection in
January, Moore said financial
problems could be traced back to
the company’s formation.
“Over the past decade, we built
one of North America’s premier
containerboard and packaging
companies,” Moore said at the
time. “But our financial performance has not reflected the full potential of our earnings due to higher cost operations and burdensome
debt levels dating back to the original formation of the company.”
Smurfit-Stone Container Corp.
formed in 1998 through a merger
of Jefferson Smurfit Corp. and
Stone Container Corp. ■
Contact Waste & Recycling News senior
reporter Jim Johnson at 937-964-1289 or
LAX nears goal of 70%
waste diversion by 2015
By Chrissy Kadleck
to kick off RRC
Los Angeles International Airport
sent less than 34% of its solid waste
to landfills in 2008 and is close to
touching down on its goal of 70%
waste diversion by 2015.
The bustling California airport —
the sixth busiest in the world — collected and recycled 20,703 tons of
waste and diverted an additional
867 tons through the reuse of wooden pallets, cardboard, office paper,
scrap metal and donations of packaged and prepared food from airline
caterers to local food banks.
Tom McHugh, airport maintenance superintendent who coordinates recycling, said the diversion
rate at LAX has been steadily climbing in the last several years and has
teetered even closer to the 70% diversion mark that all California
cities are required to achieve by 2020
according to state law.
“We are committed to implementing initiatives that help us surpass
our own and the city of Los Angeles’
70% waste diversion target by 2015,
and support the city’s efforts to become a zero waste city by 2030,” said
David Waldner, construction and
maintenance services assistant director. In 2007, LAX’s diversion rate
was 65%, compared to the city’s
overall rate of 62%. “It looks like we
will achieve our target in the very
near future,” Waldner said.
McHugh said LAX’s program provides recycling to its tenants at no
“We offer free recycling for things
like pallets, cardboard and plastic,
and the good part about that for the
tenants is in general they pay for
their own waste hauling so anything
that they can give to us means less
goes into their trash bins, which
LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS
Plastic sheeting and other waste materials are collected and brought to the
recycling transfer facility located at Los
Angeles International Airport. The airport collected and recycled 20,703
tons of waste and diverted an additional 867 tons.
means lower cost for them,” he said.
“We have a lot of cooperation and
participation from our tenants.”
LAX also works with airlines to
provide bins for cardboard and
mixed paper for recycling items such
as monthly in-flight magazines.
“Our goal is to try to make recycling as easy as possible for the traveling public, and we do that by trying for the most part to place
recycling bins right next to trash
bins,” McHugh said. “We know that
if there is a trash bin in one place
and 20 feet away is a recycling bin,
people will probably go to whatever
is the closest.”
But one of the challenges to airport
recycling is the harried nature of traveling, especially at LAX, which served
59.8 million passengers and handled
1. 8 million tons of freight and mail.
“You get to the airport and you are
under pressure, trying to get your
papers, documents and all in-flight
stuff together, and you’re in such a
rush you don’t care where that [piece
of trash] goes,” he said. “The last
thing on your mind is how to recycle,
and that’s a continuing problem.”
With a recycling staff of 12, maintenance laborers, heavy duty truck
operators and equipment operators
work seven days a week to collect
and process the mountain of recyclables generated at LAX each day.
Waste materials are collected and
brought to the recycling transfer facility located at the airport. From there,
items are sorted, baled or loaded into
containers and sent to area recyclers
for further processing. Green materials such as grass clippings and tree
branches are recycled into compost at
the city’s joint processing center.
McHugh said the airport has recently broadened its recycling and
diversion efforts to its construction
projects. He pointed to two recent examples at LAX. More than 75% of
the construction and demolition
waste from the current Tom Bradley
International Terminal improvements and baggage screening facilities program are either being recycled or salvaged. And almost all of
the concrete from demolition of one
of its runways was recycled during
the reconstruction of LAX’s South
Airfield Improvement Project, completed in 2008.
“The low-hanging fruit is gone
now,” said McHugh about the push to
reach 70% diversion. “The next thing
we’ve got to figure out what to do with
is food waste. That’s the next biggest
component that we can go after.” ■
Contact Waste & Recycling News correspondent Chrissy Kadleck at firstname.lastname@example.org
Collection and safety
issues in recycling will
kick off the 2010 Residential Recycling Conference in late March.
The opening session
March 23 at the Chicago
conference is entitled,
“Curb Your Recyclables:
A Review of Collection Issues.” The session will
explore the collection
challenges facing residential recycling and
technology that can fit a
Speakers are Eric
Tremblay, vice president
of sales & marketing for
Group; Steve Miller,
president of Bulk Handling Systems; and Dennis Soriano, chief operating officer of Green Star.
The other session that morning is “Recycling Safety: Better Safe than Sorry.” This session will examine what every
recycling manager needs to know to keep employees, customers and the general public safe.
Susan Eppes, president of EST Solutions Inc., will present her views on the topic.
The conference will take place March 23-24 at the Hyatt
Regency O’Hare. Organized by Waste & Recycling News
and Republic Services Inc., the conference will examine a
variety of residential recycling issues to help attendees get
the most out of their recycling business or program.
Details about the event, including registration and hotel
information, are available at www.residentialrecyclingcon-ference.com. For questions about exhibits, sponsorships
or general logistics, contact Ted Mathews at Waste & Recycling News at 330-865-6175 or email@example.com.
For questions about the program agenda, contact Republic’s Kurt Blascoe at 480-627-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ■
Waste & Recycling News (ISSN 1091-6199) (Vol. 15, No. 16) is published biweekly by Crain Communications Inc., 1155 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, MI 48207-2997. Periodicals postage paid at Detroit, MI and additional
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Opinion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
CapitalBriefs ........... 9
Coming Events. . . . . . . . . 37
Products . . . . . . . . . . . 39-40
Classifieds. . . . . . . . . . 41-44
At Your Disposal . . . . . . . 46