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[GreenYes] Re: declining waste volumes

Reporting from Seattle, we too are seeing fairly impressive drops in our MSW tonnages.  We are a city of about 580,000 and our residential collection tons are down 3.1% (huge drop compared with the normal variations in this waste stream) compared with same period last year and our commercial contract tonnages are down 9.5% and our self haul tonnages into our 2 city owned transfer stations are down 12.2%.  Overall our MSW tons are down 8.3% (data through Sept 2008).  We do have some new programs ramping up (residential and commercial organics) but even given those programs, it is clear our tonnages are being affected by the economy.  There was an editorial published a few months ago in the local paper about how solid waste tonnages could be the early indicator for the economy.  Tonnages began to decline around Dec 07.  Another point of evidence is our curbside program tons are also down 4.4% through August 2008.  I am sure it is too early to say, but if it makes anyone feel any better, residential tons for Sept were actually up compared with same period last year and Sept Commercial tons were not down in Sept near as much as previous months.  As a further note, we have almost no yard waste in our MSW waste stream so our MSW stream is not too sensitive to yearly weather differences.
Jenny Bagby
Seattle Public Utilities
>>> Helen Spiegelman <hspie@no.address> 10/29/2008 7:05 AM >>>
Hi all ~

I heard anecdotally that waste volumes in Alameda County (California) are declining and this is being attributed to the economic slump. Is anyone else seeing this?

(Vancouver, BC)

Economic Tremors in the West Reach China
Quote from Article
:  "The slump in traffic to the West Coast of the United States is hitting the massive Yantian container terminal operated by Hutchison Whampoa. It is suffering volume declines for the first time. A majority of Yantian's traffic is from shipping lines servicing routes to North America, where demand has been driven down by the American property slump and dwindling consumption of household consumer goods. It is expected to report a drop in volumes for the first half, having declined for five consecutive months."
Link to entire article

Sea Freight News – Orders for Container Ships continue to

Orders for new container ships are drying up as vessel charter rates and ocean freight rates tumble and volume growth slows on key liner trade routes. The collapse in orders, which has affected all ship sizes, follows five straight years of historically high deliveries. Only 179 container ships were contracted in the first eight months of this year, down 49 percent from the same period last year, Clarkson said. This compares with a record 566 contracts in 2005, 479 in 2006 and 530 in 2007.  Container ship contracting has been hit by "a good old double whammy" of slowing trade volume and rising shipyard prices.

Financial Crisis Has Tide Rising on Shipping ETFs

Container ships are idle because of lowered U.S. demand for goods.

Commodity carriers are going to be hit the hardest with the tightening credit markets, along with dry bulk, where many of the vessels ordered were going toward.

Link to Article:

Ship Rates Plunge as Credit Freeze Strands Cargo, Demand Slumps

By Alaric Nightingale and Chan Sue Ling

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Commodity shipping rates plunged to the lowest in more than five years as a lack of trade finance left cargoes stranded and the global economic slowdown limited raw material demand.

Traders are finding it harder to get letters of credit that guarantee payments for goods, shipping executives said. Together with a slowdown in trade, that has contributed to this year's 82 percent drop in shipping costs for grain, coal and other commodities. Rates are so low that Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd., the line managed by Israel's billionaire Ofer family, announced today it may idle 20 of its largest ships.

``Letters of credit and the credit lines for trade currently are frozen,'' Khalid Hashim, managing director of Precious Shipping Pcl, Thailand's second-largest shipping company, said in Singapore yesterday. ``Nothing is moving because the trader doesn't want to take the risk of putting cargo on the boat and finding that nobody can pay.''

The Baltic Dry Index fell 11 percent today to 1,615, the lowest since February 2003. Rates for larger ships of the type Zodiac intends to idle fell 17 percent today, taking this year's plunge to 85 percent, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange.

Banks are leery of financing commodities and shipping transactions. Rio Tinto Group, the world's second-largest aluminum producer, may delay the planned sale of $10 billion of assets and Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd. shelved its $2.6 billion purchase of Asarco LLC. Ship owners can't find cash to finance the construction of new ships.

Link to Article:

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