130 Environmental Park landfill changes hands
By Wesley Gardner
What started off as a routine discussion concerning an assignment of the contract between the city of Lockhart and trash service provider Central Texas Refuse (CTR) at Tuesday night’s city council meeting turned into a major announcement from CTR regarding a planned merger with Florida based firm Integrated Waste Solutions Group (IWSG) that will also include the transfer of ownership of the 130 Environmental Park from Green Group Holdings to the newly integrated company.
Green Group Holdings – a company that specializes in the planning, implementation and operation of waste disposal, recycling, reuse, and restoration projects – designed the impending 130 Environmental Park as a mixed-use development that would include a landfill, a transfer station, a facility for processing recyclable materials and an industrial park.
Founded in 2017, IWSG specializes in pursuing vertically integrated waste management opportunities.
In microeconomics and management, vertical integration entails the combination in one company of two or more stages of production normally operated by separate companies. In this case, the stages of production that would be combined would include the trash and recycling pick-up services carried out by CTR and the ability to dump and process those materials at the 130 Environmental Park.
According to Green Group Director of Market Development and Community Relations Alfonso Sifuentes, the transfer of the 130 Environmental Park
to IWSG is really more of a contribution than a sale, because Green Group owns a “significant minority interest” in IWSG.
David Green, the president of Green Group Holdings, will become a board member on IWSG, Sifuentes added, meaning the company will still play a significant role with the 130 Environmental Park moving forward.
Sifuentes noted that while Green Group Holdings has a minority interest in IWSG, the company will still remain its own separate entity.
“[Green Group is] not leaving,” said Sifuentes. “This is just so we can provide a more competitive, comprehensive service.”
The merger was unexpectedly announced at Tuesday night’s city council meeting during a presentation by CTR General Manager Mike Lavengco concerning the assignment of the service agreement between the city and CTR.
According to Lavengco, IWSG will acquire CTR in the merger, though CTR will still retain its name, employees and management structure.
“All the people you’ve been dealing from me all the way down to my drivers and staff are remaining,” said Lavengco. “The assignee, [a person to whom a right or liability is legally transferred], which would be IWSG, has sufficient operational experience to qualify it to provide services under this existing agreement.
“The exact agreement you have would be an obligation of the new entity.”
Lavengco said the merger would produce no changes to the current contract unless the city wished to negotiate changes.
According to Lavengco, the merger will provide CTR with far greater financial backing.
“Without a doubt, the new company has much more financial assurance and ability than we currently have,” Lavengco said. “Although we have worked very hard to maintain our company and expand it, this would give us the opportunity to expand and meet the needs of all of our customers for many years to come.”
Lavengco also commented on the acquisition of the 130 Environmental Park from Green Group Holdings.
“This is not an exit strategy for [Green Group],” he said. “This is opportunity, and they’re going to remain involved in this whole venture as an investor and will also have a board member in the company.”
Lockhart Mayor Lew White said the city council would need to consider the new information before moving forward.
“A lot to digest,” said Lockhart Mayor Lew White. “You’ve been a real good service to community over the past years, but anytime you have a change in structure we have to take our time and do our due diligence.
“You’ve given us a lot to think about tonight.”
Councilmembers ultimately decided not to take any action on Tuesday, tabling the contract extension until their next meeting.