RethinkWaste issues roughly $50M in Green Bonds

Photo by Mark Madeo Photography

RethinkWaste, San Carlos, California, has issued Green Bonds consisting of nearly $48.8 million in Solid Waste Enterprise Refunding Revenue Bonds Series 2019A and Solid Waste Enterprise Revenue Bonds Series 2019B (for new projects) to make various environmental upgrades at its Shoreway Environmental Center.

The Green Bonds, approved by the agency’s 12 city/county board of directors, will be used to develop a program to divert organic waste from landfill (where it generates methane) and convert it into natural biogas and to improve paper sorting so its material recovery facility (MRF) can meet stringent global quality standards.

RethinkWaste says the investments are expected to lower total annual debt payments for RethinkWaste and its ratepayers as well as to help the agency capture more items for profitable recycling. The bonds were underwritten by Raymond James.

“By refinancing our old facility bonds at today’s competitive interest rates and extending the maturity by six years, we were able to pull $20 million in capital into RethinkWaste to support our innovative investment program while also reducing annual debt payments by almost $500,000 a year,” says RethinkWaste Chairman Jay Benton. “We are all extremely proud of our team and our financial advisors for helping us do so much for our residents without adding even $1 to current garbage rates.”

The refunding component generated $10 million in present value savings on the cost of the prior bonds. The refunded bonds were issued in 2009 and financed the initial construction of the Shoreway Environmental Center, including 2,700 solar panels and a new MRF that opened in 2010.

The Series 2019A and Series 2019B Green Bonds follow the guidelines of the International Capital Markets Association Green Bond Principles, providing investors with assurance of the deal’s “green” or pro-environment credentials. These are the first Green Bonds floated in San Mateo County for green infrastructure development and waste reduction.