Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

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Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2017
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

NOTE 2 – SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

 

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

 

The Company’s financial instruments consist of cash and cash equivalents, short term investments, accounts receivable, account payable, accrued expenses, derivative liabilities and notes payable. The carrying amount of these financial instruments approximates fair value due to length of maturity of these instruments.

 

Income Taxes

 

The Company accounts for income taxes pursuant to the provisions of ASC 740-10, “Accounting for Income Taxes,” which requires, among other things, an asset and liability approach to calculating deferred income taxes. The asset and liability approach requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of temporary differences between the carrying amounts and the tax bases of assets and liabilities. A valuation allowance is provided to offset any net deferred tax assets for which management believes it is more likely than not that the net deferred asset will not be realized. The Company has deferred tax liabilities related to its intangible assets, which were approximately $418,000 as of June 30, 2017.

 

The Company follows the provisions of the ASC 740 -10 related to, Accounting for Uncertain Income Tax Positions. When tax returns are filed, it is highly certain that some positions taken would be sustained upon examination by the taxing authorities, while others are subject to uncertainty about the merits of the position taken or the amount of the position that would be ultimately sustained. In accordance with the guidance of ASC 740-10, the benefit of a tax position is recognized in the financial statements in the period during which, based on all available evidence, management believes it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained upon examination, including the resolution of appeals or litigation processes, if any. Tax positions taken are not offset or aggregated with other positions.

  

Tax positions that meet the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold are measured as the largest amount of tax benefit that is more than 50 percent likely of being realized upon settlement with the applicable taxing authority. The portion of the benefits associated with tax positions taken that exceeds the amount measured as described above should be reflected as a liability for uncertain tax benefits in the accompanying balance sheet along with any associated interest and penalties that would be payable to the taxing authorities upon examination. The Company believes its tax positions are all highly certain of being upheld upon examination. As such, the Company has not recorded a liability for uncertain tax benefits.

 

The Company analyzes its tax positions by utilizing ASC 740-10-25 Definition of Settlement, which provides guidance on how an entity should determine whether a tax position is effectively settled for the purpose of recognizing previously unrecognized tax benefits and provides that a tax position can be effectively settled upon the completion of an examination by a taxing authority without being legally extinguished. For tax positions considered effectively settled, an entity would recognize the full amount of tax benefit, even if the tax position is not considered more likely than not to be sustained based solely on the basis of its technical merits and the statute of limitations remains open. As of June 30, 2017, tax years ended December 31, 2015, 2014, and 2013 are still potentially subject to audit by the taxing authorities.

 

Use of Estimates

 

Management estimates and judgments are an integral part of financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP. We believe that the critical accounting policies described in this section address the more significant estimates required of management when preparing our consolidated financial statements in accordance with GAAP. We consider an accounting estimate critical if changes in the estimate may have a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations. We believe that the accounting estimates employed are appropriate and resulting balances are reasonable; however, actual results could differ from the original estimates, requiring adjustment to these balances in future periods.

 

Reclassification

 

Certain reclassifications have been made to previously reported amounts to conform to 2017 amounts. These reclassifications had no impact on previously reported results of operations or stockholders’ equity (deficit). The statement of operations has been reformatted in such a way that approximately $900,000 and $450,000 has been reclassified from Selling, general and administrative to Operating expenses for the six and three months ended June 30, 2016, respectively. Also, the statement of operations has been reformatted in such a way that there is no longer a caption showing gross profit.

  

Accounts Receivable

 

Accounts receivable are recorded at management’s estimate of net realizable value. At June 30, 2017, and December 31, 2016 the Company had approximately $7,300,000 and $3,000,000 of gross trade receivables, respectively.

 

Our reported balance of accounts receivable, net of the allowance for doubtful accounts, represents our estimate of the amount that ultimately will be realized in cash. We review the adequacy and adjust our allowance for doubtful accounts on an ongoing basis, using historical payment trends and the age of the receivables and knowledge of our individual customers. However, if the financial condition of our customers were to deteriorate, additional allowances may be required. At June 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016 the Company had approximately $760,000 and $500,000 recorded for the allowance for doubtful accounts, respectively.

 

Intangible Assets

 

Intangible assets that are subject to amortization are reviewed for potential impairment whenever events or circumstances indicate that carrying amounts may not be recoverable. Assets not subject to amortization are tested for impairment at least annually. The Company has intangible assets related to its purchase of Meridian Waste Services, LLC, Christian Disposal LLC, Eagle Ridge Landfill, LLC and the CFS Group, LLC; the CFS Group Disposal & Recycling Services, LLC; and RWG5, LLC, collectively “The CFS Group”.

  

Goodwill

 

Goodwill is the excess of our purchase cost over the fair value of the net assets of acquired businesses. We do not amortize goodwill, but as discussed in the impairment of long lived assets section above, we assess our goodwill for impairment at least annually.

 

Landfill Accounting

 

Capitalized landfill costs

 

Cost basis of landfill assets — we capitalize various costs that we incur to make a landfill ready to accept waste. These costs generally include expenditures for land (including the landfill footprint and required landfill buffer property); permitting; excavation; liner material and installation; landfill leachate collection systems; landfill gas collection systems; environmental monitoring equipment for groundwater and landfill gas; and directly related engineering, capitalized interest, on-site road construction and other capital infrastructure costs. The cost basis of our landfill assets also includes asset retirement costs, which represent estimates of future costs associated with landfill final capping, closure and post-closure activities. These costs are discussed below.

  

Final capping, closure and post-closure costs — Following is a description of our asset retirement activities and our related accounting:

 

  Final capping — Involves the installation of flexible membrane liners and geosynthetic clay liners, drainage and compacted soil layers and topsoil over areas of a landfill where total airspace capacity has been consumed. Final capping asset retirement obligations are recorded on a units-of-consumption basis as airspace is consumed related to the specific final capping event with a corresponding increase in the landfill asset. The final capping is accounted for as a discrete obligation and recorded as an asset and a liability based on estimates of the discounted cash flows and capacity associated with the final capping.
     
  Closure — Includes the construction of the final portion of methane gas collection systems (when required), demobilization and routine maintenance costs. These are costs incurred after the site ceases to accept waste, but before the landfill is certified as closed by the applicable state regulatory agency. These costs are recorded as an asset retirement obligation as airspace is consumed over the life of the landfill with a corresponding increase in the landfill asset. Closure obligations are recorded over the life of the landfill based on estimates of the discounted cash flows associated with performing closure activities.
     
  Post-closure — Involves the maintenance and monitoring of a landfill site that has been certified closed by the applicable regulatory agency. Generally, we are required to maintain and monitor landfill sites for a 30-year period. These maintenance and monitoring costs are recorded as an asset retirement obligation as airspace is consumed over the life of the landfill with a corresponding increase in the landfill asset. Post-closure obligations are recorded over the life of the landfill based on estimates of the discounted cash flows associated with performing post-closure activities.

 

We develop our estimates of these obligations using input from our operations personnel, engineers and accountants. Our estimates are based on our interpretation of current requirements and proposed regulatory changes and are intended to approximate fair value. Absent quoted market prices, the estimate of fair value is based on the best available information, including the results of present value techniques. In many cases, we contract with third parties to fulfill our obligations for final capping, closure and post closure. We use historical experience, professional engineering judgment and quoted and actual prices paid for similar work to determine the fair value of these obligations. We are required to recognize these obligations at market prices whether we plan to contract with third parties or perform the work ourselves. In those instances where we perform the work with internal resources, the incremental profit margin realized is recognized as a component of operating income when the work is performed.

 

Once we have determined the final capping, closure and post-closure costs, we inflate those costs to the expected time of payment and discount those expected future costs back to present value. During the six months ended June 30, 2017 we inflated these costs in current dollars until the expected time of payment using an inflation rate of 1.78%. We discounted these costs to present value using the credit-adjusted, risk-free rate effective at the time an obligation is incurred, consistent with the expected cash flow approach. Any changes in expectations that result in an upward revision to the estimated cash flows are treated as a new liability and discounted at the current rate while downward revisions are discounted at the historical weighted average rate of the recorded obligation. As a result, the credit adjusted, risk-free discount rate used to calculate the present value of an obligation is specific to each individual asset retirement obligation. The weighted average rate applicable to our long-term asset retirement obligations at June 30, 2017 is approximately 9%.

  

We record the estimated fair value of final capping, closure and post-closure liabilities for our landfill based on the capacity consumed through the current period. The fair value of final capping obligations is developed based on our estimates of the airspace consumed to date for the final capping. The fair value of closure and post-closure obligations is developed based on our estimates of the airspace consumed to date for the entire landfill and the expected timing of each closure and post-closure activity. Because these obligations are measured at estimated fair value using present value techniques, changes in the estimated cost or timing of future final capping, closure and post-closure activities could result in a material change in these liabilities, related assets and results of operations. We assess the appropriateness of the estimates used to develop our recorded balances annually, or more often if significant facts change.

 

Changes in inflation rates or the estimated costs, timing or extent of future final capping, closure and post-closure activities typically result in both (i) a current adjustment to the recorded liability and landfill asset and (ii) a change in liability and asset amounts to be recorded prospectively over either the remaining capacity of the related discrete final capping or the remaining permitted and expansion airspace (as defined below) of the landfill. Any changes related to the capitalized and future cost of the landfill assets are then recognized in accordance with our amortization policy, which would generally result in amortization expense being recognized prospectively over the remaining capacity of the final capping or the remaining permitted and expansion airspace of the landfill, as appropriate. Changes in such estimates associated with airspace that has been fully utilized result in an adjustment to the recorded liability and landfill assets with an immediate corresponding adjustment to landfill airspace amortization expense.

  

Interest accretion on final capping, closure and post-closure liabilities is recorded using the effective interest method and is recorded as final capping, closure and post-closure expense, which is included in “operating” expenses within our Consolidated Statements of Operations.

 

Amortization of Landfill Assets - The amortizable basis of a landfill includes (i) amounts previously expended and capitalized; (ii) capitalized landfill final capping, closure and post-closure costs, (iii) projections of future purchase and development costs required to develop the landfill site to its remaining permitted and expansion capacity and (iv) projected asset retirement costs related to landfill final capping, closure and post-closure activities.

 

Amortization is recorded on a units-of-consumption basis, applying expense as a rate per ton. The rate per ton is calculated by dividing each component of the amortizable basis of a landfill by the number of tons needed to fill the corresponding asset’s airspace.

 

  Remaining permitted airspace — Our management team, in consultation with third-party engineering consultants and surveyors, are responsible for determining remaining permitted airspace at our landfills. The remaining permitted airspace is determined by an annual survey, which is used to compare the existing landfill topography to the expected final landfill topography.
     
  Expansion airspace — We also include currently unpermitted expansion airspace in our estimate of remaining permitted and expansion airspace in certain circumstances. First, to include airspace associated with an expansion effort, we must generally expect the initial expansion permit application to be submitted within one year and the final expansion permit to be received within five years. Second, we must believe that obtaining the expansion permit is likely, considering the following criteria:

 

  o Personnel are actively working on the expansion of an existing landfill, including efforts to obtain land use and local, state or provincial approvals;
     
  o We have a legal right to use or obtain land to be included in the expansion plan;
     
  o There are no significant known technical, legal, community, business, or political restrictions or similar issues that could negatively affect the success of such expansion; and
     
  o Financial analysis has been completed based on conceptual design, and the results demonstrate that the expansion meets the Company’s criteria for investment.

 

For unpermitted airspace to be initially included in our estimate of remaining permitted and expansion airspace, the expansion effort must meet all of the criteria listed above. These criteria are evaluated by our field-based engineers, accountants, managers and others to identify potential obstacles to obtaining the permits. Once the unpermitted airspace is included, our policy provides that airspace may continue to be included in remaining permitted and expansion airspace even if certain of these criteria are no longer met as long as we continue to believe we will ultimately obtain the permit, based on the facts and circumstances of a specific landfill.

 

When we include the expansion airspace in our calculations of remaining permitted and expansion airspace, we also include the projected costs for development, as well as the projected asset retirement costs related to the final capping, closure and post-closure of the expansion in the amortization basis of the landfill.

 

Once the remaining permitted and expansion airspace is determined in cubic yards, an airspace utilization factor (“AUF”) is established to calculate the remaining permitted and expansion capacity in tons. The AUF is established using the measured density obtained from previous annual surveys and is then adjusted to account for future settlement. The amount of settlement that is forecasted will take into account several site-specific factors including current and projected mix of waste type, initial and projected waste density, estimated number of years of life remaining, depth of underlying waste, anticipated access to moisture through precipitation or recirculation of landfill leachate, and operating practices. In addition, the initial selection of the AUF is subject to a subsequent multi-level review by our engineering group, and the AUF used is reviewed on a periodic basis and revised as necessary. Our historical experience generally indicates that the impact of settlement at a landfill is greater later in the life of the landfill when the waste placed at the landfill approaches its highest point under the permit requirements.

 

After determining the costs and remaining permitted and expansion capacity at each of our landfill, we determine the per ton rates that will be expensed as waste is received and deposited at the landfill by dividing the costs by the corresponding number of tons. We calculate per ton amortization rates for the landfill for assets associated with each final capping, for assets related to closure and post-closure activities and for all other costs capitalized or to be capitalized in the future. These rates per ton are updated annually, or more often, as significant facts change.

 

It is possible that actual results, including the amount of costs incurred, the timing of final capping, closure and post-closure activities, our airspace utilization or the success of our expansion efforts could ultimately turn out to be significantly different from our estimates and assumptions. To the extent that such estimates, or related assumptions, prove to be significantly different than actual results, lower profitability may be experienced due to higher amortization rates or higher expenses; or higher profitability may result if the opposite occurs. Most significantly, if it is determined that expansion capacity should no longer be considered in calculating the recoverability of a landfill asset, we may be required to recognize an asset impairment or incur significantly higher amortization expense. If at any time management makes the decision to abandon the expansion effort, the capitalized costs related to the expansion effort are expensed immediately.

 

As part of its acquisition of The CFS Group, the Company now owns and operates two landfills in the state of Virginia: Tri-City Regional Landfill in Petersburg, Virginia and Lunenburg Landfill in Lunenburg, Virginia. Information on both landfills has been included in the Company’s tables of landfill assets and liabilities.

 

The Company operations related to its landfill assets and liability are presented in the tables below:

 

    Six Months Ended 
June 30,
2017
 
       
Landfill Assets      
       
Beginning Balance   $ 3,278,817  
Assets acquired     31,766,000  
Capital additions     1,089,803  
Amortization of landfill assets     (2,091,816 )
    $ 34,042,804  
         
Landfill Asset Retirement Obligation        
         
Beginning Balance   $ 5,299  
Liabilities assumed in acquisition     7,903,620  
Interest accretion     169,206  
    $ 8,078,125  

 

Revenue Recognition

 

The Company recognizes revenue when persuasive evidence of arrangement exists, services have been provided, the seller’s price to the buyer is fixed or determinable, and collection is reasonably assured. The majority of the Company’s revenues are generated from the fees charged for waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling. The fees charged for our services are generally defined in service agreements and vary based on contract-specific terms such as frequency of service, weight, volume and the general market factors influencing a region’s rate. For example, revenue typically is recognized as waste is collected, or tons are received at our landfills and transfer stations.

 

Deferred Revenue

 

The Company records deferred revenue for customers that were billed in advance of services. The balance in deferred revenue represents amounts billed in April, May and June for services that will be provided during July, August and September.

  

Basic Income (Loss) Per Share

 

Basic income (loss) per share is calculated by dividing the Company’s net loss applicable to common shareholders by the weighted average number of common shares during the period. Diluted earnings per share is calculated by dividing the Company’s net income (loss) available to common shareholders by the diluted weighted average number of shares outstanding during the year. The diluted weighted average number of shares outstanding is the basic weighted number of shares adjusted for any potentially dilutive debt or equity.

 

At June 30, 2017 the Company had outstanding stock warrants and options for 3,687,871 and 12,250 common shares, respectively.

 

At December 31, 2016 the Company had a series of convertible notes, warrants and stock options outstanding that could be converted into approximately, 600,000 common shares. These are not presented in the consolidated statements of operations as the effect of these shares is anti- dilutive.

 

Stock-Based Compensation

 

Stock-based compensation is accounted for at fair value in accordance with ASC Topic 718.

 

Stock-based compensation is accounted for based on the requirements of the Share-Based Payment Topic of ASC 718 which requires recognition in the consolidated financial statements of the cost of employee and director services received in exchange for an award of equity instruments over the period the employee or director is required to perform the services in exchange for the award (presumptively, the vesting period). The ASC also require measurement of the cost of employee and director services received in exchange for an award based on the grant-date fair value of the award.

 

Pursuant to ASC Topic 505-50, for share based payments to consultants and other third-parties, compensation expense is determined at the “measurement date.” The expense is recognized over the service period of the award. Until the measurement date is reached, the total amount of compensation expense remains uncertain. The Company initially records compensation expense based on the fair value of the award at the reporting date.

 

The Company recorded stock based compensation expense of approximately $70,000 and $5,500,000 during the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively, which is included in compensation and related expense on the statement of operations.

 

Allocation of Purchase Price of Business Combinations

 

In accordance with the guidance for business combinations, we determine whether a transaction or other event is a business combination. If the transaction is determined to be a business combination, we determine if the transaction is considered to be between entities under common control. The acquisition of an entity under common control is accounted for on the carryover basis of accounting whereby the assets and liabilities of the companies are recorded upon the merger on the same basis as they were carried by the companies on the merger date. All other business combinations are accounted for by applying the acquisition method of accounting. Under the acquisition method, we recognize the identifiable assets acquired, the liabilities assumed and any non-controlling interest in the acquired entity. In addition, we evaluate the existence of goodwill or a gain from a bargain purchase. We will immediately expense acquisition-related costs and fees associated with business combinations and asset acquisitions.

 

We allocate the purchase price of acquired properties and business combinations accounted for under the acquisition method of accounting to tangible and identifiable intangible assets acquired based on their respective fair values to tangible and identifiable intangible assets acquired based on their respective fair values. Tangible assets include land, buildings, equipment and tenant improvements on an as-if vacant basis. We utilize various estimates, processes and information to determine the as-if vacant property value. Estimates of value are made using customary methods, including data from appraisals, comparable sales, discounted cash flow analysis and other methods. 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements 

ASU 2016-09 “Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting.” Several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment award transactions are simplified, including: (a) income tax consequences; (b) classification of awards as either equity or liabilities; and (c) classification on the statement of cash flows. The amended guidance is effective for the Company on January 1, 2017. The adoption of this amended guidance did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. 

ASU 2016-15 “Statement of Cash Flows” - In August 2016, the FASB issued amended authoritative guidance associated with the classification of certain cash receipts and cash payments on the statement of cash flows. The amended guidance addresses specific cash flow issues with the objective of reducing existing diversity in practice. The amended guidance is effective for the Company on January 1, 2018, with early adoption permitted. While we are still evaluating the impact of the amended guidance, we currently do not expect it to have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. 

In November 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-18, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230) - Restricted Cash ("ASU 2016-18"), which clarifies how entities should present restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents in the statement of cash flows. ASU 2016-18 requires that a statement of cash flows explain the change during the period in the total of cash, cash equivalents, and amounts generally described as restricted cash or restricted cash equivalents. Therefore, amounts generally described as restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents should be included with cash and cash equivalents when reconciling the beginning-of-period and end-of-period total amounts shown on the statement of cash flows. ASU 2016-18 is effective for public business entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, and interim periods within those years, and will be applied using a retrospective transition method to each period presented. As such, the Company will adopt the standard beginning January 1, 2018. We currently do not expect it to have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. 

ASU 2014-09 “Revenue Recognition” - In May 2014, the FASB issued amended authoritative guidance associated with revenue recognition. The amended guidance requires companies to recognize revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. Additionally, the amendments will require enhanced qualitative and quantitative disclosures regarding customer contracts. The amended guidance associated with revenue recognition is effective for the Company on January 1, 2018. The amended guidance may be applied retrospectively for all periods presented or retrospectively with the cumulative effect of initially applying the amended guidance recognized at the date of initial adoption. 

Based on our work to date to assess the impact of this standard, we believe we have identified all material contract types and costs that may be impacted by this amended guidance related to the Midwest segment. We are actively reviewing the material contract types and costs of the newly acquired Mid-Atlantic Segment (CFS Acquisition). We expect to quantify and disclose the expected impact, if any, of adopting this amended guidance in the third quarter Form 10-Q. While we are still evaluating the impact of the amended guidance, we currently do not expect it to have a material impact on operating revenues. 

ASU 2017-01 “Business Combinations” – In January 2017, the FASB issued amended authoritative guidance to clarify the definition of a business with the objective of adding guidance to assist entities with evaluating whether transactions should be accounted for as acquisitions (or disposals) of assets or businesses. The amendments in this standard provide a screen to determine when a set of inputs and processes are not a business. The screen requires that when substantially all the fair value of the gross assets acquired is concentrated in a single identifiable asset or a group of similar assets, the set is not a business. This screen reduces the number of transactions that need to be further evaluated. If the screen is not met, the amendments in this standard require that to be considered a business, a set must include, at a minimum, an input and a substantive process that together significantly contribute to the ability to create output and (2) remove the evaluation of whether a market participant could replace missing elements. This guidance will become effective for the Company on January 1, 2018. While we are still evaluating the impact of this amended guidance, its impact will be limited to the evaluation of future acquisitions post effectiveness of this standard and will not have an effect on the current financial statements and acquisitions. 

ASU 2016-02 “Leases (Topic 842).” Among other things, in the amendments in ASU 2016-02, lessees will be required to recognize the following for all leases (with the exception of short-term leases) at the commencement date: 

A lease liability, which is a lessee‘s obligation to make lease payments arising from a lease, measured on a discounted basis; and

 

A right-of-use asset, which is an asset that represents the lessee’s right to use, or control the use of, a specified asset for the lease term.

 

Under the new guidance, lessor accounting is largely unchanged. Certain targeted improvements were made to align, where necessary, lessor accounting with the lessee accounting model and Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers.

The amended guidance is effective for the Company on January 1, 2019, with early adoption permitted. We are assessing the provisions of the amended guidance and evaluating the timing and impact on our consolidated financial statement and disclosures. 

Lessees (for capital and operating leases) and lessors (for sales-type, direct financing, and operating leases) must apply a modified retrospective transition approach for leases existing at, or entered into after, the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented in the financial statements. The modified retrospective approach would not require any transition accounting for leases that expired before the earliest comparative period presented. Lessees and lessors may not apply a full retrospective transition approach.