STEPHEN SINGER

James E. O'Connor, chief executive of Republic Services Inc., received a 2008 compensation package valued at $10.6 million last year, according to Associated Press calculations of data filed with regulators. That's up 53 percent from what he received in 2007, before the waste hauler bought rival Allied Waste Inc. to create the industry's second-largest company.

O'Connor, 59, was paid a salary of $925,634, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday. That was up 8 percent from 2007 due to his performance and changes in salaries for similar positions at peer companies, Republic Services said.

He also got a performance-related bonus of $3.1 million, up nearly 50 percent from 2007. And O'Connor received $525,103 in other compensation, mainly consisting of matching contributions to 401(k) and deferred compensation plans and use of the company's plane.

The bulk of his pay package came in the form of stock awards and options the company valued at $6.06 million on the days they were granted, a 71 percent increase year-over-year. However, about $1 million worth of his stock options are currently "underwater" since their exercise price of $23.74 is above the stock's Friday closing price of $18.18. That means the options are of little value unless Republic's stock price rebounds.

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