Small Nevada haulers team up for state bill targeting Waste Management, Republic

Dive Brief:

  • New legislation, Senate Bill 315, has been introduced at the state level in Nevada to increase collection opportunities for smaller companies that say they have been shut out by Waste Management and Republic Services. Two Las Vegas companies — A Track Out Solution and Lunas Construction Clean-Up — and two Reno companies — Nevada Recycling And Salvage and Green Solutions Recycling — hired a lobbying firm to help implement this plan, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  • If passed, the bill would regulate how much franchisees could charge other companies to dispose of construction and demolition waste at their landfills. The Nevada State Environmental Commission would collect monthly data on average tip fees to ensure that everyone was being charged the same rate. The bill would also prohibit any one company from managing all of a municipality's commercial recycling.
  • The bill would also require any counties with more than 100,000 residents to maintain a diversion rate of at least 25% and strive toward a goal of 35% diversion.

Dive Insight:

Related efforts to reduce the market control of Waste Management and Republic Services at a local level in these two major cities has been unsuccessful so far, though now that their smaller competitors have joined forces, the issue may at least get more attention. The group is calling their campaign "Don't Waste Nevada" and emphasizing the state's lack of recycling progress since it last set a 25% diversion goal in 1991. This may be an easier way to attract public interest than discussing the finer points of franchise agreements.

Prior to this legislation multiple companies have tried a series of legal and regulatory tactics to achieve similar results. In Reno — Waste Management territory — this has included antitrust lawsuits, ethics complaints and public pressure over the delayed opening of a new recycling facility. In the Las Vegas area — Republic territory — questions have been raised about construction waste tip fees, a class action lawsuit has been filed, and local opposition to a potential contract renewal has surfaced.

The local players and motives involved may not all be related in each instance, but they are all working toward the same goal of expanding competitive opportunities for smaller companies. Depending on how much traction this bill gains they may finally have the chance to make a united case, though they can expect strong opposition from the industry's two largest companies along the way.

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Filed Under: Corporate News Regulation
Top image credit: Wikimedia; Adam Kliczek