- Four companies have filed complaints in various Southern Nevada localities alleging that Republic Services is limiting competition through its exclusive franchise agreements in the area, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Republic is currently the only company allowed to collect municipal solid waste in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Clark County and Henderson under multiple contracts that go back decades.
- Other companies have been allowed to collect construction and demolition waste since 2005, though they say that Republic has undercut them because it can offset the costs by raising tipping fees at the local Apex landfill which it operates.
- In a separate situation, Western Elite is also trying to challenge Republic for the collection contract in Las Vegas which expires in 2021. Republic has already begun negotiating with officials for a 15-year extension and Western Elite believes the process hasn't been transparent.
The costs of one of Republic's franchise agreements was also questioned by the commissioner of Clark County earlier this year. The company maintained then, as it did now, that it's within its rights to charge accordingly. The cost of infrastructure investments at the Apex landfill — one of the largest in the country — have also been cited in the past.
It's not uncommon for smaller companies to challenge those that have won long-term franchise agreements. Waste Management has been sued in Reno for anti-trust violations multiple times (unsuccessfully so far) and the Reno City Council has still been raising questions about financial details.
While the details vary between cities, especially when it comes to the accessibility and ownership of local disposal infrastructure, these situations may be relevant to advocates of commercial franchising systems in other cities. A proposed plan in Los Angeles would award zones to seven different haulers and New York would likely take a similar approach. Critics of the concept have raised questions about keeping costs in check, though proponents in both cities say this will be factored into the plans.