Daily Digest: Rubicon container battles, second Rumpke fatality
Each day, the Waste Dive team rounds up in our Daily Digest news, insights and moments from around the industry you may have missed.
DISPATCH FROM RUBICON TURF WAR
Almost exactly one year ago, Waste Connections filed a lawsuit against Rubicon in Texas over the company's practice of towing containers. Rubicon later won a temporary restraining order at a Houston shopping center, though last month Waste Connections won its own temporary statewide injunction. Rubicon must now provide notice of a customer switch within 14 days and wait another 14 days to tow containers.
Both parties have since claimed victory.
Pat Shea, general counsel for Waste Connections, wrote the company was "pleased" and noted the judge's concern around towing methods, adding, "This should be a wake-up call to all involved, including individual customers, communities, investors, and Rubicon itself that Rubicon's practice of towing containers is unsafe, fails to meet industry minimum standards, and will not be condoned." Shea said the company will continue working "to put an end to Rubicon's misrepresentations to customers and others," including around sustainability promises.
Barry Medintz, Rubicon's general counsel, said "we are pleased that the Court ultimately granted the very relief that Rubicon requested during the hearing," which allows the company to request Waste Connections containers be removed within 14 days of the initial notice. Medintz added "this decision is a win for local competition and for the small businesses in Texas who would like to have choices when it comes to servicing their waste and recycling needs."
While interpretations may differ now, the outcome of cases Waste Dive is watching in multiple states could eventually lead others to draw their own conclusions.
- North Carolina: Waste Connections suit over interfering with contracts and towing containers scheduled for trial in 2019.
- Louisiana: Waste Connections obtained statewide injunction against Rubicon in Louisiana for no towing within 14 business days in June 2017. Trial scheduled for 2019.
- Arizona: Republic Services obtained injunction for no towing within 14 calendar days in April 2018. Case is ongoing.
- Illinois: Republic Services filed a similar suit in October 2017. Case is ongoing.
IN OTHER NEWS
Rumpke driver dies in Clay City, Kentucky — WKYT
In the second fatal accident in a month involving a Rumpke employee, the company confirmed Wednesday the driver of one of its trucks in Clay City, Kentucky died in a single-vehicle incident. The exact cause of death of 57-year-old David Burgess is still under investigation. Local news coverage of the accident scene shows a steep ditch on either side of the rural road and indicates the truck flipped on its right side after hitting a curb. The truck was set up for right-side driving, with an open door.
Red River Waste Solutions offers rebuttal to breach-of-contract allegations — The Journal Gazette
After yesterday's news that Fort Wayne, Indiana Councilman Russ Jehl plans to declare the company in breach of contract, figures released by the city show missed collections went down from June to July. According to the city, Red River missed 2,551 collections in July, down 515 from June. Jehl told The Journal Gazette that "The benchmark is 500 misses, not 5,000, not 3,000, not 2,500. Twenty-five hundred is not rapid improvement." However, Red River Vice President of Business Development/Governmental Relations Steve Smith said that total missed collections amount to less than 1% of all weekly collections, and that "...We're nowhere near breach."
Post Oak Landfill approved in Guadalupe County, Texas — Seguin Gazette
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality unanimously approved the application permit for a proposed 1,200-acre landfill near Seguin, Texas. The project has been mired in court cases since 2016 due to 41 adjacent oil and gas wells on the property that needed to be plugged. TCEQ determined that all environmental requirements have been met in the interim. Some are worried about environmental consequences ramifications of the site being built above the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer, which is the only source of drinking water for the surrounding communities of Seguin and Schertz.
Dynamic Recycling changes name to Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations — PR Newswire
The company announced the change last week in an effort to reflect its activity in multiple stages of the IT lifecycle. Last year, the company announced a $20 million expansion at its facilities in Wisconsin to add office space and more capacity to do work it had previously done internationally. Dynamic recycles and refurbishes a range of electronic devices and also purchases electronic and non-ferrous scrap.
San Luis Obispo County, California waste manager put on leave after fraud allegations — The Tribune
Bill Worrell is accused of fraudulently misusing public funds and will be on leave until his scheduled retirement on September 11. The alleged misconduct surfaced after a report by private investigator Carl Knudsen showed that a county-issued credit card in Worrell's name seemed to have been used for personal expenses. It also alleged that contracts were issued to vendors without going through a competitive bidding process. An outside investigator has been hired to conduct a forensic audit and efforts to determine the validity of these claims are ongoing.
Lidl to launch new aging produce box program in U.K. — Footprint
The European discount supermarket chain will sell 5-kilogram boxes of produce with fruits and vegetables just past their usual sell-by date for £1.50 apiece. Currently only a trial at 122 retail locations, the program may be extended if successful and could save around 10,000 metric tons of produce per year, according to the company. Last year the company committed to reducing food waste by 25% per store by 2020 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals 12.3 target to reduce waste by 50% by 2030.
SEEN & HEARD
Hey! If you're gonna use my name at least give me the dirty cup when you're done with it... https://t.co/Fw8NERePMc— Oscar the Grouch (@OscarTheGrouch) August 8, 2018
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