UPDATE: Late Tuesday night, Delray Beach commissioners approved the transferring of trash services from Southern Waste Systems to Waste Management.
"Everything will absolutely stay the same," Southern Waste Systems representative John Casagrande told commissioners of the service, as reported by the Sun Sentinel. "We anticipate zero change except different letters on the side of the trucks."
"I am just thrilled with the fact that you all were able to come in here and do a transition that I call flawless," Commissioner Shelly Petrolia said to Southern Waste Systems.
The service switch will reduce the fee that the city pays for Sunday garbage collection, and will also allow the city to install 13 BigBelly trash compacters for free.
- Houston, TX-based Waste Management expects to close on the purchase of Southern Waste Systems (SWS), now that the Department of Justice has confirmed WM would not be in violation of antitrust laws, according to a report. The price of the deal was not disclosed.
- Launched in 1999 with one location, SWS and its Sun Recycling affiliate operated 12 locations with 760 employees as of August 2014. The company, which began exclusively managing construction and demolition waste, now hauls and processes municipal solid waste and household recyclables; it owns processing locations, transfer stations and routes; and it added a metal recycling operation in 2012.
- It is assumed that Waste Management will retain personnel and equipment, while keeping routes the same, according to Mark Hammond, executive director of the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County.
Almost monthly, if not weekly, larger companies are purchasing smaller and mid-sized ones, growing in size and saturating regions. As they expand their market presence the issue of fair competition has risen to the surface. It has been argued that the playing field is no longer level for smaller companies.
Not only are some deals thought to place "little guys" in a tough spot, but it has been argued in cases of mergers that the reduced competition could negatively impact prices and service, while others claim these companies’ expanded platforms and geographical reach give more options.
"Unfortunately, we are losing smaller companies that would be able to bid and give more of an opportunity for a municipality to get a better rate," said Delray Beach City Commissioner Shelly Petrolia to the Sun Sentinel.
Just this past spring, Waste Management was in the spotlight again over this very issue, when DOJ required the company to exit several markets to acquire one of the largest privately-owned waste haulers in the Midwest.