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Re: [greenyes] WM vs THE SMALL RECYCLERS Re: [greenyes] Waste Management an...
In a message dated 7/24/2003 2:31:25 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
betdanse@no.address writes:

> John, please consider the issue regarding WM's
> Recycle America.  The article was meant to illustrate
> what WM says it wants to do, and if you read what
> Steve in PA just wrote, the question is, is it all a
> smokescreen?  Does a lot of the singlestream materials
> end up being landfilled?  Is it a means to an end, ie,
> putting the smaller guys out of business?
> Bette

While the aim of Waste Management Inc. (and indeed most competitive 
businesses) is to capture as much market share as possible--and yes even at the expense 
of small haulers and recyclers--we also must remember that state and local 
governments have had a hand in helping push the demise of small waste-based 
businesses.  In California, for example, AB 939--the state's Integrated Waste 
Management law--mandated that all cities and counties divert 50% of their waste 
from landfills by year 2000.  This law benefitted large operators like Waste 
Management because they have the means of assuring cities and counties that, in 
exchange for long-term exclusive franchises--they could "solve the diversion 
problem" for those cities.  The result: smaller locally-owned companies were 
literally put out of business by city council's eager to "solve" their recycling 
problems by handing over responsibility to a large national company.

One example of a community that made real strides in opening the playing 
field to more than one company is Hawthorne, California.  Gary Liss, a consultant 
who posts often on this listserv, can fill you in on particulars.

Should our state recycling laws be amended to make it easier for open 
competition to flourish?

John Waddell
KJWB Publications Inc.
Refuse News

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