RE: Waste mergers might slow recycling
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 17:42:57 EDT

I don't think cities will provide much help in preserving free enterprise in
recycling. As a (perhaps) unintended consequence of AB 939, cities
throughout the state have forsaken their home-grown waste removal companies
and small recyclers in favor of contracting out to large national firms with
headquarters elsewhere. These firms have spent the 1990s lobbying city
councils, warning that only large companies could guarantee cities meet AB
939 recycling levels of 25% by 1995 and 50% by 2000. Revenues derived from
waste hauling, landfilling and the marketing of recyclable materials are
leaving California for corporate headquarters in places like Illinois, Texas
and Arizona.

I doubt this trend can be reversed now. There aren't enough small haulers
left to give the big nationals a run for their money and even if they could,
most city councils, afraid of AB 939 monetary sanctions, wouldn't give them
the opportunity.

John Waddell
Refuse News