Wed, 14 Apr 1999 10:23:03 EDT

Bill (et al) -

O.K., you got me on that one. Without copying me your whole dissertation and
explaining Schumpterian economics, could you explain how "economies of scale
in waste disposal are a MYTH"?

If it's true (assuming you mean "myth" as meaning untrue or false) then why
would landfills have trended towards fewer and significantly larger? Or as
you say, "Larger fills let them spread costs over that many more years of
capacity." It sure seems like the requirements of Subtitle D (more than the
difficulty of siting new landfills due to NIMBYism or "environmentalists" who
ever they are...) forced new and/or expanding landfills to seek larger
throughput as a way of spreading high capital costs over greater income
(tonnage). Isn't that the definition of "economy of scale" ? Or do I have my
myths mixed up?

Perhaps this is off-topic of the effect of mergers (which I have a hard time
believing anyone truly can understand in a predictive, this is how its gonna
go sort of way). But it seems like many of the significant changes in
recycling/solid waste management (and to a lessor extent the "environment")
came about due to legislation (federal or state, and in a few cases local)
not necessarily due to market forces. I didn't follow the paper markets the
way some on this thread have, but try to imagine where California would be
vis a vis recycling if AB 939 hadn't passed.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Matthew Cotton
Integrated Waste Management Consulting
4051 19th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
fax 415-863-9590

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