Solid waste haulers and the City of Dallas are settling a lawsuit that dates to September 2011.
That's when the city mandated that all solid waste collected inside its borders go to its McCommas Bluff Landfill.
The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and member companies filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the ordinance, saying it violated federal and state constitutional principles and city law.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas agreed. In October 2012, Judge Reed O'Connor issued an injunction barring the city from enforcing its ordinance, saying the city enacted the law for economic gain “at the expense of the franchisees’ rights and that was an unreasonable exercise of its police powers.”
The settlement makes the injunction permanent and prohibits the city from issuing a similar ordinance until 2029.
Haulers may now dispose of waste at a location of their choosing, including their own facilities located outside Dallas.
“This preserves competition for waste disposal and recycling services in Dallas,” says Tom Brown, senior vice president of Progressive Waste Solutions in Fort Worth and chair of NSWMA’s Texas Chapter.
Cities, counties, and states should be on notice that we will not stand idly by and let local governments establish waste disposal monopolies," says Sharon Kneiss, CEO the Environmental Industry Associations, NSWMA's parent association. "It’s not just bad for our industry, it’s bad for the consumer and the taxpayer as well. Let the market determine the most economical and environmentally sound waste management solutions. The answer is not a government monopoly.”
In addition to NSWMA, parties to the settlement include Bluebonnet Waste Control Inc., IESI Corp., Republic Services Inc., Waste Management Inc., Businesses Against Flow Control, and the City of Dallas.