Recycling Program Worries Some Small Businesses - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Recycling Program Worries Some Small Businesses

Posted: Updated:

The City of Reno has been working with Waste Management for five years to bring single-stream recycling to the Biggest Little City.

Wednesday, the city council will decide if they will go through with a franchise agreement.

The city wants a better recycling program but local small haulers say they will go out of business if the agreement is approved.

Green Solutions Recycling is a local company that recycles plastic, cardboard, and metal from commercial properties.

"We have $800,000 of equipment on its way," account executive Rick Lake said. "We're going to hire 30 to 50 new employees. We're adding a sorting line. We're going to recycle everything but sheet rock and roofing shingles."

Lake says that growth will be threatened if a franchise agreement goes through.

"They squash us," Lake said. "It's definitely putting us out of business and not giving the Reno residents and the Reno businesses a choice."

Waste Management and Castaway would operate in two zones created by the agreement.

Rubbish Runners is a local company that says it will lose 80% of its business if the agreement goes through.

"In my mind, a franchise agreement is nothing more than a dressed-up monopoly," Rubbish Runners owner Anne Marie Carey said. "If they can eliminate the small hauler, what do they accomplish? Complete control. And when you control the market, what do you do? You have the right to set any rates you want."

Waste Management says a new franchise agreement is the best way to keep rates low while providing single-stream recycling.

They also say their plan allows other recycling businesses to collect the same materials from the same customers.

"We think it's definitely the best solution for the rate-payers," Waste Management Communications Manager Justin Caporusso said. "We think it's a great solution for the haulers, in the Truckee Meadows. Everybody will be grandfathered in and have their own business that we currently have."

It's estimated that this franchise agreement could increase recycling by 85% and keep 50-million pounds of garbage out of the landfills.

But without the commercial properties, they say your monthly bill would go up almost $7.

"We've seen an erosion in that commercial franchise that Waste Management collects from, as those other haulers chip away at the material that's supposed to be part of the overall system," Caporusso said.

If approved Waste Management would have to spend $27-million on equipment, land, and construction of an eco center.

It would add ten years to the existing seven-year agreement.

The program would likely start next summer.

Written by Paul Nelson
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.