According to the Waste Business Journal (www.wastebusinessjournal.com) returning to the site of the US Supreme Court’s famous 1994 flow control decision, private haulers including C&A Carbone, have filed a $75 million federal lawsuit seeking to overturn a Rockland County, New York ordinance that designates specific facilities as the sole recipients of county wastes. Plaintiffs charge that the policy stifles competition which raises costs to taxpayers, and violates the high court’s 1994 decision in C&A Carbone v. Town of Clarkstown, NY that ruled the municipality’s designation of a private company as the sole recipient of waste was tantamount to a violation of the dormant commerce clause of the US Constitution, putting an undue burden on interstate trade. However, the high court revised its ruling two years ago in its United Haulers v. Oneida-Herkimer decision which made the exception for facilities owned by the municipalities themselves. Similarly, the Rockland Solid Waste Management Authority owns the waste facilities but contracts their operation to private companies. The new Carbone lawsuit claims the county policy favors private contractors who are running the facilities — such as Joseph Miele of Miele Sanitation — at the expense of other private businesses. The authority argues that it followed the Herkimer decision, that waste disposal is traditionally a municipal service, and that Carbone and other companies were free to bid for the work of operating the authority’s facilities.
Learn more at the Rockland Solid Waste Management Authority website, www.rocklandrecycles.com