Washington, D.C. - In yet another case rejecting barriers to the movement of waste across city and state lines, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Clarkston, N.Y., law requiring local waste haulers to dispose of waste at a local transfer station.
Under the ordinance, Clarkstown tried to force C & A Carbone Inc. to send its disposable waste to the town's designated transfer station and pay an $81-per-ton tippping fee.
The $1.4-million transfer station was constructed by a private contractor, who was guaranteed a minimum waste flow of 120,000 tons per year. If the station received less than this, the city agreed to pick up the cost.
In a 6-3 ruling, the court said that the purpose of the law, to finance the station, is reached by "depriving competitors, including out-of-state firms, of access to a local market," thus violating the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
For private haulers, the ruling will stimulate growth and competition in an increasingly booming transfer market, according to Environmental Industry Associations (EIA).
To remain competitive, haulers will likely try to provide the lowest prices, which will may mean landfilling rather than recycling, says Eric Bock, legislative council for the Solid Waste Association of North America. "There will be no incentive for the waste generator to recycle."
The ruling has undermined the whole idea of an integrated waste management system and EPA's policy of a hierarchy of disposal waste reduction, recycling, waste-to-energy and landfills, he says.
But private waste haulers see it as a victory for consumers. "This extremely important decision says that consumers can have environmental protection at competitive prices," says Allen R. Frischkorn, Jr., EIA's president and CEO. "Since all waste service providers must meet applicable regulations to protect health and the environment, the only issue is whether the service will be provided competitively or by a monopoly."
Contracts Americasian Technology Ventures Inc., Oakland, Calif., has entered into an agreement with Hai-phong, Vietnam, to provide garbage collection, disposal and recycling advisory and operational services.
Environmental Technologies Alternatives Inc., Port Clinton, Ohio, has signed a contract to assist in the market development of a new surface treatment process for waste tire rubber with Composite Particles Inc., Allentown, Pa.
Mid-Continent Recycling As-sociation, Bismarck, N.D., has awarded $50,000 to Moore Recycling Associates Inc., Sonoma, Calif., in conjunction with Beaton and Associates, Silverthorn, Colo., for the implementation of a Cooperative Marketing Demonstration Project, which will network individual recyclers and recycling organizations to expand markets.
ABB Environmental Systems, Birmingham, Ala., has been awarded a contract worth more than $16 million by Birwelco-Montenay, Miami, to supply a turnkey dry flue gas cleansing system for the Dade County Resource Recovery Facility in Miami.
Acquisition United Waste Systems Inc., Greenwich, Conn., has acquired Orlando Trucking Inc., Worcester, Mass., a collection company.
Woodward-Clyde Consult-ants, Denver, has acquired Tatman & Lee Associates Inc., Wilmington, Del., a firm specializing in planning, engineering and design services.
Wheelabrator Engineered Systems Inc., New Brighton, Minn., has acquired Memtek Corp., Billerica, Mass., a subsidiary of Horsehead Resource Development Co. Inc., New York.
Consolidation Waste-Tech Services Inc., Golden, Colo., and its subsidiary, Ecova Corp., have consolidated their business units under the name Ecova Corp.