Las Vegas City Council Pressured to Hold Off on Extending Franchise Agreement with Republic Services

A proposed ordinance would allow for no-sort, single-stream recycling, and allow for the extension of a contract with Republic Services.

With legislation being considered that would affect how solid waste agreements are negotiated in Nevada, two state senators and a coalition of waste haulers and recyclers are urging the Las Vegas City Council to delay an April 5 vote on changes to its solid waste and recycling ordinance to allow for no-sort, single-stream recycling. The city has been negotiating an extension with Republic Services. Its current franchise agreement is due to expire in 2021.

There are two stories with updates on the situation.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

The details of the proposed extension of the franchise agreement are expected to become clearer this week, when the council agenda and materials are released, the city’s Deputy Planning Director Karen Duddlesten said Monday morning at a workshop on the proposed changes.

The proposed ordinance allows the franchisee to pass business license taxes and increased franchise fees and environmental surcharges on to customers.

In addition to the single-stream recycling provision, the possible changes to the solid waste and recycling ordinance include allowing the city to increase franchise fees and allowing the company the city contracts with to refer delinquent accounts to a collections agency.

Danielle Basson, chief operating officer of Simple Environmental Services Group, submitted a packet of questions and concerns at the workshop, including the fact that no council members were present.

“If no council members attend the workshop, there is really no process in place for the public to be heard prior to the council meeting,” Basson wrote in the letter she submitted to the city.

Meanwhile, according to The Nevada Independent:

Democratic Sen. Mo Denis and Independent Sen. Patricia Farley, who caucuses with Senate Democrats, are sending a letter Tuesday to Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and city council members asking them to delay consideration of a proposed ordinance extending and modifying the city’s agreement with Republic Services. The ordinance is scheduled for consideration on April 5th.

“We are asking the Las Vegas City Council to hold off on taking any action on their current waste and recycling franchise agreement until we all can answer important policy questions over the next several weeks at the legislature,” they wrote. “I am also inviting you to get involved in the legislative discussion and share your thoughts and input so we can begin to set a statewide waste and recycling policy direction for the state.”

The proposed ordinance would allow for no-sort, single-stream recycling, and allow for the extension of a contract with Republic Services, which has held exclusive rights over much of the waste and recycling markets in Clark County since the mid 1990’s.

Read the LVRJ story here and the Nevada Independent story here.

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