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Judge Rules Waste Management’s Reno, Nev., Franchise Protected by State Law

Judge Rules Waste Management’s Reno, Nev., Franchise Protected by State Law

In addition to GSR’s suit, there have been other efforts to challenge the franchise agreement, though none have been successful.

Following a lawsuit from Green Solutions Recycling (GSR), a federal judge in Nevada has found that Waste Management’s commercial franchise agreement is protected by state law and does not constitute price fixing.

According to Waste Dive, the judge’s decision found that GSR is violating franchise terms for the collection of recyclables. The report also notes that the state law that authorizes franchises doesn't explicitly mention recyclables, but the judge found both Reno’s grant of a monopoly and the "anticompetitive conduct" inherent in this arrangement are "clearly articulated and affirmatively expressed as state policy."

Waste Management's franchise contract with Reno dates back to 2012 through multiple subsidiaries, Waste Dive notes. “The company was targeted in prior lawsuits by other local competitors for its acquisition strategy around the time of this contract award but has repeatedly emerged unscathed,” according to the report.

Waste Dive has more details:

A federal judge in the District of Nevada ruled on Jan. 7 that Waste Management's commercial franchise agreement in Reno is protected by state law and does not constitute price fixing, following a lawsuit from Green Solutions Recycling (GSR). ThisisReno reports that GSR is considering an appeal.

The decision found GSR is violating franchise terms by charging for the collection of recyclables, as the definition of "waste" is considered intentionally broad. The only way around this would be if GSR hypothetically offered the service at a net profit to customers.

The Nevada law that authorizes franchises doesn't explicitly mention recyclables, but the judge found both "the City’s grant of a monopoly" and the "anticompetitive conduct" inherent in this arrangement are "clearly articulated and affirmatively expressed as state policy."

Read the full article here.

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