Coalition Files Federal Suit Against Trash Import Cap in Calif.

A group of haulers and recycling companies has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn a ballot initiative that caps the amount of waste from other jurisdictions that can be disposed of in Solano County, Calif., landfills.

The initiative — known as Measure E — was approved by Solano County voters in November 1984, but has never been enforced by the county because of concerns that it violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

“More than 20 years ago Solano County leaders recognized that this ordinance restricting movement of waste across county lines is illegal under federal law, and the coalition is seeking to secure a court ruling to put this issue to rest,” said Ron Mittelstaedt, CEO and chairman of Folsom, Calif.-based Waste Connections, in a press release. Waste Connections is one of approximately 20 firms that make up the coalition that filed the suite.

“Measure E threatens the future of safe, efficient and environmentally sound management of regional municipal solid waste,” Mittelstaedt added. “The consequences for Solano County taxpayers could include an annual loss of over $3,000,000 to fund vital local services such as public safety, local road maintenance and environmental compliance.”