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Small Businesses Fear Franchising Will Seal Fate

Citrus County, Fla. –- Small collection businesses are petitioning Citrus County, Fla., commissioners not to franchise garbage collection. Commissioners have said franchising, or mandatory collection, would help to control illegal dumping and littering, but "the little guys" are worried stiff competition from waste giants, such as Waste Management Inc., Houston, would force them out of business. William Ray, owner of F.D.S. Disposal, is leading the effort and has spent $6,000 on billboards and petitions.

F.D.S. Disposal has 11,000 customers and 17 employees.

The county, located 70 miles north of Tampa, Fla., currently is serviced by eight garbage companies for residential and commercial waste.