Feb. 13, 2011
Dear Alabama House of Representatives,
Please do not support - HB 274.
Its stated intent is to support private business in Alabama, but this is not what it will do. The proposed state-law over-reaches and will harm recycling across the entire state. It may even harm the businesses who already recycle through existing municipal programs across the state.
Recycling in most communities (like mine in Franklin County) have drop off recycling locations. Our trash is hauled away by the county. This is a service we pay for, but we hold out much of our waste (aluminum cans, paper, cardboard, plastic, and glass) to be recycled. My family and I store it at our home and then take it to a drop off location.
The way I read this bill… these drop off locations would be prevented and would leave us with no place to take our recyclables and would also require local business (all over the state) to start paying for the recycling they already enjoy. If a municipality is forced out of “drop off recycling” and out of “recycling for local businesses” the new cost of recycling will be transferred to “the backs” of local businesses.
Here’s an example. If I own a printing shop and the process of printing generates a lot of waste paper that I have been recycling through my local government, I’d now be forced to use a commercial recycler/waste hauler. This will increase my business operating costs. The effect of HB 274 would be to support one business (the Waste Hauler) at the expense of all other local businesses.
Recycling is good for Alabama.
RECYCLING IS GOOD FOR ALABAMA - Recycled raw materials save energy, resources, and cut down on the pollution required to create new things we all need and use. Every time an aluminum can or a piece of paper is wasted (sent to a landfill) it harms our rivers, streams, air, and land. That’s because each resource (which will never be reclaimed or biodegrade in the landfill) must be found somewhere else. I don’t know about you, but I love Alabama outdoors. I love being outdoors in the woods, on the river, or at the beach, and if you allow ANY law to impede/stop/slow down recycling you are doing the state a huge disservice in the name of getting “government out of the way” of business.
WASTE HAULING IS NOT RECYCLING - Please understand, waste hauling and recycling are two very different things. Waste is by its very nature… the result of an inefficient process. We Alabamians’ create 4.5 pounds of waste each and every day. We used products and services and when finished there was a lot left over. This waste must be recycled or landfilled.
CASH FOR TRASH - It can be very difficult to make money recycling and in many cases it’s less expensive for a waste hauler to dump the recycled materials into a landfill than actually collect, transport, separate, bale, sell, and then start the process all over again. There is not a lot of money to be made in recycling, but there is a lot in waste hauling and sometimes these two enterprises get confused.
LANDFILLING IS NOT RECYCLING - Government IS many times slow to act, bureaucratic, intrusive, and cumbersome, and I personally really hate ANYONE telling me what to do, or how to do it. But in this case, municipalities may be the only institutions able to deal with the wild fluctuations of price for recyclables. And even when a business can handle the market changes for it’s products it sometimes ends up dumping the recyclables in a landfill because landfilling (tipping fees included) is cheaper than actually getting the stuff recycled. Landfilling collected recyclables is not recycling.
BUSINESS IS GOOD - I fully support private business in Alabama and do not feel that government should be getting in the way of local businesses. I have been a proud Alabama business owner for over 27 years. My company Concrete Dream Inc (based in Frog Pond Alabama) produces digital & live entertainment. We are known all over the world for the world class content we create from right here in our state.
I re-read the proposed law last night and I was struck with the simple question.
Why make this a law for the entire state of Alabama?
IT’S A LOCAL SPAT - According to Rep. Kurt Wallace - HB 274 stems - from a disagreement between a local waste hauler and local municipality in south Alabama. A law that will have effects across the state because of one or two businesses disagreement with a local county commission seems an out of proportion response to me.
BUSINESS VS MUNICIPALITY - Also, being a business owner, the situation and response don’t “match” my business experience. Suppose a business came to a municipality and showed that they could run the recycling and waste hauling program more - 1. efficiently, 2. better, and 3. cheaper. Any government/municipality/organization would jump on that, because many communities are looking for ways to cut costs but keep up services and support local businesses - all at the same time. Something about this situation “feels” not exactly right to me.
VIABLE WASTE HAULING BUSINESS - Also, who gets to determine whether the waste hauling business is a viable enough business to halt all municipal drop off recycling programs? According the the draft I've seen - two local waste hauling businesses can legally prevent the municipality from recycling drop offs and recycling local business waste. If a guy with a couple of trucks claims to be in the recycling/waste hauling business... does he qualify? The wording, in the bill, is vague enough to allow two people with two trucks (and a business license) to shut down recycling in the entire region even if they cannot do it cheaper, more efficiently or effectively. Again, this seems punitive to me.
Please do not harm recycling in Alabama in your efforts to help local business.
Please write a law that helps grow business and recycling in Alabama and I will personally be your champion.
Steve Trash - 2.13.12 – 10:58am.
Here's the proposed bill as of 2.13.12
3 By Representatives Greer, Wood, Beckman, Wallace, Beech,
4 Moore (B), Barton, Long, Buttram, Rich, Johnson (K), Collins,
5 Bridges, Fincher, Chesteen, Poole, Mask, Williams (P), Brown,
6 Baker, Ball, Baughn, Roberts, Mitchell, Gaston, Weaver,
7 Sessions, Tuggle, Farley, McCutcheon, Hill, Henry, Nordgren,
8 McClendon, Williams (J), Merrill, England, Grimsley and
10 RFD: Commerce and Small Business
11 First Read: 09-FEB-12
1 136022-2:n:02/09/2012:LLR/tj LRS2012-459R1
8 SYNOPSIS: Currently a county, municipality, or solid
9 waste authority may provide commercial front-end
10 loader, roll-off, or commercial recycling
11 collection services within the county or the
12 municipality even if there are two or more private
13 solid waste providers offering those services in
14 the county.
15 This bill would prohibit a county,
16 municipality, or solid waste authority from
17 providing commercial front-end loader, roll-off, or
18 commercial recycling collection services within the
19 county or the municipality if there are two or more
20 private solid waste providers offering those
21 services in the county.
22 This bill would exempt a governmental entity
23 that provides residential solid waste and recycling
24 collection within its own jurisdiction and allow a
25 governmental entity to collect residential solid
26 waste and recycling collection within its own
1 This bill would require each county,
2 municipality, or solid waste authority in violation
3 of this act, within six months from the date of its
4 approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming
5 law, to cease its operations that are in conflict
6 with this act.
8 A BILL
9 TO BE ENTITLED
10 AN ACT
12 Relating to management of solid waste; to prohibit a
13 county, municipality, or solid waste authority from providing
14 commercial front-end loader, roll-off, or commercial recycling
15 collection services within the county or the municipality if
16 there are two or more private solid waste providers offering
17 those services in the county; to exempt a governmental entity
18 that provides residential solid waste and recycling collection
19 within its own jurisdiction and allow a governmental entity to
20 collect residential solid waste and recycling collection
21 within its own jurisdiction; and to require each county,
22 municipality, or solid waste authority in violation of this
23 act, within six months from the date of its approval by the
24 Governor, or its otherwise becoming law, to cease its
25 operations that are in conflict with this act.
26 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
1 Section 1. (a) A county, municipality, or solid
2 waste authority may not provide commercial front-end loader,
3 roll-off, or commercial recycling collection services within
4 the county or the municipality if there are two or more
5 private solid waste providers offering those services in the
7 (b) A county, municipality, or solid waste authority
8 may not cross its jurisdictional lines to provide commercial
9 front-end loader, roll-off, or commercial recycling collection
11 (c)(1) This act shall not apply to a governmental
12 entity that provides residential solid waste and recycling
13 collection within its own jurisdiction, and the governmental
14 entity may collect only residential solid waste and recycling
15 collection only within its own jurisdiction.
16 (2) A county, municipality, or solid waste authority
17 that operates a solid waste disposal facility or recycling
18 facility may not offer additional services that compete with
19 private providers within its regional planning district.
20 (d) A county, municipality, or solid waste authority
21 in violation of this act, within six months from the date of
22 its approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law,
23 shall cease its operations that are in conflict with this act.
24 Section 2. This act shall become effective on the
25 first day of the third month following its passage and
26 approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.