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News Articles from the Waste Industry

Here's an article on how that uncompetitive business practices attempt to keep smaller companies from offering better service at lower prices to the customer.  Support your local company by doing business with people you know and trust.

Rogers, Ark., has joined Waste Management of Arkansas Inc. in suing Roll Off Services Inc., claiming that the company has infringed on a contract that grants Waste Management exclusive rights to haul commercial and residential trash in Rogers, Elkins and Lowell.

Attorneys for Rogers and Waste Management filed the suit in Washington County Circuit Court Thursday and seek an immediate injunction to stop Roll Off from pulling waste containers and compactors owned both by Waste Management and its customers.

A motion for the injunction also requests that Roll Off be prevented from soliciting, converting and servicing customers in Rogers, Elkins and Lowell.

Rogers and Waste Management claim in the lawsuit that Roll Off is trying to systematically gain more business by telling customers the franchise agreements are invalid.

They also claim in the suit that Roll Off is exploiting an arrangement to pick up recyclable materials by taking things that arenít recyclable, including construction debris.

Roll Off President Tom Smith, who is named separately as a defendant, said that his company recycles sheet metal, cardboard and concrete. "There are many things, dirt, concrete, all types of material that arenít included in the franchise," he said. "We haul scrap metal out of Rogers not included in the franchise. Itís not surprising that a big conglomerate like Waste Management is trying to push out the small companies."

Smith said itís a shame that the City of Rogers, AR would join Waste Management in trying to keep a company from recycling construction and demolition material that otherwise would go into the Tontitown landfill.

Heíll fight the injunction because the lawsuit is frivolous and lacks merit, Smith said.

Waste Management submitted affidavits from employees who claim that they saw Roll Off trucks pick up Waste Management bins and haul them to Oklahoma. The company attached photographs, including those of Roll Off trucks at pickups and in traffic, to support those claims.

Smith said a container isnít necessarily owned by Waste Management just because it has its decal attached. Some Roll Off customersí trash bins still have Waste Management decals even though theyíve switched to Roll Off contracts, he said. Among those is Roll Off customer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., he said. "We own containers that have Waste Management decals on them," he said.

Rogers, AR Mayor Steve Womack said the city filed suit because its franchise agreement states that the city is responsible for enforcing the agreement. The city collects franchise fees of 5 percent on every account totaling more than $10 a month!

So, the more trash Waste Management hauls, the more money the city of Rogers, AR receives. "We cannot afford to be out inspecting each and every location where a competitive organization has a Dumpster, just to ensure the only things going into the Dumpster are part and parcel of whatís in the contract with Waste Management," Womack said.

Smith said his company sent Rogers checks for materials it recycled so the city wouldnít miss out on franchise fees. The checks were returned with a note stating that the city has no written agreement with Roll Off, he said.

Waste Management attorney E. B. Chiles IV of Little Rock said he wouldnít comment on Smithís claims. Ė Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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