Not Going With the Flow

Departments - Editor's Column

Readers in all categories may be paying attention to the return of flow control measures in parts of New York state (again) and beyond.

October 19, 2011

    Brian Taylor

This publication's readers participate in the recycling market in different ways and handle a broad range of secondary commodities. Some readers work for state, county and municipal government agencies and others perform collecting and processing work under direct contract to such agencies. Another (large) percentage of readers pays its taxes, but seeks little government involvement beyond that.

Readers in all categories may be paying attention to the return of flow control measures in parts of New York state (again) and beyond. As this issue goes to press, the Dallas City Council is preparing to vote on a measure dictating that all solid waste collected in that city be dropped off at transfer stations or the landfill operated by the city.

Joanne Wiley of C&A Carbone Inc., West Nyack, N.Y., has a message to waste haulers and recyclers: Beware, your city or county may be next. If the name C&A Carbone sounds familiar, the company was the plaintiff in a suit that went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn a flow control measure in Clarkstown, N.Y. That effort cost C&A Carbone $5 million in legal fees, according to Wiley.

The company is engaged in a new $1 million-plus lawsuit that has again reached the Supreme Court, this time in a effort to overturn a flow control measure in Rockland County, N.Y. (See "Impeded Flow," September 2011 Recycling Today, page 98.)

Speaking to attendees at the C&D Recycling Forum in Baltimore, Wiley emphasized two points: 1) waging these legal fights is worth it, "It has to be done," and 2) Don't be complacent and think it won't happen where your business operates.

Legislators and government agency directors talk to each other and learn from each other, she emphasized. If flow control measures are upheld in court and can provide a new revenue stream to government districts in tough times, then watch out. Soon, haulers and recyclers face the prospect of having the rug pulled out from under them and having a mandatory destination at the end of their truck routes.

Corrections: In the September 2011 issue of Recycling Today, comments in the article "Taming the Wild Polymers" were incorrectly attributed to Jamil Karim. Chris Ulum, Agilyx CEO, provided those comments. We regret the error.

In the July 2011 Product Spotlight, Fibertech was described as having introduced a line of materials handling containers. However, the company had expanded its existing materials handling line with the introduction of the RC 38 recycling cart. We regret the error.