THE USE OF FRANCHISE FEES IN

COMMERCIAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT

IN FLORIDA











Melvin S. Droubay

Environmental Studies Department

University of West Florida

Telephone (850) 474-2794













June 30, 2000













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS



Florida County Solid Waste Directors

who took the time to talk to us



David Gregory (Co-Principal Investigator)

Seminole County Department of Environmental Services

Telephone (407) 665 2253

who gave the initial guidance for the project while Director of Escambia County

Solid Waste Department



Richard K. Harper (Consultant)

Haas Center for Business and Economic Research

University of West Florida

Telephone (850) 474 2657

who participated in the initial interviews and provided ideas about the economics of

transportation



Mr. Jack McNulty, Solid Waste Division,

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

District 1 (Northwest Florida)

especially for information on Northwest Florida



Ms. Lori Cunniff

formerly Chief, Escambia County

Department of Environmental Resource Management

now Environmental Compliance Officer

Brookhaven National Laboratories

Brookhaven, New York

who got this whole project going



Ms. Brenda Swann

Historic Preservation Planner

C.A.R.L. Archeological Survey

Florida Bureau of Archeological Research

Tallahassee, Florida

who helped organize the final interviews and did the original maps



Mr. René Baumstark

Environmental Studies Department

University of West Florida

who stayed around to help with the maps and the packaging



Environmental Studies Department

University of West Florida

Pensacola, Florida

which provided space, time, equipment and a great place to work.





TABLE OF CONTENTS





Tables and Maps


Abbreviations, Acronyms


Key Words and Terms


Abstract


Executive Summary

 

 


Report


1. Introduction


2. Methodology


3. Commercial Solid Waste


4. Regulation and Flow Control


5. Franchises and Franchise Fees


6. Northwest Florida 


7. Conclusions


References


Appendices 


Appendix 1. First Interview Form


Appendix 2. Second Interview Form


Appendix 3. List of Informants


 

TABLES AND MAPS



Table 1. Florida Commercial Solid Waste: 15 Major Counties 1996


Figure 1. Florida Counties


Figure 2. Counties not Interviewed 


Figure 3. Top 15 Producers of Commercial Solid Waste


Figure 4. How Counties Define Commercial Solid Waste


Figure 5. Definition of Commercial Solid Waste


Figure 6. Commercial Solid Waste as Percentage of Total SW - DEP


Figure 7. Commercial Solid Waste as Percent of Total SW - Interviews 


Figure 8. Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Flow by County


Figure 9. Commercial Solid Waste (CSW) Flow by County


Figure 10. MSW Directional Flow


Figure 11. CSW Directional Flow


Figure 12. Degree of Privatization


Figure 13. Typical Franchise Fee Model for CSW


Figure 14. Counties with Franchise Fees for CSW


Figure 15. Typical Solid Waste Tax Structure


Figure 16. County MSW Taxes


Figure 17. Typical Commercial Assessment Model


Figure 18. Counties with Commercial Assessments


Table 2. Northwest Florida Counties


Figure 19. Northwest Florida







ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS



CSW Commercial Solid Waste


DEP Florida Department of Environmental Protection


EPA U.S. Department of Environmental Protection


FCSHWM Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management


GIS Geographic Information Systems


MSBU Municipal Services Benefits Units


MSW Municipal Solid Waste





KEY WORDS AND TERMS



Assessment A tax on an individual property or business based on specific use or amount of waste produced.


Ad-valorem Based on the value of the property and collected with the property Tax tax bill: a millage rate


Non ad-valorem Based on value of property but at an assigned rate, such as $15.75

Tax per year for every household. May be collected with tax bill, water bill, or separately


Solid Waste For this study, household and business solid waste that can

be landfilled or incinerated. Not construction and demolition debris. Does include yard waste.


Municipal Solid All solid waste (as above) collected in a county, city or Waste municipality not including C & D waste.


Commercial Solid Officially, that waste generated or collected from business, Waste and industry. In many cases, includes schools, prisons, governmental offices, and multi-family residences.


C & D Waste Construction and demolition waste, which has to be landfilled separately in Florida.


Flow Control The ability of a county or city to control where the solid waste generated within its bounds goes for disposal.


Carbone The 1994 Supreme Court decision determining that municipal solid waste is a good and subject to Interstate Commerce laws rather than to the municipality that generates it.


Franchise The right given by municipal government to collect solid waste in a given jurisdiction.

 

Franchise Fee Money paid by the owner of a franchise for the right to collect (and very often to dispose) of the solid waste collected. May be an annual fee, usually based on tonnage.


Hauling Contract A contract given through public bid to pick up waste at point A and haul to point B.





ABSTRACT



With funding from the Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management (FCSHWM), interviews were made with 62 of the 67 county solid waste directors in Florida during 1998 and 1999. The information compiled gives a picture of the current situation of solid waste in Florida, with special emphasis on Commercial Solid Waste. The questions asked by the Florida Center concerned the economic impacts of franchising on Commercial Solid Waste collection. Specifically, how does franchising affect collection rates, and noting that franchising is decreasing in Florida, is the free market system really not a better strategy?



The research concludes that collection cannot be separated from disposal, and that the free market system is in effect due to federal court decisions de-regulating the flow of solid waste. Whereas Florida's legislature had mandated that solid waste be an issue of county government and that waste generated within a given county must go to a county-designated site, federal court decisions in the 1980's and finally in 1994 placed solid waste under the provisions of the Interstate Commerce provisions of the U.S. Constitution, thereby overriding the Florida laws. This meant that under the traditional franchise agreement, counties could no longer mandate that the waste collected flow to its own landfill or incinerator.



So the traditional franchise agreement, while it continued to work well for organizing collection services, did not work well for county governments which had made large investments in expensive disposal facilities (as mandated by state and federal environmental law). In order to meet bond and other financial obligations, counties have adopted a series of measures to ensure that residential waste continues to flow to its own facilities. Some of these measures are taxes, assessments, lower tip fees, etc. Commercial solid waste has, in most cases, been left to the free enterprise system, going to the most appropriate bidder who then takes it wherever that bidder wishes.



But commercial solid waste is increasingly not only businesses and industries; it now includes many more residences such as multi-family housing projects, condos, trailer parks and others, cutting into the traditional residential solid waste. The response by counties to this waste continually leaving their counties is to raise franchise fees, which are passed on by the companies to their clients as higher prices. The idea that businesses don't vote is one reason for this.



Counties are being forced to either find a way around flow control or get out of the solid waste business. This is increasingly so in the commercial sector. Some counties have included commercial solid waste in their general assessments or taxes, others have instituted specific taxes on commercial. Many others have simply opted to get out of the solid waste business: they are too small to play. The result is an increasing regionalization of disposal facilities that collect from many counties, nested between facilities that the larger counties have built for their own waste which they jealously guard.



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



The Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management contracted with Dr. Mel Droubay of the Environmental Studies Department, University of West Florida in April of 1998 to carry out a study of franchise fees as they are used in commercial solid waste collection in Florida. The specific questions were stimulated by the fact that many counties in Florida were moving away from a traditional franchise fee situation and instituting other means of managing their solid waste collection. The questions asked for this study were how does franchising affect collection rates, and if a free market system might not be a better strategy.



The research team interviewed 62 of the 67 county solid waste directors of Florida (the Reedy Creek District was not included). It must be remembered that there are 394 cities and towns in Florida, many of which have their own collection systems. But since counties are given specific responsibility for disposal of solid waste under the Florida Solid Waste Management Act of 1988, it was decided to contact the county officials.



One of the findings of the first interviews was that collection cannot be separated from disposal. It is the disposal cost which has the greatest effect on collection, and it is the disposal issue which most effects Florida counties at this time. Indeed, it is the disposal issue which has the greatest effect on the fact that traditional franchise fees are no longer the force that they used to be.



The interviews were scheduled several weeks in advance, and normally took as much as an hour to complete. In almost every case the counties sent us their solid waste ordinance afterwards. The team preferred this method over the standard questionnaire sent out to like so many others. Interviews of the fifteen counties that produce 81% of Florida's commercial solid waste were completed first, then analyzed and our questionnaire slightly revised into a form that could be more easily codified. The data was placed in an Access Data Base, then specific elements transferred to maps in ArcView GIS format.



The conclusions to be drawn from this information give clear answers to the questions originally proposed by the Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, as well as a view into the day to day reality of how solid waste works. Perhaps one of the most important views gained from this study is that solid waste can be an asset and a resource for a county if handled positively. Whether a county contracts out to private corporations or handles it with internal staff, the solid waste is not just something to be "gotten rid of." As one county solid waste director put it, anyone who is not making money for their county off their solid waste stream needs to visit a few other counties in the state and see what can be done.



The conclusions below follow the flow of this research work as each issue was dealt with.

1. The definition of the term Commercial Solid Waste is blurring. It is no longer just that waste generated by commerce and industry. More and more residential waste is being collected "in a commercial way," and ever more waste, residential and commercial, is crossing county borders and becoming commercial in the process. This fact becomes extremely important as counties tend to protect their residential flow, but let commercial be collected by private companies with franchise agreements and little or no restriction on where they take it for disposal. Commercial Solid Waste, under more proper definitions, is now more than half the waste in Florida, but not necessarily because the commercial sector produces more.

2. County governments have been faced with ever more regulation which means higher costs of disposal, while at the same time they are required to reduce the flow of waste. The cost of a legal landfill is in the millions, of an incinerator in the tens, even hundreds of millions . To pay for such disposal the county normally must issues bonds based on its future revenues. This is too prohibitive for some counties which do not have the waste stream or the revenues. A further study might look at the threshold size of a county waste stream that will merit a county facility. In the meantime, regional landfills (private or public) provide an economically viable solution.



3. Regional disposal facilities are spacing themselves around Florida in a central place type of system, with transportation one factor and administrative resistance another. In Florida where the land is basically flat, the distance solid waste is reasonably hauled seems to be in the range of 100 - 125 miles one way. Counties with a large production of solid waste and the means of controlling its flow out of the county disrupt the normal regionalization (administrative resistence), very often competing for solid waste from other nearby counties to make sure their costs are always covered.



4. Many smaller counties have chosen to privatize every aspect of their solid waste, which given their size can be much more efficient. Another alternative has been for small counties to band together in their own regional grouping, especially where at least one of them has sufficient landfill capacity. Several of these are duplicating what the private sector has done without losing control over their solid waste.



5. The situation becomes even more complicated as counties, even associations of counties, hire private waste management companies to operate their facilities, which are in competition with other counties and waste management companies for the waste stream. As of several years ago, there was an excess of landfill space and incinerator capacity, all in competition for the existing waste. Over time, some of the smaller landfills have closed, some counties have determined to get out of the waste business, and a few major centralized county and regional disposal facilities are emerging.



6. Much of this competition is due to flow control de-regulation as several court decisions of the 1980's and 1990's began to consider solid waste as subject to interstate commerce provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Counties to all appearances lost their ability to control their own waste stream - it could freely move across county or state borders. While private waste corporations had been working in Florida for years, this loss gave life to their ability to market disposal services and to favorably compete in cost with individual counties. The ability to vertically integrate their waste services from collection to disposal means more profit for the private company and supposedly more efficient service at less cost to the customer.



7. The traditional Franchise structure had worked prior to the loss of flow control to keep solid waste in its county of origin. After the Carbone decision, language within a franchise directing the franchisee to take collected waste to the county facility was considered a violation of flow control. While franchise agreements remained useful to organize the collection of solid waste and to earn some funds for the county, their use as a flow control device became less important.



8. The response of most Florida counties has been to find some way around flow control. The issue of residential solid waste seemed most important, because voting citizens are directly effected. Most counties instituted a form of solid waste tax or assessment to cover residential, which tax covered the cost of disposal. Tip fees at the county disposal sites could then be lowered to such a point that franchisees would have no reason to take the waste outside of the county. Northwest Florida stands out as an area that has instituted no solid waste taxes.



9. The commercial solid waste sector has traditionally not been included in the solid waste tax systems, continuing to operate under the traditional franchise system. When commercial solid waste has continually left the counties to go to private disposal facilities owned by the franchisees, the response has been to raise franchise fees to cover the shortfall, resulting in ever higher prices for businesses and those residential customers served by commercial collectors.



10. With commercial solid waste forming an increasing percentage of all municipal solid waste, counties are either including commercial in their assessments or passing specific assessments for commercial customers in an attempt to keep the waste in their control. Even when taxed or assessed, franchises continue to exist in most counties, either as archaic ordinances still on the books or as a means of organizing collection, but not as a means of flow control.



11. A few counties are still using the franchise structure as a means of flow control by writing into the franchises that the waste must be hauled to the county disposal facility. These are counties that are no longer so fearful of litigation over flow control as they might have been in the past. A variation is to convert their franchises into hauling contracts where bids are opened to haul solid waste from the customer to the county designated facility, and no one need bid who does not agree to the conditions. In this case, however, the collection fees are paid to the county, which then pays the hauler. While these may make use of the franchise ordinances on the county books, there is a significant difference.







12. Finally, the major issue since the early 1990's continues to be flow control. The franchise system does not answer that issue adequately, and indeed in the case of commercial solid waste, usually ends up costing the customer more. Once flow control is established by some other means, the franchise fee structure continues to work as a means of organizing collection and providing fees for the County.









REPORT





1. INTRODUCTION



In September of 1997, the Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management sent out a list of issues to be researched during the following year. One of those issues (Number 5) dealt with the use of franchising as used in commercial solid waste collection around Florida. Specifically, "What are the economic impacts of franchising on commercial solid waste collection? How does franchising affect collection rates?" It was noted that many units of local government are no longer using franchising as a means of dealing with commercial solid waste collection, and the questions are asked "Is the free market a better strategy?" and "Which results in lower costs, franchising or open markets?".



The issues in question were being debated at that very moment in the Escambia County government. Having had for years a franchise system for the collection of commercial solid waste, that county found most of its commercial solid waste leaving both the county and the state to be disposed of in a private landfill while the county landfill was not making enough money to support itself. After spending over a year working on that issue as part of a citizens advisory committee, the author joined with David Gregory, then Escambia County Solid Waste Director to do a Florida-wide study of this same issue as outlined by the Florida Center.



Research started in April of 1998 and consisted of programmed telephone interviews with the Solid Waste Directors of 62 of the 67 Florida counties. Given the need to spend close to an hour with each solid waste director during a year of fires and other demands on their time, the interviews were finally completed and re-checked in mid-1999. During this entire period work with Escambia County continued, including the review of several proposals for privatization of solid waste operations or closure of the landfill in the face of competition from Alabama, the scrapping of the franchise fee structure, the eventual raising of franchise fees on commercial solid waste to make up the landfill deficit, and eventually a decision by the County Commission support its own landfill, create a new franchise structure and insist that all commercial waste from county be kept within the county. As our interviews began to show, what was happening in Escambia County was not at all unlike what was or had happened in many other Florida counties.



The questions posed by the Florida Center indicate a growing polemic between the idea of local government control of its solid waste stream versus giving it over to the free market system, which implies letting private industry take it over. The sentiment that "private industry can always do a more efficient job" is out there and has to be dealt with. In many cases private industry can, and does. Surprisingly some counties do as good a job, and fight for waste from neighboring counties just as does private industry both in and out of state.





This research has found what most county solid waste directors have had to learn the hard way. Increasing federal and state regulation has driven the disposal costs of solid waste upward, while mandating that the waste flow be reduced through recycling and other means. At the same time the ability of a county to control its flow has been lessened by federal court decisions (including the U.S. Supreme Court) which classify garbage as a good subject to interstate commerce protection. The growth of private industry handling and disposing of waste in ever more efficient means with funding that far exceeds that of any county government, and the ability to haul garbage longer distances than before imagined has put Florida counties in competition with counties in other states as well as with public and private regional landfills in their own.



All of this finally comes down to a series of questions that Florida counties have had to deal with: is local control worth more than lowering costs to citizens? Is garbage a resource, or something to be disposed of? Can the County even afford to handle its own solid waste in this day and age?



This study looks at the data from Florida. It is not quantitative but qualitative, based on executive-type interviews with Florida county solid waste directors. We have chosen to look at some of the data spatially, looking to see if the different solutions (or non-solutions) might demonstrate themselves regionally. In the end, we have identified several trends and several reasons behind those trends. Do we answer the specific questions the Florida Center asked? Yes, in the sense that we have identified how county solid waste directors are attempting to answer those questions.






 

2. METHODOLOGY



2.1 Survey Technique



The data collection for this report came primarily through a survey conducted of 62 county solid waste directors in the state of Florida. Previous surveys of solid waste directors that the research team had available (FCSHWM, 1995; and Orange County 1998) were conducted using a mail out questionnaire and had a low response rate. In consultation with Mr. Dave Gregory, then Escambia County Solid Waste Director and Co- Principal Investigator on this project, it was decided to make personal contact with each of the solid waste directors in an "executive interview" format. Interviews were scheduled in advance to ensure maximum response rate. The respondents were county solid waste directors, who often invited others to participate in the interviews. These interviews lasted an average of forty minutes. Florida forest fire cycles and other emergencies made it impossible to interview everyone within a short period of time, but eventually the interviews were completed in nearly every county. Notes were taken throughout the interview by Dr. Droubay and in later interviews, by both Droubay and Ms. Brenda Swann. Interviews with the Directors of the 15 counties which produce approximately 81% of the commercial solid waste in Florida were conducted first to gain an understanding of how commercial solid waste is managed (Table 1). Subsequent interviews used a refined technique and pinpointed specific information dealing with commercial solid waste and franchise agreements.(See Appendices I through III for interview forms and informants.



The method chosen of direct interviews led to a necessary decision to interview at the county level. There are 67 counties plus the Reedy Creek District, but there are 394 cities (FCSHWM 1995), many of which have their own solid waste collection systems. The researchers chose to interview counties only, since by law the counties have responsibility for disposal of municipal solid waste. The decision was for depth in our interviews rather than an increase in sample size. Many of the county solid waste directors were familiar with what the cities in their counties were doing -- much of that data is included in our data base but is not analyzed here since it is second hand. At the same time, in those counties where a large percentage of the population lives in large cities, the county solid waste departments are not representative: they deal only with unincorporated areas while the large cities arrange their own collection and oftentimes disposal; not in their own landfills but in the county landfill or in others operated by private industry or even other counties.



The initial interview technique consisted of using a question sheet as a guide while conducting telephone interviews (Appendix 1). Generalized questions made up the interview sheet, which, in some cases did not produce directly comparable data. However, after organizing the data from the early interviews along the lines of the framework developed for the later interviews, we were able to extract the information necessary for this study. In the interviews that followed the first set of 15 counties, generalized questions were made more





Table 1. Florida Commercial Solid Waste - Major Fifteen Counties 1996

Rank County Yearly CSW (Tons)* Population Rank * Population Growth Rate 1990 to 1999 **
1 Dade 1,766,401 1 1.0
2 Palm Beach 1,312,035 3 2.1
3 Orange 1,074,647 6 2.5
4 Broward 1,052,200 2 1.9
5 Duval 1,033,204 7 1.4
6 Hillsborough 892,604 4 1.7
7 Pinellas 876,858 5 2.6
8 Sarasota 583,782 14 1.6
9 Brevard 420,431 9 1.9
10 Polk 326,114 8 1.8
11 Manatee 302.376 16 2.5
12 Lee 285.796 11 2.5
13 Escambia 272,918 15 1.5
14 Volusia 269,352 10 1.6
15 Seminole 230950 12 2.3
Total 15 counties 10,699,668
Total

State

Florida 13,159,925 81% 1.9


*Source: Solid Waste Management in Florida, 1998 DEP Tables 1 and 2A



** Source: Florida County Preliminary Population Estimates and Census Counts, University of

Florida www.bebr.ufl.edu/Pressrelease/poptab.htm

specific, and the question sheet was broken into three sections (Appendix 2). The first sections dealt with the county's entire solid waste program. The second and third sections dealt with commercial solid waste management and franchise agreements respectively. Organizing the interview into sections made data easily comparable, while also simplifying data input and analysis.

2.2 Data Entry



The completed questions sheets were added to a Microsoft Access database which followed the same structure as the questions sheets. The data from the interviews were organized in three tables: Total Solid Waste, Commercial Solid Waste, and Franchise Data. Each question on the interview sheet had a field in the database table for data input and explanation fields, as well as other fields deemed necessary. Also included in the database were tables with data from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP 1997 and 1998), and a table with name, address, and telephone information for each county solid waste director. In addition to the data we were able to codify, a great deal of anecdotal information was recorded to give us better understanding. We also received from nearly every county interviewed a copy of their franchise agreement or their county solid waste ordinance.



2.3 Data Analysis



Microsoft Access and Arcview 3.1, a Geographic Information System (GIS) program, were the primary data analysis tools, and Microsoft Excel was used to a lesser extent. The databases created in Access stored all of the data collected through the interviews. Initial queries of the data were performed in Access, which helped in the initial data analysis and pattern recognition. Based on patterns seen in the Access database, maps were created in Arcview 3.1, which displayed the patterns spatially. The Florida map with county boundaries used as a base map (Figure 1) was downloaded from the ESRI Web Site and is based on 1995 U.S. Census TIGER data. A similar map can be obtained from the GIS section at the DEP website (www.dep.state.fl.us).



Figure 2 shows the counties in which complete interviews were not made. All of the other counties participated in the survey. Jackson County had been interviewed previously by the author in another context, but was not included here. Jackson County is the site of the Spring Hill Regional Landfill operated by Waste Management Corporation, and that company manages the solid waste for the County. Phone calls about solid waste are referred to the company. The other counties were simply not reached in the interview time or had no interest in being surveyed. A decision was made to not include the Reedy Creek (Walt Disney World) Solid Waste District since it is a special case. Mention is made in the context of other counties of where they dispose of parts of their solid waste.





Figure 1 Florida Counties

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Figure 2 Counties Not Interviewed

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Figure 3 shows the top fifteen producers of Commercial Solid Waste in Florida, according to the DEP 1998 report on solid waste. These are the counties listed in Table 1 which together produce 81% of the CSW in the state. As will be noted later, the changing definition of Commercial Solid Waste may make this map much less simple than it appears.

Figure 3 Top 15

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3. COMMERCIAL SOLID WASTE





3.1 Definitions



According to DEP data from 1996 (DEP 1998) , 55% of the total solid waste in Florida is classified as "Commercial." This DEP definition of CSW is based on who generates it; industry, business and public institutions including prisons and schools. As can be seen in Figure 4, the fifteen counties generating over 80% of the commercial solid waste in Florida (see Table 1) are in general the more populous counties of the state that are assumed to be the counties with the most commercial or industrial establishments. This may be correct in terms of the number of commercial or industrial establishments, but as will be seen the changing definition of Commercial Solid Waste may have at least as much or more to do with collection methods and cross county border flow than with growth.



Interview data shows a growing trend toward redefining the term "commercial solid waste". The method of collection is becoming more important than the source or point of generation. Figure 4, generated from our interview data shows that some counties make no distinction between residential and commercial (13% of the 62 counties interviewed). Figure 5 shows this data spatially. Those who do not make a distinction have either totally privatized or control all of their solid waste: "it all goes to the same place."



More importantly, the 56% of 62 counties interviewed that identify CSW by collection method rather than by generator are those responding to other issues. Here the difference between "commercial" and "residential" blurs because of new collection methods. Commercial solid waste is primarily that which is collected in "dumpsters" by front or rear loading trucks. In these cases, multi-family residences (usually 4 to 6 or more) are considered commercial as well as are condominiums, trailer parks and public housing projects. Residential waste that is brought into a county from another or goes out of the county to another for disposal is also classified as "commercial." This latter category of solid waste may consist of 100% residential, but because it has become a commercial transaction, it is so termed. It is with this sector that a trend is identifying itself: these counties may not be growing at a fast rate in number of industries or commercial establishments, but commercial solid waste collection is taking over more and more of the residential.



Nearly one third of Florida counties continue to define their commercial waste stream by generator (31% of the 62 interviewed). These counties have large enough waste streams that it is economically important to them to make a distinction. Most of these have instituted ad-valorem or other tax-type structures to finance their solid waste programs, structures which are based on the exact nature of each generator and the quantity they generate. To do this requires a great deal of survey work and the tying of that work to the property tax records, something which takes a high level of political decision about financing solid waste disposal.



Figure 4 How Counties Define CSW

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Figure 5 Definition of Commercial SW

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What is at issue is that many counties now consider that over half of their solid waste stream is commercial even if the commerce and industry sectors of their counties do not produce that much. In other words, it is waste collected "commercially" (containers rather than curbside) even though it may be residential in origin. This may well be contrary to what the DEP hoped to get to in its annual reports (Solid Waste Management in Florida). In reality the figures come from the county solid waste managers who file an annual report, but those we interviewed did not normally spend a lot of time making the distinction. In some cases they made guesses based on past reports or simply passed the reports to someone else to do as best they could. The exception to this is, of course, those counties in which there is a real need to distinguish the difference because the disposal is handled differently and the financing of that disposal is at stake.



Figure 6 shows those counties who reported to DEP in 1996 that 50% or more of their solid waste was commercial (DEP 1998 Report). Figure 7 shows our interview data on the same subject. The interview data shows a much more complex situation: many of those counties that according to DEP data had less than 50% commercial solid waste actually claim they do not know the percentage or do not rigorously quantify it. In some cases counties that reported over 50% commercial solid waste in 1996 reported less than 50% in our 1998 interviews. These differences can be explained in part by looking at collection methods and what those mean for disposal.



3.2 Collection and Disposal



The Florida Solid Waste Management Act of 1988 gives county governments the specific responsibility of disposal of solid wastes from within their borders. The importance of defining what is commercial solid waste and what is not has to do with county control of where it goes after it is collected. The idea that it all goes to the same place is true in that it will go to an incinerator or a landfill (and part of it will be recycled), but it does not necessarily go to the County-owned landfill or incinerator. This is where the issue of commercial versus residential collection becomes important, more important in most cases than commercial versus residential generation. Counties tend to exercise control over their residential waste, while commercial has traditionally been left to private companies operating on franchises. For various reasons to be discussed later, these franchisees have increasingly been able to take this waste out of the county to their own or other disposal facilities.



Perhaps because there are many more residential clients demanding waste collection services than there are commercial, county governments have spent much more time and effort meeting residential needs. Residential collection services collect from individual containers of household garbage and normally make separate pickups of yard waste and in some cases heavy goods such as used furniture and appliances, all of this containing recyclables and all at curbside. This waste receives more attention from elected officials for the simple reason that the owner of each can is a voter. That voter elects or fires the commission that does not serve it well.

Figure 6 Commercial Solid Waste as Percentage of Total Solid Waste DEP

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Figure 7 Commercial Solid Waste as Percentage of Total Solid Waste - Interviews

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The garbage must get picked up on time and at an acceptable price. The voter is little concerned about where it might go for disposal; in reality most people would prefer it go out of county or out of state.



Commercial collection is different. The use by collection companies of ever larger trucks with more modern container systems makes it highly efficient, while at the same time the perception exists that commerce and industry have the money to pay for collection, no matter how much it costs. Disposal of commercial waste is a cost of doing business which will simply be passed on to the customers, in most cases with a minimum of pain. Business groups and chambers of commerce might complain that this is a regressive tax, but businesses themselves don't vote and they can pass through increased costs. Some counties have in fact used this perception to make up deficits in disposal costs through raising commercial franchise fees or tip fees in situations where the raising of residential fees is considered politically dangerous.



As will be discussed in detail in later sections, it is the issue of flow control which has brought about this situation. The need is to capture the flow of both residential and commercial solid waste in order to pay for the disposal facility built by the county under state mandate and state and federal regulations. Collection costs are that part which individual customers see, but it is the disposal cost that county solid waste managers must deal with And it is here that we see the greater level of privatization in Florida. Many cities and counties operate their own residential collection services but have traditionally franchised out their commercial. One reason for this is that local government has not wanted to enter into the expense of buying dumptsers and fleets of trucks capable of handling them. So commercial collection has generally been given to the private waste collection companies. Here is where the problem of control has been the most obvious: if the collection is given over to private companies, how does the County guarantee that what is collected will pass through the gates of the county disposal facility? Formerly, this is where franchise fees entered the picture: counties were able to mandate in their franchise agreements that the solid waste collected had to come to the county disposal facility, but a number of court decisions, including several major ones by the U.S. Supreme Court have found that to be a violation of Interstate Commerce, effectively allowing the companies that pick up the solid waste the legal right to take it wherever they might desire.



So as the definition of commercial solid waste is changing to include ever more residential, a county that is not able to exercise control over its commercial waste stream may be in financial difficulty. For these counties some means other than the traditional franchise agreement must be sought to recapture the commercial sector. Nearly every county solid waste director interviewed was either deeply involved now or had been trying to resolve this problem during the past decade. In fact many of the solid waste directors we interviewed told us this was their primary concern at the moment. Little wonder that the theme was suggested to the Florida Center as a subject worthy of research.




4. REGULATION AND FLOW CONTROL



4.1 The Regulatory Environment



Like all things that have an effect on the environment, solid waste disposal has been increasingly regulated over the past three decades. In fact many of the solid waste directors we talked to in this survey considered that more of their time was spent dealing with regulation by filling out forms and handling inspections than in actual solid waste disposal. The net result of state and federal regulation has been to vastly increase the cost of waste disposal, while at the same time requiring reduction of the waste stream and taking away the rights of counties to control the flow of the waste generated within their borders. The result has been, in the terms of some administrators, a "garbage nightmare," pitting county governments against each other and against an empowered private sector that can oftentimes "do it better and cheaper."



The environmental costs of waste disposal have been an issue since the late 1960's with the passage of the Clean Air and the Clean Water Acts. When the Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1970 it was given the responsibility of determining just how clean the air and the water should be. The later amendments to the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts setting the standards that waste disposal facilities would have to meet meant that a great many landfills had to be closed while others needed expensive reforms. New landfills meeting all federal requirements turned out to be very expensive propositions. Counties, which had been given the responsibility for waste disposal under the 1988 Florida Solid Waste Management Act were faced with the prospect of issuing millions of dollars worth of bonds to pay for acceptable disposal systems, be they landfills or incinerators, or letting private industry do the job for them. Private industry was willing to do so, but not willing to pay for the old landfills and other environmental costs associated with former waste disposal systems.



In Florida, a Department of Air and Water Pollution Control began looking at city and county "dumps" in the early 1970's, concerned with air (mainly odor) and surface water (most "dumps" were on the side of streams). By 1975 the new Department of Environmental Regulation was looking at landfill closure issues, and in the early 1980's an inventory of solid waste disposal facilities took place with groundwater becoming an issue of special concern.

The Florida Legislature drafted a comprehensive reorganization of its solid waste laws in 1988.



The Florida Solid Waste Management Act which took effect in 1989 gave county governments the specific responsibility of solid waste disposal, specifying that counties were also responsible for collection in the unincorporated areas. More importantly, cities were required to collect solid waste within their jurisdictions and transport it to the disposal facility designated by the county, which could be outside the county if so designated. It also set up a system of financial responsibility for landfill closure, required training and certification of landfill operators, and established recycling as a necessary part of waste reduction efforts in the state.



The fact that under this law county governments had control of the waste stream generated within its borders gave many county governments a good reason to go ahead and construct or reconstruct the expensive disposal facilities required. They knew they would have the flow necessary to make their long-term bond payments. Even though the same 1988 act required the reduction of total solid waste being landfilled or incinerated and included a mandate to recycle as part of the waste reduction program, this was not seen as an impediment. With flow control in place, most of the larger counties accepted the disposal challenge. Many smaller ones made a different choice - send to the larger county ones or to private disposal facilities. The financial burden of building environmentally sound disposal facilities based on a flow of only a few hundred tons a day was just not palatable to citizens or the county commissions representing them.





4.2 Flow Control



Having control over the waste stream was an essential part of Florida county solid waste programming. Nevertheless, the flow control issue had begun to erode long before the 1988 Florida Solid Waste Act. The State of New Jersey had passed a Solid Waste Act which limited the import of solid waste into its borders. The case had to do with Philadelphia, which was sending some of its waste to landfills in New Jersey. Reaching the U.S. Supreme Court in 1978, solid waste was declared a "good" by that court and thus subject to Interstate Commerce regulations. This was the first use of what was called the "Dormant Commerce Clause" of the U.S. Constitution which basically states that "...where Congress has not acted to preempt regulation by the states in a field that has implications for interstate commerce, it is nonetheless assumed that Congress intends through its inaction to prevent any entity from restricting the particular interstate commerce involved." (Sniding, 1996 p.814 ). This decision opened the door to a host of other cases, all of which have come to form a body of decisions about "flow control."



Additional cases in Michigan where out of state waste was charged a higher price were struck down under the same clause. In 1987 when the Portland Metropolitan Service Area sought to ban waste from other counties, the 9th. Circuit held that this was not a violation of interstate commerce because of legitimate local interests (prolonging the life of the landfill), but in 1991 in Washington State the same court held that requiring a permit to bring in out of county waste was an act of economic protectionism and thus violated the interstate commerce provisions. (Sniding 1986 p. 817) Note that all of these decisions have to do with county landfills trying to keep waste out, or at least charging more for it than local waste. County landfills wanted to preserve their valuable space for their own waste stream.



The famous C.A. Carbone decision of 1994 came as a result of forces moving in different directions. With funds from worldwide investors, large solid waste corporations were able to go to rural areas where land was inexpensive and build huge landfills totally compliant with federal and state environmental regulations, landfills designed to capture the waste streams from dozens of counties in many states. In a case where the Town of Clarkston, New York required that all its waste be delivered to its own transfer station, the Supreme Court here that not only is garbage a good, but the disposal of it is a service; Clarkston's ordinance therefore violated the Commerce Clause ... and was an instrument of economic protectionism. Further, "...any attempts to exercise 'regulatory power' over the waste stream interfere with interstate commerce and the workings of the free market in waste." (Sniding 1996 P. 818)



Congress attempted the same year to pass a laws giving control back to local government, but the attempt failed. 1994 now marks the official era of flow control deregulation: in the State of Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively superceded the 1988 State Solid Waste Management Act. Counties no longer had legal control over their waste streams. Since then some counties have successfully claimed that without flow control they are not able to pay off their bonded indebtedness. In other cases they have argued that their disposal facilities were built before Carbone, based on guaranteed flow legislated by the State of Florida. Still other counties are able to ignore the legislation, finding "ways around it." Finding ways around flow control deregulation has, in fact, become a major part of solid waste management practice in Florida. A classic case is that of Miami/Dade which went through a crisis in late 1994 and 1995 when two large waste to energy facilities opened in Broward County next door. Miami/Dade's tonnage dropped six hundred thousand tons, 30% of its total. This forced Miami to change the way it looked at and dealt with solid waste. Part of that change meant devising a number of ways "around" flow control. Miami/Dade is not alone. Nearly every large county in Florida has had to do the same, which will be discussed in later chapters. .



Another case is described in a Wall Street Journal article in late 1997 (WSJ 1997) which discusses how Georgia counties overbuilt landfills along the Florida border hoping to get that state's solid waste. The so-called "glut of landfills" eventually built in the Southeast put counties on both sides of the Florida - Georgia border in trouble. Florida counties had been building their own under the 1988 Solid Waste Management Act requirements, but so had Georgia and Alabama. There was just not enough waste to operate them, so private corporations either bought them or took over management and began to raid Florida communities such as Jacksonville. Jacksonville was in the process of rebuilding its own very expensive landfill, so the Commissioners enacted a series of ordinances to keep the waste stream from moving north. In one of these they lowered tip fees to make it uneconomical to take waste out of the area. To cover that loss of revenue, they raised franchise fees and began to tie residential and commercial collection franchises to each other. One company which had purchased a landfill in Georgia also had a major residential collection franchise in Jacksonville; rather than lose that they eventually walked away from a three million dollar investment in Georgia to keep collecting in Jacksonville. Since the writing of the WSJ article, Jacksonville has added other protections, and a private waste company now operate its landfill. And some commercial waste still leaves the county. But the process has been long and painful. Such is the way of a free market economy say the waste companies.



4.3 Uncontrolled Flow



The Carbone decision and its precedents opened up an opportunity to the private waste management industry to freely compete in Florida. Free enterprise was already here, of course, primarily in collection and hauling services, and in out of state disposal facilities. With Carbone, these same companies began to get into the disposal business in Florida, buying up county landfills, operating county landfills, setting up and operating transfer stations, and trucking solid waste hundreds of miles to their growing regional facilities. Not to be outdone, or better said not to lose control, counties themselves began to offer their disposal services to other counties, all in an effort to not lose the needed flow to pay off their indebtedness. A true free-enterprise competitive system is resulting; counties that cannot afford to play are bowing out and contracting with other counties or companies to handle their solid waste while private waste companies, particularly the big three large ones (Waste Management, BFI and Republic) are busy buying up smaller companies and bidding cities and counties for business. Within this context, solid waste disposal in Florida is tending toward a regional centralization of facilities based on transportation costs, what some would call a logical outcome of the free market system.



Figures 8 and 9 show solid waste flow across county borders according to our interview data. Map 8 deals with total solid waste flow by county: identifying those which dispose of their solid waste within their own county as well as those which authorize solid waste exports from their counties. Many counties admit there is "leakage," or unauthorized outflow, usually in small amounts. This is not shown in Figure 8: it is usually very little. .



Figure 9 deals with commercial solid waste and is more specific. Counties where commercial solid waste is exported either with approval or without approval are identified, as well as those counties which claim no commercial solid waste is exported ("disposed of in county"). "Leakage" is shown here because of the fact that commercial is left more to the free market system; leakage is known about but there is nothing that can be done about it. .

From examination of both of these maps, it can be seen that most of the states which generate the majority of solid waste in the state have found ways to keep that waste within their boundaries. For these counties the stakes are higher, and some hard decisions have been made. Some of these decisions will be discussed in the next section.



Commercial solid waste is extremely important in the development of the current pattern of free flow across borders. In the early 1990's when CSW was thought to be merely that - waste generated by commercial and industrial establishments - the free enterprise system operated most freely in this area. As mentioned earlier, residential solid waste has normally been the political "hot potato." Citizens of a county want their solid waste collected for the cheapest price possible, and for the most part do not want to be bothered about disposal costs, methods or problems. Any talk about the county landfill going under or the incinerator not having enough flow to generate the electricity it was supposed to means that somehow the elected county government is not doing its job. When the County Commissions propose to raise

Figure 8 MSW Flow by County

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Figure 9 CSW Flow by County

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rates to cover their shortfalls, lower bids by private companies seem to be the ideal solution to a messy problem their elected officials are not handling well.



For this reason, more attention has been spent on the collection and disposal of residential solid waste than on commercial. Commercial has been traditionally left to the private sector and flow control has not been a major issue. The City Councillors or County Commissioners will make sure that the residential solid waste prices do not rise significantly, often letting companies holding the commercial franchises take it wherever they want to as long as they pay their franchise fees. If residential fees do not cover the cost of disposal, the normal response is to raise the franchise fees on the commercial. This is in a way a trade-off: by not arguing the issue of flow control for commercial waste the counties are "allowed" to raise the franchise fees on it, which the franchisees then pass on to their customers, most of which as businesses don't vote.



This has been a temporary solution only: franchise fees can be raised only so far, and as mentioned earlier, the commercial solid waste sector is growing - it is larger than the residential in many counties, not necessarily because of a growing commercial/industrial sector, but because more residential solid waste is being collected as commercial. When county commissions wake up to this fact they are faced with finding "some way around" flow control legislation for all of their waste, not just residential. It is within this milieu that the traditional franchise fee structure for commercial solid waste has come under pressure, as will be discussed in the next sector.



Escambia County in the far northwest of Florida is a perfect example of this process. The county landfill needed millions of dollars of work to come up to EPA and DEP standards, and four other landfills needed closure. One was classed a super fund site. The county arranged with the City of Pensacola to pay ten years of fees up front to help cover these costs, and a County Utility District became the principal residential franchise holder for the unincorporated area. That utility authority (Escambia County Utilities Authority or ECUA) also became the primary commercial franchise holder, but other companies were allowed to bid for whatever business they could get. BFI, Waste Management and Republic all became franchisees, as well as smaller companies in specific areas. Over time BFI became the principal player with considerable investment, including a transfer station within the City of Pensacola from which it transported its commercial solid waste to its own landfill in Brewton, Alabama. Any thought of trying to control that flow was immediately discarded - Escambia County lies on a state boundary -- a very typical flow control legal battle just waiting to happen.



As the ten years of the City of Pensacola contract wound to a close, the county landfill had become totally compliant with all regulations, but not without a series of painful experiences. The county commission had agreed at different times to sell the landfill, rent the landfill, let two different waste management companies take it over, close it and let all the waste go to Alabama, etc. The citizenry and the commission were tired of dealing with the landfill. It was not making enough money to exist, especially with a host of additional environmental programs charged to its budget. Moreover, the funds from franchise fees were going into the county's general fund rather than the solid waste fund. As the city's contract was about to expire, offers to take their waste either to Alabama or to a Waste Management Landfill in Jackson County looked very attractive. A new offer by BFI take over the landfill operations (but not the liabilities) looked equally attractive. After many discussions about whether the County should stay in the disposal business or whether the private sector could "do it better," even a KPMG audit financed by several private companies to demonstrate they could do it better (which turned out in favor of the County), the Commission agreed by a simple majority to give it another try. As a first step franchise fees on commercial solid waste were raised by 500% and that money put into the Solid Waste Fund rather than the County General Fund. As a second step the County went after the city business and secured it with a combination of tip fee pricing and concurrency agreements. With the City waste continuing to flow to the County landfill, the County began a process of lowering the tip fees, finally reaching a point where it was as cheap for BFI to send the waste to the local landfill as it was to export it.



Then, as a final step, the county voted to rewrite the commercial franchise agreement and exercise flow control. Anyone who wished to challenge it was invited to. "We've been sued before, we can handle it." was the statement of one of the Commissioners in a public session.



Escambia County is one of those counties that may be able to afford litigation: it certainly has the waste flow, if it can capture it, to maintain a solid waste disposal facility without having to bring waste in from other counties. The Escambia experience is demonstrating, however, that once a county captures its flow, it can lower tip fees, and solid waste will flow to it from other counties if wanted. This is economic flow control. Which, in theory, will allow it to lower its tip fees even further and attract from an ever broadening area.



4.4 Centralization



A geographic theory first published in 1933 in Germany by Walter Christaller attempts to explain the distribution of urban places of different sizes across a north German landscape. This theory became known as Central Place Theory, and has since been applied to hundreds of situations around the world. The theory proposes the development over time of a hierarchy of cities, some larger and some smaller depending on the kinds of functions the cities gather to themselves. Transportation is one of the key issues, another is what he termed the Administrative Principle (Christaller, 1933). As part of the initial model, a flat plain is proposed where transportation costs are basically the same (Florida is just such a plain), and an essentially free market system (which is what flow control de-regulation has attempted to establish). . Over time some cities grow larger as they acquire central functions while other cities, towns and villages stay smaller with fewer functions and smaller regions. These smaller ones nest within the larger.



The solid waste disposal business in Florida is taking on a similar distribution, with large regional landfills developing which gather in the flow from a host of smaller counties. Because of administrative decisions, some counties with their landfills or incinerators do not participate in the system, having managed to retain or regain control over their solid waste stream. Transportation is a key element, allowing solid waste to flow ever longer distances. In spite of those counties which administratively retain flow, the centralization pattern is becoming clear, especially so in the case of landfills. The number of regional landfills within the state is growing, some of them county landfills which accept waste from other counties, some of them former county landfills owned and/or operated by private companies, some of them multi-county arrangements where the counties maintain control but private companies operate them. Their growth obeys the principles set out by Christaller nearly seventy years ago.

Figures 10 and 11 show the flow of solid waste, both total and commercial to regional landfills and incinerators in Florida and those in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina which receive solid waste from Florida. Of note is the large landfill in Jackson County (Spring Hill) owned and operated by Waste Management, two landfills set up by consortia of county governments, Aucilla in Madison County and New River in Union County. Duval County's landfill at Timber Ridge receives waste from other counties (although waste from that county goes out as far as Jackson County and across the border to Georgia. In Central and South Florida, the Okeechobee landfill stands out as the largest, also operated by Waste Management. Around this landfill are those heavily populated counties which have made considerable investments into their own waste programs, which is possibly the reason why the Okeechobee landfill does not bring in waste from a broader client base. Nevertheless, waste from Walt Disney World (Reedy Creek SW District),other areas of Orange County, the Florida Keys, Miami/Dade and even Tampa flow to the Okeechobee landfill.



Looking at these figures, one has to ask the question of how far can garbage be economically hauled? The roads are basically flat in Florida and good. Gasoline prices are passed on to the customer in every case we have looked at as a surcharge. While trucks are getting larger, the issue is always weight. A normal load for compacted solid waste will be 22 tons, which added to the tractor will make the forty ton limit. Hauling costs (constructed from examples in Northwest Florida) seem to run in the range of fifteen cents per ton per mile, counting empty return trips. In other parts of Florida the general formula is $2.10 per mile round trip. Recyclables are taken out and the waste compacted at the transfer station. In Northwest Florida solid waste is hauled in this form as far as one hundred miles one way to the Spring Hill Landfill in Jackson County. The distance between Orange County and the Okeechobee Landfill is 123 miles.



The real issue that determines how far waste can be hauled is the comparative costs of tip fees. Tip fees in Florida run from $25 per ton to over $100. Private corporations do not usually disclose their tip fees, in part because they can alter these by customer in order to get a contract. Estimates given by solid waste directors in this study are that a large regional landfill serving various counties and even several states can work successfully with a tip fee as low as $15.75. If the alternative smaller disposal sites operated by counties begin in the thirties or forties, there is a lot of room for transportation costs. In the case of Escambia County, for example, the BFI

Figure 10 MSW Directional Flow

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Figure 11 - CSW directional flow

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landfill in neighboring Alabama is estimated to have a private tip fee around $15.75. When the Escambia County Landfill had a tip fee of $35 the 57 mile trip from Pensacola to Brewton was not significant. Even the hundred mile trip from Fort Walton Beach to Spring Hill in Jackson County remains profitable if the alternative county landfills are all in the middle or high thirties. As Escambia County has lowered its tip fee to $25.75, the long hauling has become less appealing for both private companies and waste has begun to flow into that county landfill. The key to operating a regional landfill is that the tip fee is lower than any county landfill close by. Waste from the northern part of Florida flows to Valdosta, Georgia where the tip fee is reportedly $30 to $35 per ton, ten dollars cheaper than any of the landfills nearby in Florida. Tip fees in Okeechobee are zero for in-county waste, something around $15 for out of county waste, much less expensive than the $45-59 fees in Miami/Dade or the $80 fees in one of the incinerators in Broward County or the $80 fee in Palm Beach. The figures given for these regional landfills are approximate: most have a distinct advantage over public landfills in that they have no legal responsibility to publish their tip fees. And unlike counties, where tip fees are established by County Commissions in public meetings, private landfills can alter their fees to get whatever business they want.



Centrality is a developing characteristic, one wished for by private industry and looked upon by counties with mixed emotions. As said before, smaller counties looking at large infrastructure expenses to handle small amounts of solid waste are more than receptive to have their waste move out of county in the hands of a private company. Some counties have even mandated that no waste ever again be landfilled in their counties, such as Okaloosa County in Northwest Florida. Other counties, primarily counties large enough to have significant flow of solid waste or which have already made the large investments necessary to comply with all the regulation, are forced into making decisions about giving up control, handling their own, stepping away from large investments, becoming regional landfills and accepting waste from other counties, etc. For these a variety of actions have been or are being taken, as will be discussed later. But the fact of increasing centralization is with us as a natural process.





4.5 Vertical Integration



A strong reason behind centralization is the desire of the private waste industries to vertically integrate their waste operations for more profit and less cost to their clientele. Where private waste collectors have always been a part of the Florida scene, deregulation of flow has produced the milieu in which collection can move to recycling, transferring, hauling and disposal. Waste Management of Florida, Inc., (the only company to give us data), lists for their area (Jacksonville East) 34 hauling operations, nine recycling centers, and fifteen landfills or transfer stations. Much of the hauling has come through the purchase of smaller companies

while the landfills are primarily county or multi-county landfills operated by Waste Management under contract. In nearly every case it is the counties which own the landfills, but leave the operation to the private company.





The private waste companies can obviously make the case that this vertical integration is better for the client, be that client the individual customer or the county. It is obviously good business for the company as well. In some of our interviews, county solid waste directors complained, however, that every waste collection company in their county had been purchased by one of the big three that operate in Florida (WMI, BFI, and Republic), to the extent that there was no possible competition in bidding (a violation of their county ordinances). Others interviewed were more than happy to get their counties out of the solid waste business and "leave it to professionals." Even more pleased to get out of the solid waste business are many of the major cities, whose fleets of trucks are getting older and whose personnel costs continue to rise. The private sector can make an excellent case that contracting out the services will save everyone money.



One issue that came up repeatedly in interviews is that while the private sector is anxious to do as much business in Florida as possible, they seldom if ever take on the entire solid waste program of a county. They will collect the waste, operate a transfer station, separate the recyclables, operate the landfill. But they will not take on the past environmental liability of older landfills that may have not been properly closed nor the monitoring of closed landfills. In other words, even when a county decides to "let the private sector do it," there is still need for a county solid waste program.



Figure 12 looks at the degree of privatization of solid waste in Florida, as reported by the county solid waste directors. Almost every county in Florida has private solid waste corporations working in it to one degree or another. Those that appear on this map as having none are those in which the county government collects its own waste in the unincorporated area. Cities within these counties may well have private contractors. Noteworthy is that group of counties in Northwest Florida (and Okeechobee County) which are completely privatized.

 

Figure 12 - Degree of privatization

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5. FRANCHISES AND FRANCHISE FEES





5.1 Summary



This research shows that the traditional franchise and franchise fee structure in Florida is changing under pressures from both within the state and without. Whereas it worked before to "get rid" of municipal solid waste (commercial and residential), state laws passed by the legislature in 1988 (88-130) giving counties the responsibility for disposal of solid waste but also mandating strict and costly environmental regulation on landfills made disposal a major cost issue to counties. Not only disposal itself, but a host of additional mandated services such as recycling, waste reduction and code enforcement were added, to be charged to the solid waste budget. Many smaller counties soon realized they could not afford to build and maintain expensive landfills - many other counties (not only the more populous ones) built huge waste to energy facilities which needed a guaranteed flow to keep them going, often to the extent that neighboring counties had to be raided when the flow from their own could not be guaranteed.

The majority of counties were left with the apparent need to build expensive landfills, financed with the supposed guarantee of a continual flow of their counties' solid waste. The franchise system was seen as the way to keep that flow going in the right direction.



The landfills leased, purchased or operated by the private solid waste corporations both in Florida and along its northern border have provided the ideal solution to many counties who have opted to get out of the solid waste business. Many of these counties are smaller and do not generate a waste stream large enough to merit an expensive landfill. Other counties, fighting the battle to make their landfilling operation break even over the years have also opted to "let the private sector do it," especially when the private companies offer to take over all of the headaches and pay them a fee. For these counties the franchise system continues to work - the collection franchise continues on to be a disposal franchise. The county landfill is closed and no more waste disposed of in the county.



A number of counties fear this loss of control, however. Once the county facility is closed, it will take years to permit a new one or re-open an old one. Totally privatized, they say, the company can raise rates, add surcharges, lessen services or whatever, and the county has little to say about it. These counties, and those which have chosen to stay in the solid waste business have had to examine the franchise system. Under current federal law, that system does not seem to work anymore.



While no one argues that the franchise system operates for collection, the question of disposal seems to fly in the face of federal flow control legislation. Although the Supreme Court's decision in favor of C. & A. Carbone, Inc. against the Town of Clarkstown, New York in 1994 is usually taken as the landmark decision, there were many earlier "flow control" decisions by federal and state courts, beginning as early as 1978. These decisions limited the ability of counties around the United States to guarantee that the waste generated in their county would flow to their newly built, environmentally-safe but very expensive landfills or incinerators, putting into jeopardy millions of dollars in municipal bonds guaranteed by the citizens of those counties . Without that guarantee and faced with competing bids from various private companies and even other counties for their waste, Florida counties have had to find ways to deal with flow control. Modifying the franchise system is for most of them a necessity.





5.2 The traditional franchise structure.



The dictionary definitions of "franchise" talk about a privilege of a public nature granted to an individual or body of individuals by a government grant; permission granted by a manufacturer to a distributor or retailer to sell his products; the territory to which such permission extends; a privilege arising from the grant of a sovereign or government, etc. (Webster Encyclopaedia, 1989). An earlier edition mentions the words territory, time and fee as well as "market a product or service" (Webster New Collegiate Dictionary, 1980)



The traditional franchise agreement for solid waste in Florida counties has all of these elements. A private company is given the right to an area in which to pick up solid waste over a specific time period. For that right, the company pays a fee to the local government, usually based on tonnage. Like every other large purchase or service contract, this franchise is usually given out after a public call for bids and the selection of that bidder which best serves the public. Normal franchise agreements have included a clause dictating that the waste be taken to a specific place for disposal - the county landfill or transfer station, where the franchisee pays the tip fee. The franchisee bills the customer an amount which includes the tip fee (disposal cost), the hauling cost and a profit.



An example of a traditional franchise situation is Escambia County in Northwest Florida (see Figure 13). Under this system, residential and commercial solid waste pick-up is separated. Residential waste is collected by a public utility (Escambia County Utilities Authority - ECUA) in the County and in Pensacola by the city's own Sanitation Department. But for commercial, various corporations (including ECUA) bid for non-exclusive franchises from the county.. The corporations bill the customer for their service, which includes rental of dumptsers of various sizes and frequency of collection, hauling costs, disposal costs, and profit, They pay the county a franchise fee based on the tonnage collected.



But herein lies the primary problem with the franchise system as mentioned earlier. The franchisee, as it pays the county a fee based on tonnage is in effect purchasing the solid waste. It has the right to take it wherever it wishes, that right reinforced by flow control legislation. Escambia County is bounded on two sides by Alabama -- it is a classic case of interstate commerce, or in the words of the County Attorney, a lawsuit waiting to happen. So the commercial solid waste goes 56 miles north across the state line to BFI's Timberlands Landfill in Brewton, Alabama. Another franchisee, WMI (Waste Management) has traditionally taken

Figure 13 - Typical Franchise Fee Model for CSW

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it to its own landfill (Trail Ridge) in Jackson County, nearly a hundred miles away. A third private company, Republic Waste Systems which bought out what used to be known as Gulf Coast Waste Systems, collects both residential and commercial in the less populated northern part of the county but has no landfill of its own, so it disposes part of that waste in the county landfill while part of it goes across the border to Alabama. The fourth company is the not for profit Escambia County Utilities Authority, which has to compete with the other commercial haulers within a series of restrictions imposed on public utilities, such as not being able to advertise, having to disclose all prices and policies, and not having the ability to adjust prices for preferred customers. ECUA hauls to the Escambia County Landfill in part out of loyalty while insisting that it could haul to any place less expensive -- in other words better for its customers -- if it so wished.



Escambia County's fee structure was for many years a franchise fee of twenty five cents per ton plus a thirty five dollar tip fee per ton. BFI has never had to publically disclose its gate or tip fee at Brewton, but rumor has it at $15.75 per ton. Waste Management's landfill (Spring Hill) in Jackson County has a gate rate of between $23.00 and $28.00 although rumor has it the disposal cost is well below $15 per ton. Both options, being considerably less expensive than the Escambia County Landfill, allow for many miles of hauling in large trucks (22 tons of compacted waste) while still making a profit.



For over a decade, Escambia County's landfill lost money, at least on paper. The cost of bringing the landfill into full compliance, a number of other programs charged to the solid waste budget, and the fact that the franchise fees were going to the General Fund rather than directly to the Solid Waste Fund all made the bottom line look like an irreparable mess. Coupled with waste water disposal problems and the clean-up and closure of four former landfills, the County Commissioners on more than one occasion voted to "let the private sector do it," then rescinded that vote for another try. Waste Management and BFI made repeated offers to take over the landfill, operate it, fill it, close it or whatever might seem best. The issue continued to be one of flow control, however. Half of the county's solid waste was still leaving the county, with no apparent way to stop it.



Escambia County had signed a ten year agreement with the City of Pensacola, an agreement which was to end in 1999. Private waste companies already taking commercial solid waste out of state or out of county made solid cases that they could dispose of Pensacola's waste less expensively than could the county, which would in effect kill the county landfill. Faced with this issue and the realization that two of the county's franchisees were working together by using each other's transfer stations in what many considered to be a violation of at least the spirit of their franchise agreements, the county was forced to reconsider its options. Some way had to be found to keep Pensacola's waste and to get its commercial waste stream back, hopefully without violating federal flow control legislation. More will be said about this in a later section dealing specifically with Northwest Florida.





At this time, the definition of "franchise" in the State of Florida is not consistent. It has been changing because of the kinds of pressures the various counties have been facing. Figure 14 shows Florida counties who replied that they have franchise ordinances in place. What they mean in many cases is that the ordinance is still in place, even though it may or may not be used as originally written. In Palm Beach County, for example, franchisees must haul waste to the county transfer stations. There is no recognition that the franchisees own the waste. It is specified in the bid documents that franchisees will haul to the county facilities and no one bids who would attempt to haul it elsewhere.



Similar franchise agreements operate for collectors of commercial solid waste in Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Indian River and other counties. In Orange County the franchise specifies that collectors will haul to the county disposal site. But that doesn't apply to the City of Orlando where a WMI transfer station compacts over one hundred thousand tons of waste per year which is hauled to its own landfill in Okeechobee County over a hundred miles away. Although the franchise ordinance in Jacksonville/Duval county insists that franchisees haul to that county's disposal site, commercial haulers in particular haul to several neighboring counties and to more than one landfill in Georgia. The fact that a franchise agreement may be on the books does not always mean that it is enforced, or enforceable.



Duval County government has deemed that some other type of flow control device is necessary to capture their waste stream in addition to their franchise ordinance. Why? Because the traditional franchise agreement cannot usually stand up in court, especially in a county close to a state border. Leon County has an agreement in place that requires their waste to go to the county landfill, but faced with the Spring Hill Regional Landfill only a few miles away, the County has made an agreement with one of their franchisees (Waste Management) to use the county landfill for the next two years, then WMI is free to haul to their own (Spring Hill). Washington County nearby has decided it does not have enough waste stream to handle its own disposal, but using its franchise ordinance has given a single franchisee (Waste Management) the right to collect and haul all of its waste to the Spring Hill Regional Landfill.



The fact that the term "franchise" means so many different things in so many counties is indicative that it is no longer a valid concept. In many counties simple inertia keeps it on the books while they do something else. The fact that a great many counties do not even use the term any longer supports the fact that it is no longer useful and probably not enforceable.



Figure 14 shows those counties that stated they still used franchise agreements for commercial solid waste. For the most part, these agreements govern the territories or the rights of private companies to collect within the county. Only in the case of a very few of these which will be discussed later does the franchise agreement still mandate or in any way guarantee flow control.

 

Figure 14 Counties with Franchise Fees

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5.3 Getting Around Flow Control



In the face of all of these pressures, Florida counties have responded in about as many different ways as there are counties. The types of responses chosen, it must be remembered, are not always the ones Solid Waste Managers might prefer. Making changes to any public program means going through the various Boards of County Commissioners, legal opinions, public hearings, bid processes etc. The public gets very much involved in most cases, primarily when the cost of their waste pickup increases or the level of services decreases. In one county, for example, a private contractor decided they could not pick up residential waste twice a week as the contract stipulated. They weren't breaking even. So they notified residents of their decision to reduce service to one time a week. When asked what to do with the odorous waste that wouldn't fit in their outside trash containers someone at the company told them to just put it in the freezer until pick-up time. After public outcry the County Commission insisted on full compliance of the franchise agreement or cancellation. These kinds of stories abound as counties try to find ways to deal with the environmental, flow control and privatization issues that face them while responding to an ever more vocal citizenry. Some of the ways they have faced these issues follow.





5.3.1 Sell Out of the Problem



As mentioned several times, a number of Florida counties have chosen to simply turn the problem over to the private sector, in other words privatize. Figure 12 gives an indication of the amount of privatization already going on. Reasons for this are many: the county may not be able to afford a landfill with all the environmental controls for the amount of waste produced. Or the citizens of the county may have decided to have "no garbage buried in this county." Or the history of solid waste in the county may be a conflicted one, and privatization is an easy-looking solution. In most cases there are bidders to take over the whole program, from collection to disposal. These are franchises, but are somewhat different from the traditional meaning of the word. Many of the counties in Northwest Florida, for example, have given exclusive contracts to Waste Management to collect and dispose of all of their solid waste. Waste Management charges the customers, and pays a fee based on tonnage back to the county. As part of the contract, the private company may use the county landfill, close it, or let the county close it. The county in effect has no solid waste program of its own, yet it complies with concurrency issues in its Comprehensive Plan in that it has found a total solution to its waste management needs over a long period of time. They also avoid, in many cases, the real or implied threat of flow control litigation by the larger private corporations. Almost always in this situation, one or two small "mom and pop" franchise collectors remain for appearances and to collect in some rural areas that are not profitable for the larger companies. .



5.3.2 Raise franchise fees



Working within the traditional franchise fee agreement structure, counties will often raise franchise fees where they can. For commercial customers, this usually means paying more to have their waste collected. It is politically difficult to raise any fee to the residential customers, but to commercial it is relatively easy. The perception exists that disposal of waste is a cost of doing business, so if the landfill or incinerator is in trouble because of waste going out of county, the difference can by covered by raising franchise fees on those who collect the commercial solid waste. They of course pass this on to their customers, who will claim this is a regressive tax that will drive business out of the county. The local Chamber of Commerce will back them, but on the other side the county landfill is no longer or at least less a drain on the General Fund. To the franchisees, it really makes little difference.





5.3.3 Change from true franchises to hauling contracts.



Primarily in the interest of avoiding any kind of flow control challenges, a number of counties have changed from "franchises" to hauling contracts. The county puts out a request for proposals to pick up and haul solid waste from site A to site B, "A" being the house or business and "B" the transfer station or landfill the county stipulates. Since this is clearly stated in the bid documents, anyone not wishing to do exactly what the bid requires does not have to bid: indeed, they cannot. These are still called "franchises," in that bidders are usually given specific areas from which to collect and haul. These contracts also guarantee that the solid waste stream goes to the county facility. Whether these can withstand legal challenges is another issue.





5.3.4 "Economic Flow Control"



Economic Flow Control simply means making the County disposal site, usually a landfill, cheaper than any other alternative such as hauling waste to a neighboring county or a regional landfill. The normal way of doing it is to lower tip fees at the landfill. This is not always simple - the revenue needed to support the solid waste enterprise fund may not be made up by simply lowering the tip fee and thereby capturing more flow. In almost every case this research team heard about, lowering the tip fee had to be accompanied by higher franchise fees or the imposition of some sort of tax such as a solid waste assessment. This is what Duval County had to do to recapture some of the flow going to Georgia. The combination of having tip fees lower than any possible competitor plus having the citizens pay for their solid waste through a tax leaves little or no reason anyone would wish to take it out of county. If the tip fee is lower than all the surrounding counties, however, flow from those counties might well be drawn in, forcing decisions about how fast the landfill will reach capacity and how long it takes to site a new one. This being the case, many counties have passed ordinances prohibiting waste from other counties, or adding additional costs such as higher tip fees or service fees for out of county waste. These kinds of costs were some of the first ones judged illegal in the 1980's as incipient flow control issues, so like hauling contracts, thee is the risk of legal challenge.







5.3.5 Multi-county Arrangements



One of the newest arrangements is the joining of counties into small regional associations. Two of these in North Florida seem to be working well very well. Both are in areas where single county solid waste programs would struggle, but rather than "lose control" to private corporations, the counties involved oversee the program but contract out specific services to the private sector. The Tri-County grouping uses the New River Landfill in Union County. According to our survey, solid waste from Baker, Gilchrist, Alachua, Levy and Baker counties flows into this landfill, as well as from Union County itself. The Aucilla landfill in Madison County receives waste from Jefferson, Madison, Taylor and Dixie Counties as well as from Madison County itself. Several of the solid waste directors told us that these landfills were chosen because of available space for future use. In each county that contributes waste, private companies collect and take to the county-owned transfer stations for measurement, then do the hauling from those stations to the landfills. One of the county solid waste directors in this system told us just how well this system worked: solid waste is a "gold mine" if a county knows how to use it.





5.3.6 Taxes and Assessments



Probably the most comprehensive solution to solid waste financing has been the imposition of taxes or assessments. These have primarily covered residential solid waste, but in many counties include commercial. In a few counties special commercial solid waste taxes or assessments have been levied to control that flow. Forty-two counties of the sixty-two interviewed in this study (68%) have some form of solid waste tax or assessment.



The issue is once again to control the flow of solid waste by having every citizen and/or business in the county pay for disposal on a monthly or an annual basis, then have a tip fee lower than any possible competing disposal site, sometimes as low as zero. This keeps waste within the county while insuring sufficient financing for the solid waste program. This is economic flow control in its most successful form. In Pasco County, for example, in order to keep a very expensive waste to energy plant going, a private engineering company was hired to do a survey of all structures in the county, establishing 11 categories of residential and 80 commercial categories. A standard per ton solid waste assessment was established, modified by type and use of each dwelling. Haulers are paid by the county based on the tonnage they collect with regular auditing by an outside firm. They are required by their franchise agreement (hauling contract) to take their waste to the incinerator or the land fill. Tip fees at the waste to energy plant are kept high to discourage outside waste, but are free or very low for authorized haulers inside the county. No one takes residential or commercial solid waste outside the county - there is no place close and certainly no place as inexpensive.



When Palm Beach County, one of the largest producers of solid waste in Florida, faced intense competition for its waste from huge incinerators in Broward and Dade Counties, as well as a large regional landfill operated by a private company in Okeechobee County, the county government also instituted an assessment system for residential and commercial waste based on the size and use of every piece of property in the county and how much solid waste that property produced. A private engineering company did the initial survey of all the properties, residential and commercial, and set up a categorization system of some 5 types for residential and 60 codes for commercial. Taxes are collected annually and haulers are required to take waste to the incinerator, landfill or transfer stations owned by the county. The normal tipping fee at the transfer stations is $80 per ton, which is kept high to encourage recycling (yet is still lower than neighboring counties), but adjusted downward for the franchise haulers who are paid out of the solid waste assessment.



This kind of system guarantees flow control into the county facilities, ensures adequate funding (the assessment can be raised or lowered yearly as needed), covers the cost of other environmental issues like litter control, recycling, code enforcement and landfill monitoring, and the "franchisees" are in reality haulers.



The assessment model is an extreme case, requiring a great deal of information up front as to what every property owner or operator generates in terms of solid waste. It also requires constant up-dating as properties change or businesses start up or go under, and it requires a constant appeal process. The system also depends on having very complete records at the County Property Appraiser or the County Tax Collector office. The up-front cost in analysis is high, but in the end the system resolves nearly every problem of flow control and disposal costs. Note that franchise fees are still a part of the system; but this is not the traditional franchise structure that was meant to provide flow control as well as organize collection. Franchisees purchase the right to collect, but not to dispose of what they collect. The issue of requiring the franchisees to take what they collect to the county-owned transfer station, incinerator or landfill, while possibly subject to litigation is a moot point as long as landfill or incinerator tip fees are kept low for haulers, something the tax or assessment system can do.



The two examples above include commercial solid waste. A number of counties use assessments for residential, but not commercial. An example of this case is Duval County (Jacksonville). Located near the Georgia border and generating a great deal of solid waste as a growing urban center, this was one of the first prizes for private industry which had purchased landfills in Georgia and made them into regional landfills counting on Florida waste. Figure 15 shows an assessment model that generally fits Pasco, Palm Beach and several other counties on the top, and Jacksonville/Duval county in the whole. At the time of the intense competition from Jacksonville/Duval County cut its tip fees in half to stop the outward flow, but that only worked in part. The county then passed a solid waste tax which brought the tip fee to zero for franchised residential haulers. Collecting in the county is lucrative; franchisees pay the county for the privilege, but get paid in turn by the county for hauling the solid waste to its landfill.



Commercial solid waste is treated differently, however. Franchisees bill the customer for pick-up, hauling, franchise fees and disposal fees (tip fees at the landfill). Since disposal costs a

Figure 15 Typical Solid Waste Tax Model

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are paid through the residential assessment, the tip fee for commercial is lower than those in Georgia or surrounding counties, which constitutes an effective economic flow control. Nevertheless commercial solid waste still flows outward where the collecting company owns or operates their own landfills in Georgia or in neighboring counties. In what would seem an anachronism, waste from other counties nearby flow into the Jacksonville/Duval county disposal facility, which is classified as a regional landfill. (See Figures 10 and 11.)



Figure 16 shows those counties in Florida which have adopted a solid waste tax or assessment. As mentioned earlier, 42 of the 62 Florida counties interviewed have established either an assessment system or a tax system, some of them ad-valorem taxes based on property values and use, the majority non ad-valorem set by the county at an arbitrary figure designed to cover costs and assessed each property owner. Examining Figure 16, Northwest Florida stands out as a large region with no tax or assessment system in place.



A very few counties in Florida have set up specific commercial solid waste assessments in addition to their residential. Figure 17 models this type of assessment and Figure 18 shows those counties which reported to us that they have commercial assessments in place as well as residential. Pasco and Palm Beach Counties have already been mentioned in this regard: their overall assessment programs include commercial. Other counties such as Gilchrist, Citrus, Indian River and Hardee counties also have commercial assessments either separate or with their residential tax structure. Once again this points out the fact made earlier that most Florida counties still leave their commercial solid waste to the "free market" system.



The major issue in creating solid waste taxes, whether ad-valorem or non ad-valorem, or assessments is the political will of the elected officials in the county. Many county governments have been faced for years and years with controversy over solid waste: the rates are too high, the landfill is going under, the landfill is a nuisance, the collecting companies are not giving good service, another company is offering to take the whole thing over and do it cheaper. For elected officials to propose that the county government get in or stay in the solid waste business permanently is one step that is hard to take. To propose doing that by a "new tax" is even harder. Looking again at Figure 16, not all of those counties that have adopted this system are the ones that produce the most solid waste - many other counties have had to face the problem and make a decision. On the other side, the counties of Northwest Florida which tend by many measures to be the most "conservative" of Florida stand out as counties which have not instituted solid waste taxes of any kind. That may well be because they are for the most part small and their needs are met by the regional landfill in Jackson County or the Incinerator in Bay County, or their basic conservatism will not allow the discussion. As the author was told in Escambia County on more than one occasion, "Don't even bring up the tax idea. No Commissioner here will want to be seen supporting a new tax."



Figure 16 County Solid Waste Taxes

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Figure 17 Typical Commercial Assessment Model

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Figure 18 Commercial Assessment

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5.3.7 No Action



Several Florida counties have considered the pressures talked about in the above survey as just not being an issue. They are too far away from borders or regional landfills to worry about flow control, they have well-established landfills or other disposal options, their system works without having to make any drastic changes, and in the main the private sector sees no real benefit to moving into these counties other than collection contracts. Distance is not the only factor, however. Monroe County (the Florida Keys) has had a major battle going on over its own waste: it has a small incinerator whose ash goes to Okeechobee, a private company from Dade County collects for one of the cities and another private company takes waste to Broward County. The key seems to be the existence of a well-run disposal facility with room for many years, a low disposal cost and a Commission that recognizes solid waste disposal as a potentially break-even or perhaps profitable county function.











In summary, the interviews conducted for this survey show that franchise fees, while a source of revenue for a county and a means of apportioning collections services, are not a viable way of guaranteeing flow control for commercial solid waste. The majority of Florida counties have instituted solid waste taxes or assessments to fund solid waste disposal: they are then able to lower tip fees at landfills or transfer stations which constitutes an economic flow control. They almost always then require that the franchisee pick up and haul the solid waste to the county transfer station or other disposal facility. That requirement is still shaky as far as legality, but the economic flow control is not. Solid waste will move to the least expensive disposal site in almost every case, but it is not the franchise that guarantees that.



Moreover, as commercial solid waste tends to leave counties, the normal response is to raise franchise fees to cover the losses in tip fees: a practice which only raises costs for the commercial/industrial and many residential customers.



The majority of those counties which have not instituted some kind of tax have opted to go totally privatized, where flow control is not a problem. But as mentioned much earlier in this report, the use or non-use of franchise fees is totally tied to the flow control issue. The counties of Northwest Florida stand out among Florida counties in that not one of them has instituted any kind of solid waste tax, a situation that will be discussed in the following chapter.















6. NORTHWEST FLORIDA



Northwest Florida presents a view of nearly every one of the issues mentioned previously in this report. As an area of smaller counties, known to be more conservative than much of the rest of Florida and on the border with both Alabama and Georgia, Northwest Florida is one of the first areas to be subjected to the efforts of the large national waste companies. So in this area can be found nearly every kind of response, ranging from total privatization to struggling hold out to maintain control over county facilities. As mentioned before, this area also stands out as the one large area of Florida which has not adopted solid waste taxes or assessments.



6.1 Northwest Florida



Although there are many definitions of "Northwest Florida," the one chosen for this study includes fifteen counties, extending from the Alabama border in Escambia County (Pensacola) to Leon County (Tallahassee) (see Figure 19). These are small counties in terms of Florida population: the list below shows that most are under 100,000 population, and even the largest, which is Escambia County, is barely over 300,000. The question of what is a minimum or threshold size for a county to operate its own solid waste facility at a break-even level is one that needs to be further studied, but information from this study shows that a county such as Escambia can do so, Leon County which is a third smaller can also do so, but Sta. Rosa County with slightly over 100,000 in population is in trouble. Size is not the only issue, of course. Proximity to regional facilities that can easily compete with county disposal facilities is also a factor, and the maximum distance of one hundred to one hundred twenty miles (one way) seems to hold up in this region (See Figures 10 and 11). .



Table 2 Population Data for Northwest Florida (1999 estimates)

County

Population

County

Population
Escambia 301,613 Calhoun 14,117
Sta Rosa 112,631 Gulf 14,403
Okaloosa 179,581 Gadsden 51.343
Walton 40.392 Liberty 7,866
Holmes 18,899 Franklin 10,872
Washington 22,155 Leon 237,637
Bay 150,119 Wakulla 20,648
Jackson 49,426

Population Data are estimates taken from Florida County Preliminary Population Estimates and Census Counts Preliminary 1999. (www.bebr.ufl.edu)



Figure 19 NW Florida

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6.2 Centralization of Solid Waste Disposal



Every county in this area had a landfill twenty years ago, some more than one. In the mid- 1980's however, the large national waste companies began to develop their own landfills, BFI in Escambia County, Alabama just north of Escambia County, Florida and fifty miles from Pensacola; and WMI in Jackson County, Florida. The flow control court decisions allowed these two facilities to easily compete with counties in Northwest Florida and Southern Alabama for their waste. A waste to energy plant built in Bay County in the early 1990's to serve its special industrial needs also became a regional facility as industry in the county began to lag and it was necessary to obtain solid waste from a broader area to keep it running. The presence of these three regional facilities has caused a natural attrition of solid waste facilities in those counties which cannot afford or do not wish to handle their own small waste streams. Only three counties, (Escambia, Leon and Bay) have enough waste stream to maintain a fully compliant disposal facility, but not without a continual battle from the private sector and from some of its own public officials and citizenry. .



Figure 19 shows the counties of this region and where their solid waste goes. With the exception of Escambia, Leon and Bay, these counties do not distinguish between residential and commercial solid waste. This is primarily an issue of size and collection: many of these counties are under twenty thousand population. It is not economically feasible to run trucks to collect both types. For the medium sized counties in the region (Sta. Rosa, Okaloosa and Bay), commercial is separated from residential, but here the franchise system has meant that commercial haulers have been able to take their waste wherever it might be less expensive. The same applies to Escambia County which generates enough solid waste to maintain its own landfill, if it can keep the majority of its own waste going there.



6.2.1 Springhill



The Springhill Regional Landfill in Jackson County came about as environmental regulations forced that county to sell one of its two landfills to Waste Management in 1987 and close the other. This was a 20 acre clay-lined landfill. Waste Management bought an additional twenty acres, and in 1989 the County agreed with Waste Management to take in waste from outside the county as well as all of its local waste. Okaloosa County was the first to send its waste to Spring Hill in the early 1990's, totally closing its own landfill in 1998. Walton County followed in 1992, Gadsden in 1993 and a host of other counties, primarily those with Waste Management collection services followed. Waste Management has continued to purchase land for continued development and created a highly efficient, environmentally compliant landfill operation good for several decades to come. According to the DEP, Spring Hill receives about 1200 tons per day from Florida and Alabama, at different tip fees ranging from $12-14 per ton for Waste Management collected waste to $32 per ton for non Waste Management Companies. Estimates are that it can break even at as low as $5 per ton. Little wonder that a number of the smaller counties find that letting Waste Management take over their entire solid waste operation is totally beneficial to them.



Earlier in this report the issue of vertical integration was mentioned. The Spring Hill operation is a classic example, although somewhat the reverse of what is normally expected. With the regional landfill in place, an effort was made to increase hauling or collecting services by either bidding competitively or just plain buying up the competition. While Springhill was building and expanding, another large waste company from Chicago, City Management Corporation established a foothold in Florida by buying Argus Services, Inc. in Panama City, which collected solid waste in Bay, Gulf, Wakulla, Franklin, and Calhoun Counties and had begun the permitting process for a new landfill in Holmes County, just 25 miles from the present Spring Hill landfill. The Waste Management Corporate Office bought City Management nationwide, and secured all of the hauling services in these Northwest Florida counties as well as the future landfill site. A long history of legal wrangling and Holmes County Commission decisions have ended up with a fully permitted (non-functioning) landfill in that county and a county government which has at one time or another decided to get out of the solid waste business or stay in it. At the moment, all waste in the county is collected and goes to Spring Hill, but somehow Waste Management owns or has control over the new landfill as well.



As can be seen from Figure 19, waste from Leon, Liberty, Gadsden, Washington, Holmes, Walton and Okaloosa Counties goes to Spring Hill, as well as some waste from counties farther east and of course from Alabama (see Figures 9 and 11).



6.2.2 Bay County



Bay County's waste to energy facility began functioning in the mid 1980's, reaching it full capacity in1989. The need for such a facility was the large industrial base which includes several pulp and paper related industries in Bay and Gulf County (St. Joseph Paper Company) as well as chemical and heavy manufacturing industries related to the port and the Foreign Trade Zone. The facility is built to incinerate 500+ tons of waste per day and needs that amount to break even. Financed by bonds, a half cent sales tax and the sale of energy, the facility has had to bring in out of county waste during lows in industrial activity and especially as the St. Joe companies have closed up their mills to go into property development. The facility administrator does not make county to county arrangements: the agreements are made directly with solid waste haulers, some of them even Waste Management haulers who find it easier to bring material to the incinerator. At the moment the tip fee is $25 per ton for in-county waste, double that or as negotiated for out of county waste. At the time of this research waste was flowing from Franklin, Washington, Gulf, Calhoun and Wakulla Counties, as well as some specialized contracts for waste from out of state. Rumors always circulate that the plant will bring in solid waste from the Northeast by train to make up any major shortfall, but at this time such waste is not necessary.



6.2.3 Timberlands (Brewton, Alabama)



This is a very large regional landfill reportedly sited for six states and over 60 counties, operated by BFI from its Montgomery regional offices. Like Spring Hill, this was sited in the mid 1980's and is a fully permitted, environmentally compliant landfill facility. Being out of state and private, not a great deal of information is publically available, and the company is not forthcoming with any information about its costs. It has been estimated by Escambia County, Florida solid waste officials that the tip fee (private) must be around $15.00 per ton. As Escambia County has lowered its tip fees, some waste bound for Brewton tends to not travel there if the cost of that tip fee and transportation are added together. The flow control de-regulation brought about by the 1994 Carbone decision has allowed BFI to vigorously market in Florida, and it has done so, gaining residential and commercial franchises from Destin in Okaloosa County to Sta. Rosa and Escambia Counties. The City of Pensacola granted BFI permission to establish a transfer station in Pensacola, located 53 miles from the Alabama facility. BFI is the now the largest commercial solid waste franchisee in Escambia County (all of which it takes to Brewton), and a perennial bidder (solicited and largely unsolicited) to buy, take over management or close the Escambia County Landfill. All of their proposals have had to be taken seriously by Escambia County given the unspoken but very real threat of flow control litigation.



6.2.4 The Perdido Landfill in Escambia County



Escambia is the most populated county of the Northwest Florida region, with a population large enough to support a solid waste disposal program of its own. The County's program has had a checkered history - several poorly closed landfills classified as superfund sites, a new and very expensive landfill (Perdido) that had a hard time meeting environmental compliance, landfill directors who have been fired and even put in jail, experimental programs that sometimes worked and others that didn't, a County Commission that believes "the private sector can do it better" and signed a contract with Waste Management to take over operations, then rescinded that contract a month later. During almost all of this time, solid waste operations have been a drain on the County General Fund rather than break even. Not until the mid 1990's did the county bring in an Environmental Resource Director (Ms. Lori Cunniff) and a qualified Solid Waste Director (Mr. Dave Gregory) who brought the landfill into compliance, dealt with the former landfills and got them off the superfund lists, and began to bring the Perdido Landfill into positive operation. During their entire tenure and since then, BFI has made repeated bids to take over operations, buy the landfill (but not the environmental liability of the closed ones), make it a regional landfill and fill it up, close it down or any combination of the above. The current landfill has the capacity to take in waste at its present volume until the year 2020, but also has an additional 500 acres of land available for future expansion.



This is a case where all of the waste from the county could easily go to the regional landfill in Brewton, and Escambia County, like others, could just get out of the solid waste business. Except for the environmental liability of several old landfills, the closure of Perdido and monitoring of them all as required by law. Elected county governments have been ambivalent: the people of the county are, some say, so tired of hearing about landfill problems, they would just as soon get out of the business. Both Waste Management and BFI have vigorously marketed their services to help the county do just that.





The deciding issue has been the commercial solid waste. BFI has a franchise, Waste Management has had franchises from time to time, and Republic Waste has a franchise as well as does the Escambia County Utilities Authority. The problem is that BFI, which collects the bulk of the commercial solid waste in Escambia County (which amounts to almost fifty percent of the county waste stream), takes it out of state to their own facility. Escambia County, which operates with a traditional franchise fee system, has not been able to fight the waste going out.



The County attempted to make their landfill pay for itself by doing what counties have traditionally done in the face of money problems and a franchise system that can't keep the solid waste in the county; they raised the franchise fees, which are based on tonnage collected. This covered the temporary shortfall in 1998, but did not resolve the issue of long term financing or flow control. When confronted by various citizen's committees with the idea of a solid waste MSBU with a tax or an assessment, the County Commission repeatedly refused to even hear of any new tax idea. So whatever solution might come had to do so with within the franchise structure.



In 1999, BFI won the contract for the City of Destin in Okaloosa County, some 200 tons per month. This waste was going to Spring Hill, but BFI routed it to its transfer station in Pensacola and thence to Brewton. To recover its loss at Spring Hill, Waste Management made an arrangement with BFI wherein BFI would continue to route the Destin waste to Spring Hill and in return the waste collected by Waste Management in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties could go to the BFI transfer station in Pensacola (then to Brewton) for a cost somewhat less than it could go to the Escambia County Landfill.



This action stirred the Escambia County Commission into a series of legal threats and other actions. The decision was made to finally resolve the Perdido situation (a new, unsolicited bid from BFI had come it at the same time). The Commission put out a general call for bids to do something with the landfill; buy it, operate it, close it, or whatever. The request for bids was based on current county operations, which now included a new contract to handle the City of Pensacola's waste for another ten years, a tip fee lowered to $27.50 per ton and a streamlined operation which had been certified by KPMG (paid for by BFI in an attempt to prove it was inefficient) as operating as efficiently as a private company could do. Only BFI and the Escambia County Utilities Authority submitted bids.



On January 20, 2000, the Escambia County Commission voted to leave the county landfill in county hands, and take on the issue of flow control. The way they would do so would be a rewrite of the franchise agreement requiring any franchisee to take waste to the county facility. When flow control was mentioned by a BFI representative at the meeting, one of the commissioners stated that "...we've been sued before, let them sue us again." Pointing to the county attorney, the same commissioner asked "Are you ready to deal with whatever 'these people' think they can do to us?" The attorney answered yes, and since then the franchise agreement has been rewritten requiring flow control. BFI has agreed not to sue in return for a continuation of their long-term non-exclusive franchise.



With the political will demonstrated and BFI's commercial solid waste flowing to it, the Perdido Landfill plans to continued lowering tip fees. Waste Management has broken its agreement with BFI and now hauls its waste from Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties to the Perdido Landfill. The possibility exists that other counties (e.g. Santa Rosa if it closes its landfill) might do the same. Baldwin County in Alabama and even Mobile have been considered as possible customers.



6.2.5 Other Counties



This centralization process has left the other large counties of the region with some problems. Santa Rosa County, for example, operates a fully compliant landfill in the northern part of the county. Its tip fee is $32 per ton, and it is losing money for lack of flow. Santa Rosa County has a franchise fee agreement on the books which requires flow control, but they have no means of enforcing it. Waste Management takes waste from its residential and commercial franchises to the Perdido Landfill in Escambia County for ten dollars less; BFI takes its waste either directly to Brewton or to its transfer station in Pensacola, some of which then goes to Brewton and some of which goes to the Perdido Landfill. Some of the waste from Santa Rosa County even goes to Spring Hill in WMI trucks, about 110 miles away.



Leon County has a similar situation. Leon County has a non ad-valorem tax to cover its waste disposal, and Waste Management is its principal franchisee (hauler) for collection. Its landfill is getting full, however, and rather than spend the money to site a new one, the decision has been made to have WMI haul to the county landfill for the next two years until it is full, then to Springhill. The County will get out of the disposal business. The cost of a new landfill will put them out of competition with the existing and very close regional one.



The majority of the smaller counties, whether they haul to Spring Hill or Panama City (Bay County) have found the regional landfills to be the solution to their solid waste problems. With populations of fifteen thousand to less than a hundred thousand, the amount of solid waste generated is just too small to justify a county facility. All of the counties in this area interviewed in this study were very happy with their decision, even where it means giving up total control over a county function. What is particular to Northwest Florida is that for almost every county there is more than one option: Okaloosa County has a transfer station to take waste to Spring Hill, but it has kept its Class I landfill open (paid for by a one cent sales tax). They have informed Waste Management on a regular basis (according to the county Solid Waste Director) that if they are unsatisfied, they can open up bids in a week.













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7.0 CONCLUSIONS



Interviews with 62 of Florida's 67 County Solid Waste Directors provided the information in this report. The information they gave the interviewers was of a practical, "this is the way we do it" nature. The conclusions to be drawn from this information give clear answers to the questions originally proposed by the Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, as well as a view into the day to day reality of how solid waste works. Perhaps one of the most important views gained from this study is that solid waste can be an asset and a resource for a county if handled positively. Whether a county contracts out to private corporations or handles it with internal staff, the solid waste is not just something to be "gotten rid of." As one county solid waste director put it, anyone who is not making money for their county off their solid waste stream needs to visit a few other counties in the state and see what can be done.



The conclusions below follow the flow of this research work as each issue was dealt with.



1. The definition of the term Commercial Solid Waste is blurring. It is no longer just that waste generated by commerce and industry. More and more residential waste is being collected "in a commercial way," and ever more waste, residential and commercial, is crossing county borders and becoming commercial in the process. This fact becomes extremely important as counties tend to protect their residential flow, but let commercial be collected by private companies with franchise agreements and little or no restriction on where they take it for disposal.

Commercial Solid Waste, under more proper definitions, is now more than half the waste in Florida, but not necessarily because the commercial sector produces more.

2. County governments have been faced with ever more regulation which means higher costs of disposal, while at the same time they are required to reduce the flow of waste. The cost of a legal landfill is in the millions, of an incinerator in the tens, even hundreds of millions . To pay for such disposal the county normally must issues bonds based on its future revenues. This is too prohibitive for some counties which do not have the waste stream or the revenues. A further study might look at the threshold size of a county waste stream that will merit a county facility. In the meantime, regional landfills (private or public) provide an economically viable solution.



3. Regional disposal facilities are spacing themselves around Florida in a central place type of system, with transportation one factor and administrative resistance another. In Florida where the land is basically flat, the distance solid waste is reasonably hauled seems to be in the

range of 100 - 125 miles one way. Counties with a large production of solid waste and the means of controlling its flow out of the county disrupt the normal regionalization (administrative resistence), very often competing for solid waste from other nearby counties to make sure their costs are always covered.



4. Many smaller counties have chosen to privatize every aspect of their solid waste, which given their size can be much more efficient. Another alternative has been for small counties to band together in their own regional grouping, especially where at least one of them has sufficient landfill capacity. Several of these are duplicating what the private sector has done without losing control over their solid waste.



5. The situation becomes even more complicated as counties, even associations of counties, hire private waste management companies to operate their facilities, which are in competition with other counties and waste management companies for the waste stream. As of several years ago, there was an excess of landfill space and incinerator capacity, all in competition for the existing waste. Over time, some of the smaller landfills have closed, some counties have determined to get out of the waste business, and a few major centralized county and regional disposal facilities are emerging.



6. Much of this competition is due to flow control de-regulation as several court decisions of the 1980's and 1990's began to consider solid waste as subject to interstate commerce provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Counties to all appearances lost their ability to control their own waste stream - it could freely move across county or state borders. While private waste corporations had been working in Florida for years, this loss gave life to their ability to market disposal services and to favorably compete in cost with individual counties. The ability to vertically integrate their waste services from collection to disposal means more profit for the private company and supposedly more efficient service at less cost to the customer.



7. The traditional Franchise structure had worked prior to the loss of flow control to keep solid waste in its county of origin. After the Carbone decision, language within a franchise directing the franchisee to take collected waste to the county facility was considered a violation of flow control. While franchise agreements remained useful to organize the collection of solid waste and to earn some funds for the county, their use as a flow control device became less important.



8. The response of most Florida counties has been to find some way around flow control. The issue of residential solid waste seemed most important, because voting citizens are directly effected. Most counties instituted a form of solid waste tax or assessment to cover residential, which tax covered the cost of disposal. Tip fees at the county disposal sites could then be lowered to such a point that franchisees would have no reason to take the waste outside of the county.

Northwest Florida stands out as an area that has instituted no solid waste taxes.



9. The commercial solid waste sector has traditionally not been included in the solid waste tax systems, continuing to operate under the traditional franchise system. When commercial solid waste has continually left the counties to go to private disposal facilities owned by the franchisees, the response has been to raise franchise fees to over the shortfall, resulting in ever higher prices for businesses and those residential customers served by commercial collectors.



10. With commercial solid waste forming an increasing percentage of all municipal solid waste, counties are either including commercial in their assessments or passing specific assessments for commercial customers in an attempt to keep the waste in their control. Even when taxed or assessed, franchises continue to exist in most counties, either as archaic ordinances still on the books or as a means of organizing collection, but not as a means of flow control.



11. A few counties are still using the franchise structure as a means of flow control by writing into the franchises that the waste must be hauled to the county disposal facility. These are counties that are no longer so fearful of litigation over flow control as they might have been in the past. A variation is to convert their franchises into hauling contracts were bids are opened to haul solid waste from the customer to the county designated facility, and no one need bid who does not agree to the conditions. In this case, however, the collection fees are paid to the county, which then pays the hauler. While these may make use of the franchise ordinances on the county books, there is a significant difference.



12. Finally, the major issue since the early 1990's continues to be flow control. The franchise system does not answer that issue adequately, and indeed in the case of commercial solid waste, usually ends up costing the customer more. Once flow control is established by some other means, the franchise fee structure continues to work as a means of organizing collection and providing fees for the County.











































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REFERENCES



- "C.A. Carbone Inc., vs Town of Clarkson, N.Y." Cornell University,

Legal Institute and Project Hermes, No.92-1402

(http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/92-1402.zs.html)



- Florida County Preliminary Population Estimates and Census Counts

(http://www.bebr.ufl.edu/PressRelease/poptab.htm)



- "Florida Solid Waste Management Act of 1988 (Senate Bill No. 1192)

Laws of Florida 88-130



- Informal Survey of Tip Fees, Orange County, Florida April 10, 1998



- Report to Congress on Flow Control and Municipal Solid Waste, U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste, Municipal

and Industrial Waste Division. March 1995 (EPA 530-R-95-008)



- "Rural Counties vie to Fill Glut of Landfills," Wall Street Journal

November 19, 1997



- Solid and Hazardous Waste Collection, Disposal and Recycling

Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, 1995



- Solid Waste Management in Florida, 1997 and 1998, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Solid and Hazardous Waste, Division of Waste Management. (published annually)

- Waste News, Crain Communications, Inc., Detroit, Michigan. Various

issues and articles relating to flow control and to Florida.



- Webster Encyclopaedia, 1989



- Webster New Collegiate Dictionary, 1980, G & C. Merriam, Springfield,

Mass., c 1977



Christaller, Walter Die Zentralen Orte in Suddeutschland, Jena: Gustav Fisher, 1933

Trans. by C.W. Baskin, Central Places in Southern Germany,

Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1966











Earle, Jonathan F. K., Roger A. Norstedt and Marie S. Hammer "Overview of the Florida Solid Waste Management Act of 1988" Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Bulletin 272, 1991



Sniding, Kate "The Transboundary Movement of Waste: A Critical Comparison of U.S. Interstate Policy and the Emerging International Regime" New York University Environmental Law Journal, 1996 Vol. 5 pp. 796 - 832







































































Appendix 1

First Interview Form



Questions (designed for leading conversation)



1. How does the County dispose of its solid waste? (Landfill, incinerate, export, etc ).





2. How is the disposal of solid waste funded in the County? (Tip fees, franchise fees, ad-valorem taxes, other)





3. How does the county finance related environmental programs mandate by the state and federal governments such as Environmental Quality, Waste Reduction, Pollution Prevention, Recycling, Hazardous Waste, Landfill Closure, etc? Are these part of the solid waste budget?







4. Does the county get enough solid waste flow to cover its budget? If not, how does the county cover its budget? If so, how does it ensure a continual flow in this age of federal flow control legislation?





5. Are there other cities, municipalities or zones within the county which collect and dispose of their own solid waste? Can you send us a list of these?







6. Do these other solid waste programs within the county bring their solid waste to the county facility? If so, why? If not, why not and where does it go? Can you send us copies of any Interlocal Agreements that might be in place?







7. Does the county make a distinction between Residential and Commercial solid waste?

If so, what is the definition you use for "commercial solid waste?" (By source, by method of collection?) What percentage of the solid waste business of the county is classified as "commercial" as opposed to "residential?"







8. Who collects the solid waste generated in the county? (County, private) What private companies do the collection?





9. What is the status of private waste companies in the county? Are they contractors, franchisees, or what?







10. How are the prices set for the private haulers or franchisees? Are they set by the county commission, by bid, by contract? What are they based on? (Cubic yard, dumpster, ton)

Are there written contracts or agreements? Can we get a copy of a sample franchise agreement or contract?







11. Do any of the franchisees or contractors haul outside of the county? Is there any kind or method you use to capture the flow for the county landfill or incinerator? Do you consider private franchisees or contractors to be in competition with county facilities?







12. How much do citizens actually pay for solid waste service? Distinguish between commercial and residential solid waste. Is this set by weight, volume, no. of pickups or what?





13. Has there been pressure (public, government, corporate) to turn the solid waste business of the county over to private hands? Describe.





14. Is the question of "flow control" an issue in your county? Has it been solved? How?





15. Can you send us a copy of your most recent Solid Waste Budget and any other documents you think might be pertinent.







Appendix 2

Second Interview Form



County: _________________________ Informant:___________________________



Date:__________________ email/phone:_________________________



Total Solid Waste

1. Disposal Methods

Landfill Incinerate

Export to other county Other:



2. Funding of Disposal

Tip fees Franchise fees

Ad valorem Non- ad valorem

MSBU Other:





3. Environmental Program Funded by MSW budget

Environmental Quality Waste Reduction

Pollution Prevention Recycling

Hazardous Waste Code Enforcement

Landfill Closures Other:







4a. Is there enough flow to pay for disposal? Yes No





4c. If yes, how do you guarantee flow?

Tip Fee Adjustment Reuse Franchise Fees

Solicit from other counties Tax



Other:





4b. If not, how do you make up the difference?

County General Fund

Franchise Fees

Other:





5. Other cities/towns within the county that handle their own MSW

Collect? List

Dispose?



__________________________ __________________________



__________________________ __________________________



__________________________ __________________________





6. Approximately what percent of the MSW does the county handle?



Collect ____________%



Dispose _____________%





7. Why do they bring it to the county?

Contract/Interlocal agreement Concurrency

Cost Regulation















Commercial Solid Waste

8a. Does the county make a distinction between residential and commercial solid

waste?

Yes No



8b. If yes, how do you differentiate?

By generator By collection method





8c. Which of these are considered commercial:



Schools Government

Industry Business

Apts Housing Projects



Other:





9. What percent of the MSW handled by the county is Commercial?









10. Who Collects the commercial solid waste?

County Private:

BFI USA Waste

Other: ______________

Other: ______________



Other: ______________







11. What is the status of the companies who collect (CSW)?

Contract Haulers Franchisees



Other:



12. Are there any contract restrictions about taking the waste outside the county?

Yes No





13. Do any of these collectors take commercial SW out of the county?

Yes: No



Where:



_________________________ _________________________



_________________________ _________________________





14. What is the average price to business for



cu yard: $_________ ton: $___________

dumpster: $____________ Average size:



Franchise Data



15. If franchise fees are charged:



What is the franchise fee? ____________________

Is there a master franchise? Yes No





How often is the fee negotiated? ___________________







16. Franchisees



Disposal costs (tip fee): $_____________ None





17. Who bills the customer?

County Franchisee









18. Do you consider franchise holders or contract haulers to be in competition with

county disposal facilities? Yes No



Explain:











19. Has there been pressure (public, private, government, etc.) to privatize county SW

disposal? Yes No



How:







20. Is the issue of flow control a concern to your county?

















21. Would you send a copy of franchise fee agreements and/or most recent SW budget, or can we get it off the internet?



























Appendix 3 - Informants by County





County


Name


Alachua


Norman Thomas


Baker


Robert Fletcher


Bay


Bill Hudson


Brevard


Richard Rabon


Broward


Tom Henderson


Calhoun


Dan O'Bryan


Charlotte


John Lavely


Citrus


Susan Metcalfe


Clay


Alan Altman


Collier


David Russell


Columbia


Bill Lycan


Dade


Andrew Wilfork


Desoto


Bill Hines


Dixie


Joe Ruth


Duval


Janice Eggleton-Davis


Escambia


David Gregory


Flagler


Bruce Brankevich


Gadsden


Herb Chancey


Gilchrist


Diane Avery


Gulf


Joe Danford


Hamilton


Waylon Smart


Hardee


Janice Williamson


Hendry


Terri Cross


Hernando


Stephanie Burkhart


Highlands


Jerry Leszkiewicz


Hillsborough


Daryl Smith


Holmes


Cody Taylor


Indian River


Ron Brooks


Jefferson


Scott Reid


Lafayette


Orrin Brock


Lake


David Crow


County


Name


Lee


Lindsay Sampson


Leon


Judd Curtis


Levy


Robert Murray


Liberty


Carol Copeland


Madison


Kevin Beals


Manatee


David Brangaccio


Marion


Allen Ellison


Martin


Polly Kratman


Monroe


Clark Lake


Nassau


Robert McIntyre


Okaloosa


Cindy Haulsey


Okeechobee


Mark Baggit


Orange


James Becker


Palm Beach


Kathleen Hopkins


Pasco


Robert Sigmond


Pinellas


Attilio Corbo


Polk


Ana Wood


Putnam


Ken Whitehead


Saint Johns


John Schwab


Saint Lucie


Ron Roberts


Santa Rosa


Tony Gomillion


Sarasota


Anita Largent


Seminole


Bob Briggs


Sumter


Terry Hurst


Suwanee


Marvin Taylor


Taylor


Jacqueline Northrop


Union


Jimmy Beasly


Volusia


Bill Gilley


Wakulla


Stony Burke


Walton


Rusty Floyd


Washington


Linda Waller










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