NOVEMBER 2011

NSWMA files brief in support of solid waste tranfers across state and county lines

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) filed an amicus brief in the Court of Appeal for the State of California supporting Potrero Hills Landfill and Solano County in their legal battle over Solano County’s Measure E, a local voter initiative that effectively bans solid waste and recyclables originating outside Solano County from being imported to facilities located in the county. Several organizations, including the Sierra Club, filed lawsuits seeking enforcement of Measure E in 2009 as part of their strategy to block the expansion of the Potrero Hills Landfill. Believing the measure is unconstitutional, Solano County has not enforced the measure for at least 19 years.

NSWMA, the national group that represents garbage and recycling collectors, was joined in its amicus brief by a broad coalition, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, the California Refuse and Recycling Council, and the Los Angeles County Solid Waste Management Association. The 17 amici curiae who filed briefs opposing the enforcement of Measure E include the Attorney General of the State of California acting on behalf of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, the California Association of Sanitation Agencies and the City and County of San Francisco.

NSWMA’s president and CEO Bruce J. Parker describing the importance of this case, stated, “The ability to manage the movement across local, regional and state lines of the quarter-billion tons of solid waste and recyclables Americans produce annually is a critical component of the national infrastructure, economy and public health. By imposing a de facto ban on the importation of solid waste from other parts of California and other states, Measure E creates a dangerous precedent that could lead to a patchwork of discriminatory and protectionist solid waste bans from cities and counties across the country, thereby harming the national infrastructure, economy and public health.”