Reno City Council considers refusing to enforce Waste Management recycling fees
Wednesday afternoon, the Reno City Council weighed a moratorium on fines and penalties for businesses that violate the city's exclusive contract with Waste Management.
Under a 16-year contract entered into in 2012, Reno businesses can only use Waste Management for recycling services.
Businesses which utilize other recycling companies can be subject to a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
So far, eight Reno businesses have been fined for using local companies like Green Solutions Recycling, according to city staff. Most have appealed those fines.
On Wednesday, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve proposed a moratorium on recycling fines and penalties while lawsuits on the matter are resolved in court.
Schieve argued that businesses should be able to choose their recycling provider, and said she didn't want the Waste Management contract to put smaller companies out of business.
Councilwoman Naomi Duerr, expressing concerns about violating the City's contract with Waste Management, proposed symbolic fines of less than 10 dollars that would still technically honor the Waste Management contract.
Mayor Schieve said that was feasible, and an option that would be considered if the matter isn't resolved before the next city council meeting.
"The council has the ability to set the price of the fine," Schieve said. "Theoretically and legally, that's something we could totally do."
Schieve urged Waste Management to meet with the local recycling companies over the next two weeks to work out a solution.