Report Explores Problem of Corporate Concentration in America’s Waste and Recycling Sectors

Date: 8 Dec 2020 | posted in: Waste to Wealth | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) does more than explain the problem of concentrated corporate power in the waste sector — it also explains how we got here, and what we can do about it.

Corporate concentration in America’s waste industries negatively impacts the lives of nearly all Americans and contributes to a range of economic and environmental burdens. This is a reality that is often missed in news reporting about America’s system of waste and recycling.

The report, called “How Waste Monopolies are Choking Environmental Solutions, and What We Can Do About It,” explains how for millions of consumers, “Big Waste” is driving up prices, potentially adding billions of dollars to our solid waste bills. And Big Waste’s addiction to incinerators and landfills, as well as its aversion to better recycling systems, is inflicting severe damage on our environment. Despite the many communities that have organized to transform our waste system — to reuse, repurpose, or recycle America’s throwaway materials and products — the growing consolidation of waste firms has consistently undermined these efforts. 

While the federal government has turned a blind eye to the monopolization of the waste industry, the report shows that local governments possess significant authority to break up landfill and garbage monopolies, reenergize our stagnant recycling sector, and germinate local composting efforts. 

This report is part of an ILSR series on Fighting Monopoly Power throughout several sectors of our economy, including Banking, Broadband, Food and Farming, Pharmacy, and Small Business.


Photo credit: iStock