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City Cannot Control Commerce in Trash
Description Nashville ordinance that required all private residential waste collectors to dispose of trash at high fees at a city-owned facility stricken as in violation of Commerce Clause.
Topic Constitutional Law
Key Words Commerce Clause, Interstate Commerce, Waste Disposal
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts The Metropolitan Government of Nashville required that all residential waste collected in the Metro area be disposed for a certain fee at a waste-to-energy facility owned by Metro. Waste Management challenged the regulations as in violation of the Commerce Clause.
District Court Decision The requirement that all waste be disposed of at the Metro facility is constitutional because the burden imposed is not excessive in relation to the benefits. This holding was contested by Waste Management. The fee structure that required disposers to pay a higher fee to Metro than could be had if they could dispose of waste outside of the Metro area was stricken as a violation of the Commerce Clause. This holding was contested by Metro.
Court of Appeals Decision Affirmed in part, reversed in part. The Metro fee structure is discriminatory and is in violation of the Commerce Clause. The fee structure treats Metro and non-Metro interests differently, so that Waste Management is forced to pay Metro more than it could pay for disposal elsewhere. The requirement that all waste collected in the Metro area must be disposed of at a Metro facility is discriminatory because alternatives may not be considered.
Citation Waste Management, Inc. v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville, F.3d--- (1997 WL 690850, 6th Cir.)
or
130 F. 3d 731 (6th Cir., 1997)

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