A new waste management firm comes to valley | AspenTimes.com

A new waste management firm comes to valley

Naomi Havlen

A new waste management company is operating in the Roaring Fork Valley after the U.S. Department of Justice ruled that a larger company must divest some of its routes to avoid a potential monopoly.

As a result, some valley residents received a letter from newcomers Rocky Mountain Disposal this month about the switch. The company’s co-owner, Dave Sanders, said last week that the switch is a result of a consent decree from the Justice Department, after Waste Management merged with Allied Waste.

“Anytime an acquisition is over a certain amount, [the Justice Department] makes sure that there are no monopolies in the markets where they’ve purchased their assets from,” Sanders said.

The merger meant that Waste Management was in danger of becoming a monopoly in the Roaring Fork Valley.

“The government made them divest so many of their routes and customers to get their share of this market down below what [the government] requires,” Sanders said.

He would not disclose how many customers were transferred to Rocky Mountain Disposal as a result of the federal decree, although he did say “eight routes” changed hands. Herman Aardsma, site manager of the Carbondale office of Waste Management, was not ready to comment about the switch when he was contacted Monday.

“[Waste Management is] still in the valley, and they’re quite large, but the government is bringing in another company so that now there is adequate competition to prevent a problem,” Sanders said.

Rocky Mountain Disposal LLC, which predominantly operates in southern Colorado, has been in the trash business for 35 years. The company is the largest privately owned solid waste and recycling firm in the state.

Sanders said they took over the routes from Waste Management on May 1, and that includes taking over the larger company’s trucks and drivers.

“Most customers haven’t noticed any changes except for a letter we sent out or new signs on the sides of trucks,” he said.

Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com

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