Imagine: Public service ads air on Radio and TV reminding people to shut off lights to save energy. As a result, electric usage goes down, money is saved and electric revenues drop; so does tax revenue collected on those kilowatts.

 The City reacts to the drop in taxes and to “plug the hole”, passes an ordinance to prevent airing of commercials promoting energy efficiency.  Ludicrous, yes? Actually, reality.

Last December the City of Miami, at the prodding of garbage companies and their political influence, introduced an ordinance making it illegal for businesses to employ waste consultants and brokers. Why? It’s all about the Benjamins.

Waste brokers and consultants, like any energy auditing company, exist to find flaws in the delivery and billing of utility services to businesses. They find efficiency and save clients’ money. Why would anyone object to higher efficiencies? If you’re the City or its sweetheart, the franchise garbage hauler you would.

Government makes money on every pound of trash you throw out and better efficiency at collection reduces their take.  Educated business owners that recycle, right size, and negotiate (either with a broker or on their own) save money but the haulers and the city don’t like that.

A version of the City’s ordinance passed on second reading January 23rd of this year with the following understanding that the commissioner responsible for the ordinance is to return to his colleagues with a new plan. Not one that makes it illegal for brokers to operate in the city, rather one that establishes a fee-based registration for brokers that compensates the City for its lost Franchise Fees.

The free market has a solution to high waste fees – hire a broker to analyze and find efficiencies to save money. Obviously, the government doesn’t like the results and feels obligated to pass new laws to tax the savings.

How long will it be before the City passes an ordinance to charge TV Stations for “lost tax revenue” because you’re shutting off lights to save money? Something smells in Miami. It’s not the garbage!

Need more value out of your waste program?

Marshall Staiman, LEED Green Associate

Marshall Staiman, LEED Green Associate

President at Talismark

The author is an owner at Talismark, a national waste and recycling outsource management company that services retail and commercial businesses throughout the United States. He is Harvard Business School case study participant and lecturer, he’s been featured in Forbes magazine, and has placed on Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies two years running. 


About Talismark

Talismark is a Waste Solutions Management Company that custom designs waste management programs to champion sustainability and compliance with measurable results.  Creating a customer experience that captures value, reduces cost, and saves resources!