Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 51. Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act
11/19/2019

§ 15.2-5121. Operation of refuse collection systems; displacement of private companies.

A. No authority shall operate or contract for the operation of a refuse collection and disposal system for any political subdivision, or collect service charges therefor, unless the authority, and subsequently the locality's governing body find: (i) that privately owned and operated refuse collection and disposal services are not available on a voluntary basis by contract or otherwise, (ii) that the use of such privately owned services has substantially endangered the public health or has resulted in substantial public nuisance, (iii) that the privately owned refuse collection and disposal service is not able to perform the service in a reasonable and cost-efficient manner, or (iv) that operation by such authority or the contract for such operation, in spite of any potential anti-competitive effect, is important in order to provide for the development and/or operation of a regional system of refuse collection and disposal for two or more units.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, an authority formed under this chapter shall not operate or contract for the operation of a refuse collection and disposal system which displaces a private company engaged in the provision of refuse collection and disposal unless it provides the company with five years' notice of its decision to operate such a system. As an alternative to delaying displacement five years, the governing body or authority may pay a displaced company an amount equal to the company's preceding twelve months' gross receipts for the displaced service in the displacement area. Such five-year period shall lapse as to any private company being displaced when such company ceases to provide service within the displacement area.

C. For purposes of this section, "displace" or "displacement" means an authority's provision of a system which prohibits a private company from providing the same service and which it is providing at the time the decision that will result in the displacement is made. Displace or displacement does not mean: (i) competition between the public sector and private companies for individual contracts; (ii) situations in which an authority, at the end of a contract with a private company, does not renew the contract and either awards the contract to another private company or, following a competitive process conducted in accordance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act, decides for any reason to provide such service itself; (iii) situations in which action is taken against a private company because the company has acted in a manner threatening to the public health and safety or resulting in a substantial public nuisance; (iv) situations in which action is taken against a private company because the company has materially breached its contract with the political subdivision; (v) entering into a contract with a private company to provide refuse collection and disposal so long as such contract is not entered into pursuant to an ordinance which displaces or authorizes the displacement of another private company providing refuse collection and disposal; or (vi) situations in which a private company refuses to continue operations under the terms and conditions of its existing agreement during the five-year notice period.

D. An authority shall not make the findings required by subsection A or proceed to seek to operate a refuse collection and disposal system for any political subdivision that would displace a private company pursuant to subsection B until it has provided (i) public notice; (ii) a public hearing; and (iii) no less than forty-five days prior to the public hearing, written notice mailed first class to all private companies providing a refuse collection and disposal system in the political subdivision that can be identified through the political subdivision's records.

E. The requirements and restrictions of this section shall not apply in any political subdivision wherein refuse collection and disposal services are being operated or contracted for by any sanitary district located therein, as of July 1, 1983.

F. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a political subdivision need not comply with the requirements of this section if:

1. The authority proposes to contract with the private sector for services or systems involving discarded or waste materials removed from the nonhazardous solid waste stream for recycling; or

2. The authority proposes to contract with the private sector for services or systems involving collection and disposal of nonhazardous solid waste and (i) the collected waste will be disposed of in a state-permitted waste management facility; (ii) the authority has a contract for services which shall be paid for through a supporting financial agreement approved by the participating locality's governing body; and (iii) such action will not displace a private company engaged in refuse collection and disposal. For purposes of this section, "recycling" means the process of separating a particular nonhazardous waste material from the waste stream and processing it so that it may be used again as a new material.

1983, c. 155, § 15.1-1250.01; 1992, c. 247; 1993, c. 497; 1994, c. 190; 1995, c. 660; 1997, c. 587.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.