TSJA decision acknowledges right of recovery companies to manage commercial waste

The judgement handed down on April 10 by the High Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA) overturns articles 102 and 113.1 of the Municipal Ordinance on Cleaning and Municipal Waste Management of the Seville City Council. The court decision represents a triumph for the free market. Nonetheless, the Spanish Federation of Recovery and Recycling (FER) has stated that this is not a unique case and points with reservations to the trend towards excluding recovery companies from the waste management tasks traditionally undertaken by them.

The current ordinance, published in October 2014, sets out that certain commercial waste must obligatorily be managed by the City Council, which subsequently, following a public tender procedure, awarded the contract for the management of such waste to a single company, LIPASAM (Sociedad Municipal de Limpieza Pública y Protección Ambiental).

In accordance with one of the objectives outlined in the articles of association of the FER (“defence of the market economy and the liberty of the business enterprise, as well as the regulation and defence of competitive tendering, avoiding monopolies, encroachment and unfair competition”), the Federation lodged a complaint against the ordinance in December 2014. On March 10, the TSJA found in favour of the arguments presented by the FER.