LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The hardball collection tactics used by Republic Services – the exclusive trash collector in Clark County – may be paying off. Republic’s most recent quarterly statement, released in February, shows a huge increase in collections income year-over-year from 2021 to 2022. That figure rose almost 13% – up from $2.138 billion to $2.41 billion.
Republic Services has taken Clark County homeowners to court almost 500 times dating back to the beginning of last year, seeking to collect delinquent bills. On top of that, their lawyers in Las Vegas are petitioning the courts for their legal fees and court costs.
One homeowner, Rebecca Gandara of Henderson, was surprised to receive notice last month that Republic was suing her for some $10,000 in back garbage bills. She told the 8 News Now Investigators that she pays her bill online every quarter. Gandara said she asked Republic’s lawyers to provide records of the unpaid amounts and they could not do so, or would not.
“I would like to get all the records from Republic Services from when I moved into my home in 1996,” Gandara said. “But they refused to give them to me.”
The money Republic hauls in from its trash bills – on time or otherwise – is part of an overall financial success. The same quarterly report showed a 19.5% increase in total revenue from the end of 2021 to the end of 2022. That number rose from $2.95 billion to more than $3.5 billion.
Those staggering numbers are part of why homeowners’ advocates are balking at Republic suing its customers.
“I think they are unnecessarily threatening homeownership, and threatening homeowners,” Peter Aldous, a consumer rights staff attorney at Legal Aid of Southern Nevada, said.
Timing being everything, however, Tuesday Republic Services boasted that it was named one of the world’s most ethical companies, according to a nonprofit called “Ethisphere.”
Republic’s exclusive franchise agreement with Clark County – which was passed unanimously by both chambers of the Nevada State Legislature in 2005 – has been renewed several times and currently expires in 2035.
Republic’s attorney, Donald Williams of Williams and Starbuck in downtown Las Vegas, told the 8 News Now Investigators that taking delinquent homeowners to court was a “business decision” the company made in order to get homeowners to pay their trash bills. Williams also said Republic Services is obligated, under its agreement with the county, to continue trash pick up regardless of how much money a homeowner owes.