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Casella To Pay $1 Million For Violations Of Attorney General Settlement

CONTACT: William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, (802) 828-3173

August 12, 2011

In a court document filed today, Casella Waste Systems, Inc., agreed to pay $1 million to resolve a multi-year investigation of the company’s violations of a 2002 settlement with the Attorney General. Casella issued over 2400 contracts for residential and commercial waste hauling services that violated the 2002 agreement. “When a business makes a promise to correct certain behavior, we hold them to that promise,” said Attorney General Sorrell. “Consumers and businesses alike expect that our consumer protection and antitrust settlements will be vigorously enforced – and they are.”

The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that certain of Casella’s contract provisions continued to make it difficult for customers to switch waste hauling providers and stifled competition. In the 2002 agreement, Casella promised to remove a number of terms from its customer contracts, including requirements that customers provide Casella notice of competing offers and provide more than 30 days notice of termination before the contract automatically renewed. In the documents filed today, Casella acknowledges that in 2009 and 2010, it erroneously issued approximately 2,441 contracts to its customers which each contained at least one term that was prohibited by the 2002 agreement.

Once today’s settlement is approved by the court, Casella will be required to pay $1 million to the State and to notify customers that it will not enforce a number of anti-competitive provisions contained in its existing customer contracts. The settlement also requires Casella to develop a compliance program under which it will train all relevant staff in the requirements of the final judgment and assure that all future changes to its contracts are approved by its legal department and sent to the Attorney General’s Office. “Healthy competition protects consumers,” stated Attorney General Sorrell. “This settlement helps ensure that consumers will have fair waste hauling contracts and that their options for waste and recycling services remain open. It also underscores the need for companies that enter into agreements with my office to comply with those agreements.”

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