If you want your garbage picked up in Missoula, there’s only one company to call — Republic Services, one of the largest trash-haulers in America — which has a countywide monopoly.
But a small firm based in Belgrade — L&L Site Services — is trying for a second time to crack the Missoula market, by arguing it can provide lower prices and better service.
Thursday the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) — which decides whether a hauler can serve an area — voted 3-to-2 to approve the license for L&L Site Services.
L&L initially won a certificate to serve Missoula in late 2018. But through a series of legal twists and turns, the PSC reversed that decision 10 months later – and now, L&L has reapplied.
The current case before the PSC isn’t the first time L&L has tangled with Republic.
L&L began hauling construction trash in 2006 in Gallatin County and then decided to apply for a certificate to compete against both Republic and the city of Bozeman in Gallatin County, for regular garbage pickup.
It won that permit and started competing with Republic in suburban and rural areas outside Bozeman, where Republic had been the only trash hauler.