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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Central Recycling Services, Inc. v. Municipality of Anchorage (2/10/2017) sp-7150

Central Recycling Services, Inc. v. Municipality of Anchorage (2/10/2017) sp-7150

           Notice:   This opinion is subject to correction before publication in the P                     ACIFIC  REPORTER.  

           Readers are requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts,  

                                                                                                                         

           303 K Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878, email  

                                                                                                                            

           corrections@akcourts.us.  



                       THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA                                       



CENTRAL  RECYCLING                                                    )  

SERVICES,  INC.,                                                      )     Supreme  Court  No.  S-16036  

                                                                      )  

                                 Appellant,                                                                                            

                                                                      )     Superior Court No. 3AN-14-04776 CI  

                                                                      )  

           v.                                                                                    

                                                                      )     O P I N I O N  

                                                                      )  

                                      

MUNICIPALITY OF ANCHORAGE,                                            )  

                                                                      )                                               

                                                                            No. 7150 - February 10, 2017  

                                 Appellee.                            )  

                                                                      )  



                                                                                                               

                      Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third  

                                                                                                  

                      Judicial District, Anchorage, Eric A. Aarseth, Judge.  



                                                                                                           

                      Appearances:  Stacey C. Stone, Holmes Weddle & Barcott,  

                                                                                                         

                      P.C.,   Anchorage,   for  Appellant.                           Samuel  C.   Severin,  

                                                                                                       

                      Assistant         Municipal            Attorney,          and      Dennis         Wheeler,  

                                                                                    

                      Municipal Attorney, Anchorage,  for Appellee.  



                                                                                                                 

                      Before:         Stowers,  Chief  Justice,  Winfree,  Maassen,  and  

                                                                                  

                      Bolger, Justices.  [Fabe, Justice, not participating.]  



                                           

                      WINFREE, Justice.  



I.         INTRODUCTION  



                                                                                                                             

                           

                      A  recycling  company  requested  rebates  under  a  municipal  ordinance  



                                                                                                                                       

providing reduced fees for disposing solid waste residue at the municipal landfill.  The  



                                                                                                                                          

municipal department dispersing the rebates construed the ordinance as resulting in  



                                                                                                                                         

lower rebates than the company expected.  The company sued the municipality, and the  


----------------------- Page 2-----------------------

superior court ruled in the municipality's favor.                                                     The company appeals.                              Although the   



ordinance    language    is    imperfect,   legislative    intent    more    strongly    supports    the  



municipality's interpretation.                                 We therefore affirm the superior court's decision.                                    



II.           FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS           



                            Central   Recycling   Services,   Inc.   recovers   post-consumer   materials   for  



reuse,   mainly   from   construction   and   demolition   waste.     These   materials   include  



cardboard, glass, steel, aluminum, copper, asphalt, concrete, tires, and lumber.                                                                                    Entities  



primarily engaged in recycling are entitled to reduced fees at the Anchorage municipal                                                                          

landfill when disposing solid waste residue generated from recyclable materials.                                                                                        1  The  



                                                                                                                                                                            

relevant   municipal   ordinance,   AMC   26.80.055,   conditionally   reduces   fees   for  



                                                                                                                                                                         

"[b]usinesses or organizations engaged in recycling of paper, plastic, glass and steel,  



                                                                2  

                                                  

aluminum, copper and brass."                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                     A recycling entity must submit a rebate request and  



                                                                                                                                                   

supporting documentation; Solid Waste Services (SWS), a municipal utility operating  



                                                                                                                                                                       3  

                                                                                                                                                                            

the landfill, determines whether the entity's residue is eligible for reduced fees.                                                                                         The  



                                                                                                 4  

                                                                                    

reduced fees are returned in a quarterly rebate. 



                                                                                                                                                                                 

                            Between 2010 and 2014 Central Recycling submitted 12 rebate requests to  



                                                                                                                                                                                  

SWS.  Central Recycling apparently received its first rebate in  2012 and, believing it  



                                                                                                                                                                                      

was entitled to a larger rebate, began disputing SWS's application of the ordinance.  



                                                                                                                                                                             

Specifically,  Central  Recycling  disagreed  with  SWS's  interpretation  that  the  fee  



                                                                                                                                                                                      

reduction applies only to waste residue from materials expressly listed in the ordinance.  



              1             Anchorage Municipal Code (AMC) 26.80.055(A) (1996).                                                       



              2             Id.  



              3             AMC 26.80.055(A)(2).   



              4  

                                          

                            AMC 26.80.055(A)(4).  



                                                                                       -2-                                                                                7150
  


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                                                          In January 2014 Central Recycling brought suit against the Municipality                                                                                                                                                                                             



of Anchorage, asserting that SWS's ordinance interpretation was incorrect and seeking                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 



a declaratory judgment and damages for unpaid rebates.                                                                                                                                                                                                 The Municipality moved for                                                                                         



 summary judgment in January 2015, maintaining that the ordinance allows the rebate                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         



only for waste residue from the seven listed materials.                                                                                                                                                                                                Central Recycling opposed,                                                             



arguing that the list is not exhaustive of the materials generating qualifying residue and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             



that the Anchorage Assembly intended to incentivize recycling to divert waste from the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    



landfill.  At oral argument the superior court agreed with the Municipality, explaining   



that "the plain language of the code . . . said what it said, and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 that these were the                                                   



list[ed] . . . things that you['ve] got to recycle."                                                                                                                                                                   The court granted the Municipality                                                                     



 summary judgment on the declaratory remedy, which was dispositive of the action, and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  



entered final judgment against Central Recycling in July 2015.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      



                                                          Central Recycling appeals, contending that the superior court erroneously                                                                                                                                                                                                 



interpreted the ordinance.                                                                                        



III.                          STANDARD OF REVIEW                                                             



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             5  

                                                          We review a grant of summary judgment de novo.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   But this appeal presents  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

only a legal question regarding the correct interpretation of AMC 26.80.055, and the  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

parties dispute the level of deference we should apply to the agency's interpretation.  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Central Recycling argues that we should use our independent judgment in interpreting  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   6  

the ordinance because it does not involve agency expertise.   The Municipality argues  



                             5                            Bush v. Elkins                                                , 342 P.3d 1245, 1251 (Alaska 2015).                                                                                                   



                             6                            Louie  v.  BP  Expl.  (Alaska),  Inc.,  327  P.3d  204,  206  (Alaska  2014)  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

(applying independent judgment, this court "interpret[s] [a] statute according to reason,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

practicality, and common sense, considering the meaning of the statute's language, its  

                                                                                                                  

legislative history, and its purpose").  



                                                                                                                                                                                      -3-                                                                                                                                                                         7150
  


----------------------- Page 4-----------------------

that the reasonable basis test for agency interpretation applies because "fundamental                                                                                                                      



                                                                                                                                                                                   7  

policy considerations of the administrative agency are at play."                                                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                                         Because even under  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Central Recycling's proposed standard ofreviewwe affirmthe superior court's decision,  



                                                                                                 

we do not need to decide which is appropriate.  



IV.                DISCUSSION  



                   A.                 Overview  



                                     Whether construing a statute or municipal ordinance "[w]e apply the same  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

rules of interpretation."8  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                     "When we construe a statute, we look at both its plain language  



                                                                                        9  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

and . . . its legislative history."                                                            We use a sliding scale approach under which "[t]he  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

plainer thestatutory languageis, themoreconvincingtheevidenceofcontrary legislative  



                   7                 In  Davis Wright Tremaine LLP v. State, Dep't of Admin.                                                                                                  , 324 P.3d 293, 299                       



(Alaska 2014), we explained:                          



                                                        We apply the reasonable basis standard to questions of                                                                                         

                                     law   involving   "agency   expertise   or   the   determination   of  

                                      fundamental   policies   within   the   scope   of   the   agency's  

                                      statutory functions."                                       When applying the reasonable basis                                                          

                                     test, we "seek to determine whether the agency's decision is                                                                                                       

                                      supported by the facts and has a reasonable basis in law, even                                                                                            

                                     if         we            may                not            agree                with               the            agency's                       ultimate  

                                     determination."  



(first quoting                        Marathon Oil Co. v. State, Dep't of Natural Res.                                                                                             , 254 P.3d 1078, 1082                           

(Alaska 2011); then quoting                                                     Tesoro Alaska Petroleum Co. v. Kenai Pipe Line Co.                                                                                                  , 746   

P.2d 896, 903 (Alaska 1987)).                                                          



                   8                  City of Kenai v. Friends of Recreation Ctr., Inc., 129 P.3d 452, 459 (Alaska  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

2006).  



                   9                 Alaskans for  a Common Language, Inc. v. Kritz, 170 P.3d 183, 192 (Alaska  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

2007).  



                                                                                                                     -4-                                                                                                            7150
  


----------------------- Page 5-----------------------

                                             10  

purpose or intent must be."                      "[W]henever possible, we construe a statute in light of its                                

purpose."11  



                                                                                                                           

                      UnderAMC26.80.055(A) municipal landfilldisposalfeesareconditionally  



                                                                                       

reduced for a recycling entity's solid waste residue:  



                                                                                                                      

                                 Businesses or organizations engaged in recycling of  

                                                                                                                 

                      paper, plastic, glass and steel, aluminum, copper and brass  

                                                                                                                  

                      shall be granted a one-half reduction in disposal fees for solid  

                                                                                                                      

                      waste residue resulting from the recycling operation if all of  

                                                                                             

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                     

                      the conditions provided in subsection A.1.of this section are  

                             [12]  For purposes of this subsection, a recycling operation  

                      met.                                                                                



           10         Pebble   P'ship   ex   rel.   Pebble   Mines   Corp.   v.   Parnell,   215   P.3d   1064,  



 1075-76 (Alaska 2009) (quoting                        City of Kenai         , 129 P.3d at 459).         



           11	        Kritz, 170 P.3d at 192-93.  

                                                     



           12	        AMC 26.80.055(A)(1) establishes eight "[c]onditions for fee reduction":  

                                                                                                                            



                      a.	        Recycling is the primary operation of the business or  

                                                                                                       

                                 organization;  



                      b.	        The recycling operation recovers at least an average of  

                                                                                                                      

                                 100 tons of recyclable material per month calculated  

                                                                                                         

                                 on a quarterly basis;  

                                                          



                      c.	        The recyclable material is shipped out of state or the  

                                                                                                                    

                                 recyclable   material   is   incorporated   into   a   new  

                                                                                                                 

                                 consumer product manufactured in Alaska directly by  

                                                                                                                      

                                 the recycling operation;  

                                                                          



                      d.	        The solid waste residue is a maximum of 25 percent of  

                                                                                                                      

                                 the weight of the recyclable material recovered;  

                                                                                                                  



                      e.	        The  solid  waste  residue  is  a  direct  result  of  the  

                                                                                                                   

                                 recycling operation only;  

                                                                   



                      f.	        The solid waste residue is not commingled with other  

                                                                                                                 

                                 solid waste not related to the recycling operation when  

                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                         (continued...)  



                                                                     -5-	                                                             7150
  


----------------------- Page 6-----------------------

                          is one that recovers post-consumer solid waste materials for                                                  

                          use in new consumer products.                                



                          Eligible   solid   waste   residue   must   result   directly   from   the   recycling  

operation and be no more than 25% of the recovered recyclable material's weight.                                                                                   13  

                                                                                                                                                                        



                                                                                                                                                      

After submitting aquarterlyreport to SWSdocumenting types and quantities ofmaterials  



                                                                                                                                                    

recycled and their respective residues, a recycling business receives the fee reduction  



                                 14  

                    

through a rebate. 



                                                                                                                                                              

                          The parties dispute the meaning of the provision's first sentence.   The  



                                                                                                                                                            

Municipality contends that a business recycling any of those seven items with other  



                                                                                                                                                        

materials is entitled to a fee rebate for residue generated only from those seven specific  



                                                                                                                                                              

items.  The Municipality asserts that the list is exclusive and that residue produced from  



                                                                                                       

other recyclable materials is ineligible for the rebate.  



                                                                                                                                                                 

                          It is not clear whether Central Recycling's primary contention is that the list  



                                                                                                                                                                    

merely reflects types of materials an eligible business might recycle - and therefore is  



                                                                                                                                                            

illustrative and not operative - or whether, at minimum, an entity must recycle listed  



             12           (...continued)
  



                                                                                                                                         

                                      it is delivered to the Anchorage Regional Landfill;
  



                                                                                                                                    

                          g.	         The   solid   waste   residue   does   not   contain   any  

                                                                              

                                      recyclable material; and  



                                                                                                                              

                          h.	         The solid waste residue shall be free  from flowing  

                                                                                                                                        

                                       liquids, not have a moisture content greater than 30  

                                                                                                                                   

                                      percent and not be hazardous. Sample testing costs  

                                                                                                                          

                                       shall be the responsibility of the generator.  



                                                                                                                                                             

                          The parties do not dispute whether Central Recycling meets these eight  

                     

additional requirements.  



             13           AMC 26.80.055(A)(1)(d); (A)(1)(e).  

                                                                              



             14           AMC 26.80.055(A)(4).  

                                       



                                                                                -6-	                                                                         7150
  


----------------------- Page 7-----------------------

materials, regardless of other materials it recycles, to produce eligible residue.                                                                                              But the   



plain language does not suggest the list is only representative of recyclable materials                                                                                      



generally; as the Municipality observes, under Central Recycling's argument "the list of                                                                                                     



seven   items   could   simply   be   removed   from the                                                         ordinance,"   rendering   its   presence  



meaningless.     And   "[w]hen   we   interpret   a   statute,   we   presume   that   no   words   or  



provisions are superfluous and that the legislature intended 'every word, sentence, or                                                                                                      



                                                                                                                                             15  

provision of a statute to have some purpose, force, and effect.' "                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                  We therefore assume  



                                                                                                                                                                              

Central Recycling poses the second, closer contention - that so long as a business  



                                                                                                                                                                                

recycles one or more listed materials, it is entitled to reduced fees for residue derived  



                                                                      

from any materials it recycles.  



                                                                          

               B.             The Ordinance Is Ambiguous.  



                                                                                                                                                                    

                              The fee reduction under AMC 26.80.055(A) is restricted to "[b]usinesses  



                                                                                                                                                                                   

or organizations engagedin recycling ofpaper, plastic, glass andsteel, aluminum, copper  



                         16  

                                                                                                                                                                    

and brass."                   Tools of statutory construction could apply to support either interpretation  



                                                                                                                                                                                       

the parties propose. On one hand the ordinance's express language does not strictly limit  



                                                                                                                                                                                         

the fee reduction to residue from listed materials.  On the other hand common sense and  



                                                                                                                                                                           

the expressio unius maxim support interpreting the list as exclusive.   The ordinance  



                                                                                                                                           

ultimately is too ambiguous to interpret based on its language alone.  



               15            Adamson v. Municipality of Anchorage                                                        , 333 P.3d 5, 16 (Alaska 2014)                            



(quoting  Monzulla v. Voorhees Concrete Cutting                                                               , 254 P.3d 341, 345 (Alaska 2011)).                                               



               16             Central Recycling suggests that, under the Municipality's interpretation,  

                                                                                                                               

"and" appearing twice in the sentence would require a recycling operation to recycle "all  

                                                                                                                                                                                          

seven items and only the seven items."  Although "and" typically creates a conjunctive,  

                                                                                                                                                                     

a strict interpretation of its effect here would produce an inflexible and unintended result.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Cf. Emp't Sec. Comm'n v. Wilson, 461 P.2d 425, 428-29 (Alaska 1969) (describing the  

                                                                                                                                                                                           

conjunctive effect of "and" in statutory construction).  

                                                                                         



                                                                                             -7-                                                                                      7150
  


----------------------- Page 8-----------------------

                    Central Recycling contends that the relevant language identifies eligible  

                                                                                                                         



businesses -thoserecycling listed materials -rather than eligible materials or residue.  

                                                                                                                                      



And the ordinance's language neither expressly limits rebates to residue from listed  

                                                                                                                            



materials nor addressesunlistedmaterials. CentralRecyclingrecycles cardboard, plastic,  

                                                                                                                          



glass, steel, aluminum, and copper, along with additional items not listed. As a "business  

                                                                                                                      



. . . engaged in recycling" listed materials, Central Recycling would meet the threshold  

                                                                                                                       



requirement under its interpretation.  

                                   



                    The second part of the first sentence also supports Central Recycling's  

                                                                                                                  



interpretation because it does not associate discount eligibilitywiththeresidue generated  

                                                                                                                      



only from the seven listed items.  Rather, AMC 26.80.055(A) explains that the rebate  

                                                                                                                           



shall  be  granted  "for  solid  waste  residue  resulting  from  the  recycling  operation."  

                                                                                                                  



(Emphasis added.)  The Anchorage Assembly could have limited rebate eligibility by  

                                                                                                                                 



referring back to the listed materials, but it did not.  Central Recycling contends this  

                                                                                                                



language  selection  was  purposeful,  meant  to  "encourage  recycling  of  all  kinds  of  

                                                                                                                                 



'recyclable materials,' " not just the seven listed materials.  

                                                                                            



                    Finally,CentralRecyclingnotesthatAMC26.80.055(A)'s secondsentence  

                                                                                                                        



defines"recycling operation"broadly as an operation"that recovers post-consumer solid  

                                                                                                                              



waste  materials  for  use  in  new  consumer  products"  without  referencing  the  listed  

                                                                                                                            



materials.  That provision could be plainly read - as Central Recycling asserts - as  

                                                                                                                                 



providing the fee reduction for residue resulting from any operation recovering post- 

                                                                                                                             



consumer solid waste materials for use in new consumer products, not just operations  

                                                                                                                     



recycling the listed materials and not just waste produced from the listed materials.  

                                                                                                                 



                    DespiteCentral Recycling's arguments, tools of statutory construction also  

                                                                                                                               



support  the  Municipality's  contention  that  the  seven-item  list  is  exhaustive  of  the  

                                                                                                                               



materials for which a recycling operation may receive the fee reduction.   A natural  

                                                                                                                          



                                                                -8-                                                         7150
  


----------------------- Page 9-----------------------

reading   of AMC 26.80.055(A)'s initially                                                                       restricting   clause could                                        indicate that "                        the  



recycling operation                                 " (emphasis added) refers back to the entity's "recycling of" the                                                                                                   



explicit seven materials; therefore, the "residue resulting" from that operation would                                                                                                                          



mean residue produced from recycling only those seven materials.                                                                                   



                                   Interpreted this way, the first sentence effectively would describe "the                                                                                                          



recycling operation" as a business or organization recycling the seven listed items. This                                                                                                                            



definition   would   be   at   odds   with   AMC 26.80.055(A)'s                                                                                         second   sentence,   expressly  



defining   "recycling   operation"   in   more   general   terms   as   "one   that   recovers   post- 



consumer solid waste materials for usein                                                                new consumer products." But                                                   the Municipality  



argues that when one statutory provision "deals with a subject in general terms and                                                                                                                                   



another   deals   with   a   part   of   the   same   subject   in   a   more   detailed   way"   - and                                                                                                                the  



conflicting provisions cannot be harmonized - then "the specific section will control                                                                                                                         

over the general."17                                                                                                                                  

                                                     Because the materials list provides a more specific explanation of  



                                                                                                                                                    

a recycling operation, it controls, resolving the conflict.  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                   Following this interpretation, if the eligible "residue resulting" were only  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

the residue corresponding to the listed materials, then the Municipality's assertion that  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

expressio unius est exclusio alterius applies has force.  Expressio unius operates when  



                                                                                                                                                                                            18  

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                   The maxim  

"a statute expressly enumerates the things or persons to which it applies." 



                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

embraces thenegativeimplication,"establish[ing]theinferencethat, wherecertain things  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                            19  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

are designated  in  a statute,  'all omissions should  be understood  as exclusions.'  " 



                 17               Nelson   v.   Municipality   of   Anchorage ,   267   P.3d    636,   642   (Alaska  



2011)  (quoting  In  re  Hutchinson's  Estate,  577  P.2d   1074,   1075  (Alaska   1978)).  



                 18               Ranney  v.   Whitewater  Eng'g,   122  P.3d  214,  218  (Alaska  2005).  



                 19               Id.   (quoting   Croft   v.  Pan  Alaska   Trucking,   Inc.,   820   P.2d   1064,   1066  



                                                                                                                                                                                              (continued...)  



                                                                                                             -9-                                                                                                   7150
  


----------------------- Page 10-----------------------

Omitting other recyclable materials from the express list establishes an inference that                                                         



unrelated residue is ineligible for the rebate program.                       



                                                                                                  20  

                       "Reason, practicality, and common sense"                                                                                          

                                                                                                      also favor the Municipality.  



                                                                                                                                               

Construing the ordinance as Central Recycling proposes, a business recycling only  



                                                                                                                                               

unlisted materials would be disqualified from rebates, while a business recycling only  



                                                                                                                                          

small quantities of listed materials but disposing large quantities of residue from unlisted  



                                                                                                                                                  

recyclable materials would receive large rebates. This seems impractical considering the  



                                                                                                                                  21  

                                                                                                                           

financial impact to the Municipality and its landfill from lost disposal fees. 



                                                                                                                                         

                       Because there is some ambiguity in the provision's language, we examine  



                                                                                                                                 

legislative history for the ordinance's purpose and the lawmaking body's intent.  



                                                                                                                   

            C.         Legislative History Supports The Municipality's Interpretation.  



                                                                                                                                            22  

                                                                                                                                                  

                       The  Anchorage Assembly  adopted  the ordinance in  April 1996.                                                            As  



                                                                                                                                                

introduced that January the ordinance did not contain the seven-item list.   The first  



                                                                                                                                                   

sentence simply stated:   "Businesses or organizations engaged in recycling shall be  



            19         (...continued)  



                             

(Alaska 1991)).  



            20  

                                                                                                                                              

                       Louie v. BP Expl. (Alaska), Inc., 327 P.3d 204, 206 (Alaska 2014).  



            21  

                                                                                                                                            

                       Central  Recycling's  interpretation  could  negate  the  ordinance's  public  

                                                                                                                                      

benefit  by  increasing  other  user  groups'  disposal  fees  to  compensate  for  recycling  

operations' discounts, a concern the Anchorage mayor and the municipal Solid Waste  

                                                                                                                             

Advisory  Commission  expressed  in  separate  memoranda  on  the  then-proposed  

                                                                                                                                   

ordinance.             Memorandum  182-96  from  Rick  Mystrom,  Mayor,  to  the  Anchorage  

                                                                                                                                    

Assembly  on  AO  96-18(S),  Proposal  for  Reduced  Disposal  Fees  for  Recycling  

                                                                                                                                 

Operations, at 1-2 (February 6, 1996); Statement of Solid Waste Advisory Commission  

                                                                                                               

to the Anchorage Assembly on AO No. 96-18 (Jan. 31, 1996).  



            22         Minutes, Anchorage Assembly Regular Meeting on OrdinanceNo. AO96- 

                                                                                                                                                  

 18(S), at 12 (Apr. 9, 1996).  

                                                  



                                                                        -10-                                                                  7150
  


----------------------- Page 11-----------------------

granted a one-half reduction in disposal fees for residue resulting from the recycling                                                         



                                                                                                             23  

operation   if   all   of   the   conditions  .  .  .  below   are   met."                                                                    

                                                                                                                     The  original  language  



                                                                                                                      

demonstrated an intent to discount residue from any recyclable material.  



                                                                                                                                                       

                         Theproposal's initial policy goals probablywerebestexpressed byits main  



                                                                                                                                               

sponsor, who introduced the reduced disposal fee ordinance proposal because recycling  



                                                                                                                                           

businesses and organizations provide a twofold "invaluable service" to the community  



                                                                                                                                                         

by  (1)  accepting  waste  materials  otherwise  destined  for  the  municipal  landfill  and  



                                                                                                                                                            24  

                                                                                                                                                                  

(2) processing those materials to remove recyclables for use in new consumer products. 



As the sponsor stated: "The critical point is: By accepting and processing this waste, the  

                                                                                                                                                           

total amount of waste placed in our landfill is significantly reduced."25  Central Recycling  

                                                                                                                                              



argues  the  proposal's  purpose  was  preserving  landfill  capacity  by  incentivizing  

                                                                                                                               



recycling.  

                     



                         The  Municipality  concedes  that  the  ordinance's  stated  rationale  was  

                                                                                                                                                        



diverting recyclable waste from the landfill, but argues that the seven-item list was later  

                                                                                                                                                        



added to limit the waste residue accepted for reduced fees. Although "[s]tatements made  

                                                                                                                                                      



by a bill's sponsor during legislative deliberations are relevant evidence when the court  

                                                                                                                                                       

is trying to determine legislative intent,"26 and we aim to construe a statute "in light of  

                                                                                                                                            



            23           Proposed Ordinance of Anchorage Assembly, Jan. 9, 1996, AO No. 96-18.                                                       



            24           Memorandum AM 73-96 from Craig Campbell, Assembly Chair, to the                                                                  



                                                                                                                                              

Anchorage Assembly on AO 96-18, Proposal for Reduced Disposal Fees for Recycling  

Operations, at 1 (Jan. 9, 1996).              



            25          Id.  



            26           Trudell v. Hibbert, 272 P.3d 331, 337 (Alaska) (quoting Beck v. State,  

                                                                                                                                                     

Dep't of Transp. & Pub. Facilities, 837 P.2d 105, 117 (Alaska 1992)), revised on reh'g  

                                                                                                                                                      

(Alaska 2012), vacated in part on reh'g on other grounds, 299 P.3d 1279 (Alaska 2013).  

                                                                                                                                                    



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----------------------- Page 12-----------------------

                                     27  

its purpose,"                             a sponsor's statement does not account for the intent behind subsequent                                                                                                         



amendments.   We therefore must examine the purpose of including the seven-item list.                                                                                                                                                          



                                       The language at issue was recommended by the City Mayor and SWS. The                                                                                                                                    



mayor explained:   



                                       [W]e've added specific types of materials traditionally being                                                                                                

                                       recycled[,] i.e. paper, plastic, glass, steel, and the non-ferrous                                                                         

                                       metals of aluminum, copper[,] and brass in order to better                                                                                                 

                                       define   what   recycling   means.    By   adding   these   specific  

                                      products    it    would    also    mean    that    residues    left    after  

                                       hydrocarbon contaminated soils have been treated, whole car                                                                                                         

                                       seats or tires                     originating fromsalvageyards or forest products                                                                  

                                       resulting from land clearing operations would not be eligible                                                                                          

                                                                                                          [28]  

                                       for the discounted fees.                                                     



Although this explanation is not entirely clear, we agree with the Municipality that it  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     



reasonably demonstrates the list was added to limit eligibility to residue from the listed  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          



materials.   The mayor's statement at first merely suggests that the list was added to  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    



"better define" what is "traditionally" - or typically - recycled, rather than to limit  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            



eligible materials.  Similarly, suggesting that the list helps "better define" what is meant  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         



by "recycling" may imply the list is not exhaustive of what is recyclable or what residue  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

qualifies.29  



                   27                 Alaskans for a Common Language, Inc. v. Kritz                                                                                         , 170 P.3d 183, 192 (Alaska                             



2007).   



                   28                  Memorandum AO 343-96 from Rick Mystrom, Mayor, to the Anchorage  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Assembly  on  AO  96-18(S),  Proposal  for  Reduced  Disposal  Fees  for  Recycling  

                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Operations, at 1 (Apr. 2, 1996).  

                                                                         



                   29                 Id.  

                                                



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----------------------- Page 13-----------------------

                       But   the   second   sentence   clarifies   that   "specific   products"   - meaning   



residue   generated   from   any   materials   not   listed   -   "would   not   be   eligible   for   the  

                             30   The mayor's explanation, as a whole, shows that the seven materials  

discounted fees."                                                                                                                    



were listed to preclude residue fromunlisted materials. Becausethemayor's explanation  

                                                                                                                                 



responded to the original proposed ordinance, and because the Assembly's enacted  

                                                                                                                                       



ordinance included the modified language recommended by the mayor, we presume the  

                                                                                                                                               



Assembly agreed with the mayor's reasoning for adding the seven-item list.  

                                                                                                                            



                       Finally, Central Recycling's interpretation partly, and incorrectly, relies on  

                                                                                                                                                



the Assembly's post-enactment ordinance description.  When the Assembly amended  

                                                                                                                                     



AMC 26.80.055 in 2000 to eliminate its sunset clause, an Assembly member who had  

                                                                 



been a sponsor of the original enactment explained that the ordinance "came about to  

                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                             31  Central Recycling suggests this should  

reduce the bulk that is placed in the landfill."                                                                                         

                                                              



be interpreted as confirming the goal of extending the landfill's life by avoiding excess  

                                                                                                                                         



waste, with little concern over encouraging specific forms of recycling or consequent  

                                                                                                                                 



revenue losses.  Because the statement was made four years later - and the Assembly  

                                                                                                                                   



was not directly probing the ordinance's policy rationale at that time - we accord this  

                                                                                                                                              



statement little weight.  

                           



                       We   therefore   conclude   that   the   legislative   history   supports                                              the  

                                                                                                                                             



Municipality's view:  AMC 26.80.055(A) provides an exclusive list of the materials  

                                                                                                                                    



whose recycling generates residue eligible for the disposal fee reduction.  

                                                                                                            



V.          CONCLUSION  



                       We AFFIRM the superior court's decision.  

                                                                                  



           30          Id.  



           31          Minutes, Anchorage Assembly Regular Meeting on Ordinance No. AO                                                        



2000-30, at 20-21 (Apr. 18, 2000) (comments of George Wuerch, Assembly Member).                                                                       



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