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The private garbage collection industry, dominated until recently by numerous very small firms in essentially local markets, has a long history of customer allocation conspiracies in restraint of trade. In New York metropolitan areas, these agreements have involved members of the Mafia. The reputation for racketeering involvement in the New York region has restricted entry, particularly by the few large national firms; maintained discipline among the conspirators, and inhibited customers from complaining. The carters have treated customers as assets to be bought and sold. Prices for collection of waste from commercial customers have been raised by as much as 50 percent in these markets. Both law enforcement and regulation have failed to eliminate customer allocation agreements.

Originally published in: Crime and Justice: An Annual Review of Research, 1993, pp. 149-201.

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