Waste management plan would divide trash-pickup areas

LAWRENCEVILLE - The draft version of a new waste management plan would divide Gwinnett County into eight trash-pickup areas, allowing only one company to collect garbage in each district.

The plan, months in the making, would also expand recycling options and require county residents to have garbage service. About 20,000 households currently lack a trash collection contract, the study said.

County residents will have a chance to comment on the study later this month.

According to the draft plan, nearly 35 percent of the garbage Gwinnett's residents throw away is recyclable. But the county's recycling rate has fallen as residents are only able to recycle seven items, far fewer than the 30 allowed in other areas. Most people do not know what those seven items are, the study said.

Under the current waste management system, eight companies pick up garbage anywhere in the county, and 80 percent of the county's ZIP codes have six or more companies picking up their rubbish. County officials currently have no means to cap the number of providers.

The new plan would limit each provider to no more than three pickup zones, according to the study, determined through a bid process. Dividing the trash providers would eliminate traffic, decrease costs and make the system more efficient, the study said.

The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Comments will also be accepted by e-mail, at gwinnettcb@gwinnettcb.org, and fax, at 770-822-5179.