Trash changes move forward

LAWRENCEVILLE - Officials made steps Tuesday to implement a new county trash plan, which they contend would cut the number of garbage trucks on the streets and increase recycling.

The Board of Commissioners approved a $1.6 million contract change with Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, so the nonprofit could begin the process of selecting vendors for county trash service.

Connie Wiggins, director of the nonprofit, said she hopes to select a single trash company for eight county districts. The move will alleviate traffic and cost problems caused by more than six trash providers working in the same neighborhoods in about 80 percent of the county.

"That's a huge duplication of service and waste of fuel costs," Wiggins said. "There's a more efficient and cost-effective way to do things."

Contracts will also soon be complete on a new recovered materials processing facility to expand recycling options for Gwinnettians, she said.

The contract change approved by commissioners Tuesday is the first step to implement the trash plan, approved in April.

Commissioners also voted to lower the county portion of the millage rate, rolling back the property tax rate by 0.11 mills to a rate of 10.97.

Officials held the first of two public hearings on proposed changes to the county's taxi ordinance. Police officers stopped enforcement of the law in February because of concerns the county did not honor business permits granted in other counties.

"Some of these changes we really needed," Sgt. Rick Klok said at the hearing. "The ordinance is more reasonable and business friendly."

The proposal also sets mandatory fines, beginning at $250, for violations of the law, which sets requirements for insurance and vehicle safety.

Commissioners will consider adoption of the changes at the 7 p.m. hearing next Tuesday.