Troubled trash company to fix problems with merger

LAWRENCEVILLE - A trash hauler troubled by the threat of termination will be merging with another company.

Quality Waste Disposal will be purchased by Waste Pro, Quality Waste owner Richard Watson said. Rates for current customers will remain the same and service will continue uninterrupted, he said.

Both Quality Waste and Red Oak Sanitation were threatened with termination of their ability to pick up trash in the county after both companies failed to get the proper bonds and insurance.

On Tuesday, Red Oak was approved to keep hauling in the county, but commissioners denied Quality Waste's request, in light of the merger.

"We would've preferred to have been approved, then if we wanted to strike a deal with somebody, we could've," Watson said. "We did not ask to be withdrawn. I'm just trying to cover for my customers."

County Commissioner Bert Nasuti said previously that he had received numerous complaints about Quality Waste after the company removed trash cans from some customers' homes, an action Watson acknowledged was a mistake.

On Tuesday, Nasuti again chided the company for leaving customers "high and dry" and asked county officials to continue monitoring the conduct of any haulers that had been the subject of complaints.

Watson said he's just trying to make sure his 9,000 or so customers will still have trash service April 1, when the termination goes into effect. The contract with Waste Pro has been signed, he said, but a second deal is in the works to merge with Red Oak if for some reason the first plan falls through.

Watson said he will remain involved with the business as Waste Pro's operations manager. He urged customers not to panic.

"The only thing that will change is the name of the company," he said.

The termination is unrelated to a new trash plan, slated to begin in 2009, that divides the county into eight service areas. It will also have no bearing on the companies' ability to apply to pick up waste as part of that plan, currently in the draft stage and being reviewed by the Atlanta Regional Commission and the state's Department of Community Affairs.

Watson said, however, that if his company is absorbed, he will not apply to be a hauler as part of the new trash plan.