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Second meeting of trash committee tonight

LAWRENCEVILLE - Round two of five in the county's ongoing trash fight hits Snellville tonight in the form of another public meeting designed to get citizens' input on the contentious county issue.

The meeting takes place from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Snellville City Hall.

After the court granted the injunction sought by local haulers Southern Sanitation and Sanitation Solutions - which ultimately kept the status quo for trash service in Gwinnett in effect through at least the end of April - Beaudreau formed a 15-member committee to collect citizen input and discuss and recommend ideas for a new solid waste plan that complies with state and federal requirements.

Beaudreau said he had close to 100 residents express interest in serving on the committee and said he chose people for it who were solution-oriented.

"I looked for people who had a track record of working through complex problems," Beaudreau said. "We have some of the best minds in Gwinnett on this committee."

Some residents have expressed skepticism, though, when it comes to the selection process that was used to form the committee.

Don Shaw, who applied for the committee but was not selected, said he would like to see a county-sanctioned group with complete transparency as to political affiliations and county organizations.

"Two of these 15 best minds are what got us into this mess," Shaw said, referring to two committee members who also served on the 50-member Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful advisory board. "The county is still not listening to the citizens."

Chairman Charles Bannister acknowledged that the "blue ribbon" committee formed by Beaudreau was of Beaudreau's own doing, but also added that the county would hopefully be producing a time table next week of how things will proceed before the 120-day deadline on the injunction expires.

"We're adhering to the judge's order and moving forward," Bannister said. "We're not sitting on our thumbs."

County Communications Director Joe Sorenson agreed.

"County staff is developing a time line and work plan for doing more research on solid waste as part of creating a revised solid waste plan," Sorenson said. "I am confident that extensive public involvement will be part of that effort."

A third meeting of Beaudreau's committee has also been scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 8 on Thursday, Feb. 12 at George Pierce Community Center in Suwanee. The park is located at 55 Buford Highway.