Trash plan: Gwinnett asks for a $25M bond

LAWRENCEVILLE - The courts said Gwinnett County couldn't require trash haulers to post a $2 million performance bond to operate in Gwinnett County under the terms of the now defunct solid waste plan. Now the county is asking for more, appealing the decision and asking for $25 million in the form of a security bond.

That is the amount Gwinnett County and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Services are seeking in an appeal they have filed in Superior Court to fight the injunction won by haulers Southern Sanitation and Sanitation Solutions, two local businesses who fought the legality of the county's 2008 solid waste plan in December and won.

The involved parties, including haulers Allied Waste Services and Robertson Sanitation, will be in Judge Michael Clark's courtroom at 2 p.m. today for a proceeding on the matter.

According to documents filed in Superior Court, Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful and the county are seeking the $25 million because the two haulers originally selected to service Gwinnett County - Waste Pro Services and Advanced Disposal Services - have together incurred that amount in costs in preparation of providing solid waste collection to roughly 180,000 residences in Gwinnett County.

Without the injunction, the new trash plan with Waste Pro and Advanced servicing every residence in the county would have taken effect Jan. 1.

The court document filed by the county and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful states Waste Pro incurred $12 million in costs in preparing for the new plan while Advanced Disposal's costs totaled $13 million.

According to the motion seeking that $25 million security bond, Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful and the county "face potential liability" to Waste Pro and Advanced. Because of that, the county wants the other haulers to post a security "in the amount of no less than $25 million."

In court documents filed in response to the $25 million bond request sought by the county, former Gov. Roy Barnes, who represents Southern Sanitation and Sanitation Solutions wrote, "Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful has already been found to have unjustly discriminated against plaintiffs through use of an unreasonably high, $2 million performance bond. Obviously, $25 million is a sum even more out of reach than that already found by this court to be unfair and unreasonable."