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Trash plan court fight: Judge denies $25M bond

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Services' motion to require local garbage haulers Southern Sanitation and Sanitation Solutions to post a $25 million security bond was denied by Judge Michael Clark in Superior Court Thursday.

A similar motion filed by Advanced Disposal Services seeking a nearly $6 million bond from those same haulers was also denied.

Gwinnett County did not join in Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Service's motion seeking the $25 million bond.

In the motion Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Services filed, the nonprofit entity stated it could face "potential liability" to haulers Waste Pro and Advanced Disposal for the costs the haulers incurred prior to the December preliminary injunction order granted by Clark.

That injunction allowed Southern Sanitation and Sanitation Solutions to keep working in Gwinnett County on Jan. 1, the date the new solid waste plan was set to take effect. That injunction order is being appealed by the county and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Services.

Under the new plan, which the judge terminated, only two haulers would service all 180,000 residences in the county.

"If there is a reversal (of the injunction), there is the potential for severe economic damages," argued Fred Green, Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Service's attorney. Clark did not agree.

When Robert Brazier, Advanced Disposal Services' attorney, pleaded his case for the nearly $6 million bond, he told Clark that Advanced had ordered 60 new "very expensive" trucks, mailed 91,000 invoices to new customers and delivered 40,000 garbage receptacles to some of those customers. He said if the preliminary injunction order was reversed, it would be very expensive for Advanced to redeliver those items.

"I don't think you could get $5 million in this case," Clark said. "I don't think you're going to win."

In another twist to the ongoing garbage war, lawyers said that Waste Pro Services, the other hauler selected to service Gwinnett County under the now invalid solid waste plan, has filed a lawsuit against Gwinnett County and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful in the Fulton County court system.

Hinting that Advanced Disposal would follow Waste Pro's lead, its attorney said, "This case is about to get a lot more complicated."