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Waste hauler offers solution to trash problem

LAWRENCEVILLE - A lobbyist for Gwinnett's largest trash hauler offered a possible solution to legislators for the county's solid waste woes Thursday. But lawmakers did not warm up to the plan.

Karen Pope, who represents Allied/Robertson, a company that would have lost county hauling rights under a now-defunct solid waste plan, said the company would be willing to give its customer list to the county, if legislators would pass a bill protecting it.

If all the local waste haulers gave the county access to their customer lists, she said, officials would be able to identify the up to 20,000 homes without garbage service and mandate action, solving the county's illegal dumping issue.

But Rep. Brian Thomas pointed out that the county solid waste plan, which is currently the center of a lawsuit, was also intended to increase recycling options and cut down on trucks in neighborhoods.

While the 2008 plan, which would have divided the county into service districts and allowed the county to pick one hauler to work in each district, has been struck down, county government officials are working on a new plan.

Asking for legislative protection on the lists, Pope said the proposal would allow citizens to choose their hauler while taking care of the dumping issue.

Rep. Clay Cox, R-Lilburn, who is the head of the county's House delegation, said he did not expect any lawmakers to get involved in legislation over the matter while the courts are still deciding the issue.

"I would be surprised if there would be a member to pick that (proposed bill) up and run with it," he said. "Things need to run their course on that issue before the state gets involved."