Hauler files suit against county
Company wants more than $40M from county, Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful due to trash plan

LAWRENCEVILLE - One of the two haulers chosen under the 2008 solid waste plan to service Gwinnett County filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the county and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful.

Advanced Disposal Services Inc. is seeking more than $40 million in damages, claiming the county and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful refused to implement the contract for solid waste and recycling services for about 87,000 residents.

According to the suit, Advanced Disposal suffered "significant damages," including money spent on trucks and carts that would be necessary to provide the services set forth in the contract. Other significant costs include costs for delivery, recovery, storage and operational facilities, and hardware, software and personnel costs incurred in the anticipation of performing the services.

On Nov. 7, 2008, Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful awarded contracts to Advanced Disposal and Waste Pro, two Florida-based firms that submitted low bids for residential trash pickup. Six other haulers that were serving Gwinnett residents were to lose their service areas beginning Jan.1 when the new plan was to take effect.

On Dec. 18, 2008, Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Michael Clark granted a temporary preliminary injunction, ensuring that for now the county's garbage service for unincorporated residents will remain as-is.

Advanced Disposal alleges that the county has taken no action to mitigate the damages caused by its actions or those of Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful or to amend the county's solid waste ordinance to allow the new plan to be implemented as per the contract.

When two local haulers - Southern Sanitation and Sanitation Solutions - filed for the injunction, they cited specific problems with a private, nonprofit corporation like Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful doing the county's business in enforcing the solid waste plan.

The Board of Commissioners and Gwinnett County have since terminated the contract with Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful.

Christian Mills, general counsel for Advanced Disposal, said the company believes filing suit is the "most direct and just means" of getting relief.

"While we find it unfortunate to have to resolve this issue in court when administrative processes are readily available to resolve the matter, we cannot allow the county and (Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful) to ignore their fiduciary obligations to the citizens of the county and their contractual obligations with Advanced Disposal," Mills said.