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Haulers ready to start new trash plan

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Trash haulers are gearing up for the new county trash district service by practicing routes and delivering carts. Some have hired employees, too.

Staffers from Advanced Disposal began riding the scheduled routes last week, even though the start date is July 1, as part of a driving training program.

According to a press release, the company hired 50 new employees and purchased 36 new trucks to service the county contract, which includes 54,000 residents north of Lawrenceville and east of Norcross and Lilburn.

Last week, the company delivered more than 40,000 carts and recycling bins and said the rest are expected to be delivered this week. "

"We are currently utilizing a vigorous training and safety program that includes having the employees drive the routes that they will service day in and day out, in advance of the July 1 start date," said Charlie Gray, Georgia area president for Advanced Disposal. "Our goal is to keep the neighborhoods and communities of Gwinnett clean and green, and this is simply one method we are employing to ensure our success."

In fact, all of the haulers reached said the final carts should be delivered in the next several days.

On Wednesday, Republic Services had about 1,000 carts left to be delivered, although officials expected to finish later that day.

That hauler, which also operates under the names Robertson Sanitation, BFI and Allied Waste, will service eastern Gwinnett.

Based on a settlement reached with five haulers to divide the county into districts, it will actually reduce its customer base in Gwinnett County.

"We're familiar with the streets. We have the drivers. We have the trucks," said Ken Dillingham. "We're already ready to go."

Dillingham said the company sees a benefit in picking up trash from every driveway instead of every other driveway, as it did during the previous franchise system.

"It's going to cut down truck traffic on the streets," he said, pointing out that 25,000 did not need new carts because they will remain with the company. "We do hate to lose 30,000 customers in Gwinnett County, but we do see the positives in the program."

Waste Pro, which will take over the western Gwinnett area, bought about 21,000 carts from Allied and will be placing stickers on top of the Allied logo.

While about 17,000 new carts have been delivered, Regional Vice President Fred Wood said the sticker task will continue into next week, as the company encounters containers on the streets.

Waste Pro recently hired 26 drivers, although Wood said the hot weather made start-up difficult because new hires would quit after a day in the extreme heat.

The company also had to hire people to man a phone bank for customer calls. At one point, Wood said, the company was getting 1,000 calls a day.

"We were geared up for it," he said. "We're practicing routes now."

Kevin Byrd of Sanitation Solutions said Tuesday his company is 99 percent finished with cart delivery and expects to be finished this week. The company is also going through training.

"There's a whole lot of stuff going on" in preparation, he said.

That company has about 10,000 customers in the area between Buford and Braselton and north of Sugar Hill.

Officials were not available from the fifth county hauler, Southern Sanitation, which will service southern Gwinnett, south of Snellville and east of Ga. Highway 124. For more information and to find out which hauler will service your home, go to www.sustainablegwinnett.com.