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Judge denies injunction of new trash plan

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett officials won't have a last-minute halt to the trash plan this time around.

A judge Thursday denied a motion by Waste Industries for an injunction against the county's new trash plan, clearing the way for the program to begin July 1.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Pannell Jr. in Atlanta said he would explain his reasons at a later date, a county press release said.

Starting Thursday, uniform trash pickup will begin in unincorporated neighborhoods with a trash hauler determined through the settlement of another court case, which had caused a last minute halt before another trash plan was set to begin at the end of December 2008.

Waste Industries had sued, alleging that the settlement kept other trash companies from bidding for the service.

"I am pleased by this ruling and look forward to implementing this carefully considered solid waste plan designed to increase recycling and reduce the volume of trash going into landfills," Commission Chairman Charles Bannister said in the release. "This plan will also reduce truck traffic, road wear and noise while improving safety and air quality in our neighborhoods."

At a rate of $17.86 per month, the solid waste fee for the first 18 months of service will be included on property tax bills going out next month. Tax bills are payable in two installments, due in September and November.

Under the new plan, service will be provided on all holidays except New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The release noted that trash pickup will occur as usual on July 5, and there will be no service delays due to the Independence Day holiday.

Residents with questions about the new plan can call 770-822-7141 weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Details are also available online at www.sustainablegwinnett.com.