LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett commissioners will choose trash haulers for residents, according to a controversial vote Tuesday.
More than a year after a similar plan was thrown out in court, officials adopted a new solid waste plan, dividing the county into five districts for haulers to bid for the jobs.
Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said a study commission of residents last year fully supported the idea, which would cut down on garbage truck traffic in neighborhoods and wear and tear on roads, while forcing county residents to pay for a service instead of illegally dumping trash.
"I feel like this is going to be fairer for taxpayers because we won't be subsidizing service," he said. "I don't think it's perfect at all but I do think it takes care of the vast concerns."
But after a public outcry over the issue, several residents said the decision will re-start recall efforts against the chairman.
"If any one of you as much as run for dog catcher, you are going to have to answer for this," said Charles Grizzle of the Gwinnett chapter of Americans for Prosperity. "Principle and consciousness would dictate ... that you listen to your constituents."
Despite a public engagement process as part of a study that led to the plan, residents were angered they could not address commissioners at Tuesday's meeting prior to the vote.
"You are ignoring the will of the people, just like those clowns in Washington," said Debbie Dooley of FreedomWorks, who said a public protest is in the planning stages.
"This is socialism at Def-Con 1," said Buford man John Westmoreland.
An official with Waste Industries, which is involved in one of four lawsuits with the county over the issue, said the plan showed officials worked behind closed doors to satisfy members of the first lawsuit, which was filed after all the residential hauling was assigned to two vendors by Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful.
The nonprofit is not involved in the newest version of the solid waste plan, which goes into effect July 1.
Officials have not determined the contracts or how much service will cost residents.
But Tuesday's vote does map out an expanded recycling program and dictates that every home deemed habitable will be subject to the service -- even if vacant -- with charges coming on county tax bills.
Details on the plan can be found at www.gwinnettcounty.com.