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Man takes fight with trash company to commissioners

LAWRENCEVILLE -- When Mike Yohe was tasked with devising a budget for his church, he never thought it would be the line item for garbage that gave him the most heartburn.

But Yohe was so disturbed by his interactions with Advanced Disposal he took his complaints to commissioners this week.

The worries came when Yohe realized that the bill had risen four times in a year for the church -- 190-year-old Fairview Presbyterian in Lawrenceville.

After calling around to other garbage haulers, he learned that the more than $130 monthly base rate was twice as high as the nearest competitor. So he canceled the contract and agreed to use another hauler at a rate of $62 a month.

A spokeswoman for Advanced Disposal said the company cannot treat a church any differently than any other customer.

"Advanced Disposal provides solid waste and recycling services to a multiple of customers who agree to the terms and conditions of our contracts," Katrine Strickland said. "These contracts are similar to our competitors in the marketplace, and all service providers within Gwinnett County were required to implement the new county mandated franchise fee at the beginning of the year.

"Advanced Disposal's sales department tried to reach a mutually agreeable solution with the customer with no success to date," she said about the specific situation. "Our company does not and cannot discriminate between for profit and non-profit customers."

But Yohe is calling Advanced Disposal's business practices into question, when the garbage company threatened to sue the church for breaking its contract. He said the person who signed the document never had authority to sign, and he can't believe a company would charge a nonprofit so much more than is needed to perform the service.

"You limit the amount of help we can give. That hurts people," Yohe said of nearly $1,000 in increased feeds that could be spent on the food cooperative ministry or homeless program.

While churches and other commercial entities can still fire a trash hauler they are unhappy with, Yohe said he is upset that he cannot fire Advanced from collecting the trash at his residence, since commissioners entered into a court settlement giving the company business to collect garbage from one of five local zones.

"I am concerned about everybody," he said. "What does that say about service?"

Comments

R 1 year, 10 months ago

"But Yohe is calling Advanced Disposal's business practices into question, when the garbage company threatened to sue the church for breaking its contract. He said the person who signed the document never had authority to sign, "

Pardon me, but where has this person been?

The scenario he just laid for us all right here - is how they became a county MANDATED vendor to us hapless, resident citizen captives in the first place!! Or so said Superior Court at the time.

I'm glad Advanced are consistent in their business practices, looks like it's time to mandate county trash service to all churches to address this crisis!

Note to BOC, Don't forget to increase the fees to your residents/church goers by 40 percent above retail, there's a tax break to give to a small subset of residents down the line during an upcoming election-cycle.

Please tax us us now, to give a bit back later with much fanfare and hand wringing for the cameras...

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kevin 1 year, 10 months ago

I still believe that a company can charge certain groups whatever it wants to, even lower fees. This goes on all the time when you need a dumpster for an event. Non-profits gets a break. However, this wasn't a special event so they can keep the prices the same. I bet this same Church group voted for the BOC that got us in this hole in the first place. See what happens when you want government to provide everything for you. You reap what you sow.

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SurelyNot 1 year, 10 months ago

Before the garbage pick up being handled through taxes, our neighborhood of about 30+ houses sought the best price for the service so we would all hire one trash collector to come through. Seemed like a very sensible thing to do: fewer trucks, less damage to roads, best price, etc. But one neighbor would not agree...never gave a reason, however we thought it must be a personal connection....or maybe, like another blogger suggested, his not wanting anyone dictating who he did business with. Now we have the government telling us, rather than it being our decision. There is always a flea on every dog.

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