Trash lawsuit on WALB

WALB found the Lowndes County government sticking to the letter of its own recently-passed ordinance and contract, and Deep South Sanitation concerned about the county trying to put it out of business.

Lydia Jennings wrote for WALB yesterday, Lowndes Co. files lawsuit against solid waste company,

Lowndes County leaders are going to court to try to stop a sanitation company from picking up trash for some county residents.

County leaders say Deep South Sanitation is in violation of a new ordinance that only allows Advanced Disposal to contract with county residents.

And if the cease-and-desist order is successful, the owner of Deep South Sanitation worries he’ll go out of business.

Cary Scarborough owns Deep South Sanitation, a family owned and operated business he started in 2011 when he saw trash pickup problems in unincorporated Lowndes County.

In two years, he has seen his business grow with 800 Lowndes County resident contracts. But his days of picking up trash could be coming to an end.

“It could shut me down,” said Scarborough.

So why did the county give him a business license? And why is it a good use of taxpayer funds to sue him? The county’s answer:

“Based on the limits on the ordinance and the contract that the county currently has with Advanced Disposal, it only allows for one company to pick up residential waste in Lowndes County,” said Lowndes County Clerk, Paige Dukes.

Which ordinance and contract the county passed against the wishes of the people they affect in the unincorporated parts of the county. The county wouldn’t even consider a tax district to support the county’s own waste collection sites, but now it’s using our tax dollars to enforce a monopoly we didn’t want, enforcing it on behalf of investors in New York City.

Before the ordinance was passed several solid waste companies were able to bid on the contract. Advanced Disposal was chosen on its proposal to charge county residents about $13 a month for pick-up services. Scarborough says his company isn’t big enough to take on a county-wide contract. “There’s no way I could have bid against that.”

And there’s no way ADS’s rates are going to stay that low, either. Watch and see how fast they go up, especially if DSS is put out of business.

The suit will be heard in court June 4th.

Lowndes County Superior Court doesn’t seem to have anything online about this case, but WALB found the hearing notice, which says it’s Civil Action File No. 2013-CV-862. Maybe the judge will throw out not just this lawsuit, but also the monopoly contract the county signed.