ADS wants a trash collection rate hike: who could have forseen? @ LCC 2014-12-08

Who could have forseen the rate hike ADS requested Monday morning at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session? Maybe anybody who noticed that ADS’ bid was 40% more than its quickly-acquired subsidiary Veolia’s bid.

Update 2014-12-10: No report from ADS in the board packet. Joe Adgie reported on this topic in the VDT 10 December 2014, Advanced Disposal wants price increase.

1. Call to Order 4.Minutes for Approval 8a.Advanced Disposal 8.a. Advanced Disposal —Steve Edwards (work session)

Video. ADS wants to amend the exclusive franchise for solid waste collection due to “lost revenue and unanticipated costs”. And their number one reason: competition with “another hauler”, in other words Deep South Sanitation (DSS), the very company ADS and the Lowndes County Commission have sued all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court. Nevermind DSS already had a business license for trash collection before ADS and the Commission made that exclusive franchise. But who could have forseen that a pre-existing local company might actually defend its right to do business in its home county, despite a lawsuit from ADS, owned by investors in New York City.

If the county wanted to be sure everybody eligible paid, they could have made a special tax district like state law explicitly authorizes the County Commission to do.

And ADS has had their trash rejected for excess contamination. ADS spokesperson Steve Edwards claimed that was due to new regulations. But what about the old regulations ADS wasn’t following? He didn’t mention the City of Valdosta already refused to accept ADS recycling because ADS included household trash such as used diapers.

The $12.80 price in the exclusive franchise is not enough anymore, said ADS. Who could have forseen that? Maybe anybody who looked at the 9 October 2012 summary table of bids which included a bid for $18.39 from

Advanced Disposal Services Inc
Contact — Steve Edwards

Would that be the same Steve Edwards who just asked for a rate hike Monday morning? The same Steve Edwards who last year couldn’t forsee any further ADS acquisitions six weeks before ADS bought another company, and then two more.

Maybe Steve Edwards couldn’t have forseen a rate hike, but anybody who saw ADS’ deal with Wakulla County, Florida for $196/year ($16.33/month) could have.

Monday morning, Commissioner Demarcus Marshall suggested they address customer service first. Maybe including garbage falling off trucks as one citizen told the Commission 25 March 2014 or that “horrible wretched smell” that another citizen noted 9 September 2014. I would continue linking to citizens speaking against that exclusive franchise and its ill effects, but there have been so many of them.

Chairman Bill Slaughter said Monday morning that this was an opportunity to “relook at the solid waste plan”. He noted there would be a new Commission with two new members. We remember that the Commissioner who moved to adopt the solid waste ordinance and the exclusive franchise, Richard Raines, will no longer be on the Commission, nor another who voted for it, Crawford Powell.

Maybe they could even hold the public hearing state law requires that they didn’t previously hold!

We shall see what the new Commissioners are willing to do. Bill Slaughter was not Chairman and was not even on the Commission when this bad deal was made. He now has an opportunity to preside over fixing it, or even exercise the termination clause.

Commissioner Demarcus Marshall is holding a Town Hall 6PM 15 December 2014 at the Lowndes County Civic Center, 2102 E Hill Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31601. That might be a good place to voice your ideas on trash collection.