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Twin Bridges fires back in latest battle in Capital Region's trash wars

By: Edward McKinley

December 21, 2020

ALBANY — All's fair in love and trash war.

The opening battles between Twin Bridges Waste and Recycling and County Waste and Recycling was launched by Twin Bridges in the streets, with Twin Bridges offering a free year of trash disposal services to any customers who ditched their rival. County Waste had to respond by offering free trash services of its own, then it moved the war to a new theater, taking Twin Bridges to court over its tactics.

But now Twin Bridges has fired back, countersuing and accusing the parent company of County Waste of anti-competitive behavior of its own.

That parent company, international trash behemoth Waste Connections, operates in 42 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces. Twin Bridges is accusing it in a court filing Friday of using unfair tactics — such as predatory pricing, bad contracts and refusing to deal with potential rivals — to try to establish a monopoly on trash disposal services in the Capital Region, and Twin Bridges is asking the court for damages as a result.

Twin Bridges alleges in the legal filing that Waste Connections wants to crush Twin Bridges, establish a monopoly in the Capital Region, and then raise prices once customers have no other options.

County Waste accused Twin Bridges of dirty tricks of its own in a lawsuit filed last month. County Waste asked the court to order Twin Bridges to pay $150,000, and it accused Twin Bridges of abandoning 13 dumpsters and 27 trash bins belonging to County Waste in a parking lot, damaging the equipment.

The interwoven history between the two companies is complex. Twin Bridges is owned by Scott Earl, who made millions by building the very company he's now doing battle against — County Waste. Earl founded that company in 1990, built it into a trash empire, and then sold it to the international Waste Connections in 2011 for $300 million.

But Earl moved back to the Capital Region, bought Twin Bridges last summer, and has built it up from less than 5,000 customers to more than 50,000 customers. Robert Wright Disposal, a local competitor based in Bethlehem, was bought out by County Waste, and Earl has used it as a chance to try to peel off Wright's customers.

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