Mega businessman "Alligator Ron" Bergeron has broken the trash monopoly in South Florida.
The two companies were battling over Miramar's trash contract.
Following a five-day trial in a Broward courtroom, Circuit Court Judge Jack Tuter ruled that Sun-Bergeron won Miramar's trash disposal bid fair and square.
The ruling - which may be appealed by Wheelabrator - paves the way for other municipalities to join Miramar's contract, potentially saving taxpayers millions of dollars
Bergeron called the ruling a victory for the city of Miramar and Broward County.
"Fair and open competition, breaking up a 25-year waste disposal monopoly, drives down taxpayer costs and brings new technologies that promote good environmental stewardship," Bergeron told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "A win-win for all."
Sun Bergeron ended up in court when Miramar became the first city in Broward to contract with the solid waste disposal company last year. The contract effectively dissolved Wheelabrator Technologies' quarter century monopoly over trash disposal in the county.
In court, Wheelabrator claimed that the Miramar bid process favored Sun-Bergeron by allowing the upstart an opportunity to reduce its initial price for trash disposal.
In his ruling Thursday, Judge Tuter found that both Sun-Bergeron and Wheelabrator had an equal opportunity to negotiate a better deal for trash disposal services in accordance with Florida's sunshine laws.
"Wheelabrator, an educated bidder, should have known that the city had the opportunity to do that," said Tuter. "Best and final offer discussions were open, in the sunshine, and subject to debate."
At $9.25 cheaper per ton than Wheelabrator, Sun-Bergeron's final and best offer to Miramar was $43.25 per ton of trash for disposal.
In a statement released by Sun-Bergeron late Thursday, they applaud the victory as a "win-win" for all citizens of Broward:
"This is a great win for the citizens of Miramar and all residents of Broward County. The court upheld Miramar`s right to make decisions that are clearly in its best interest and in the best interest of its residents. The ruling affirms Miramar`s historic decision, breaking up a 25-year solid waste disposal monopoly in order to provide more competition. The results of that decision speak for themselves, prices have been brought down by more than 50%, and there is a renewed focus on recycling which will greatly improve sustainability and promote good environmental stewardship. Sun Bergeron is ready to carry out its commitment to the residents of Miramar. Its contract with the City provides value added environmental stewardship and sustainability."
In 2006, Bergeron suffered a shattered pinky, a broken ring finger and puncture wounds in his palm while giving a demonstration about alligator wrestling.