The New York State attorney general says Broome County's big trash collection firms will be paying penalties for illegally carving up the market so they could charge inflated prices.

State officials say Bert Adams Disposal and Taylor Garbage illegally colluded to rig bids and fix prices. (Text provided by New York State Attorney General's Office)

An investigation revealed Bert Adams Disposal of Chenango Bridge and Taylor Garbage Service of Vestal colluded to rig bids for waste-hauling, recycling and related services.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Elbert Adams, majority owner of Bert Adams Disposal, on Monday pleaded guilty to a felony charge of restraint of trade and competition.

Schneiderman said Adams admitted making arrangements with Taylor Garbage officials to not go after each other's customers and to rig bids. Adams is to pay $75,000 in criminal penalties.

Bert Adams Disposal also pleaded guilty to restraint of trade and competition. The company is to be fined $850,000.

Company employees Bert Adams and Christopher Kline pleaded guilty to attempted restraint of trade and competition. They each are to pay $37,500 in criminal penalties.

Taylor Garbage Service is to pay $500,000 in civil penalties. Company president Robert Taylor is to pay a $50,000 penalty to the state.

In a deal with the attorney general's office, Taylor Garbage Service admitted violating the law by colluding with Bert Adams Disposal.

Schneiderman said the settlement with Taylor reflects its "prompt cooperation" in the investigation.

Bert Adams Disposal and Taylor Garbage Service representatives declined comment on the settlement Monday afternoon.

A Taylor Garbage Service trash bin in downtown Binghamton. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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