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Argued March 12, 2001

On certification to the Superior Court, Appellate Division, whose opinion is reported at 333 N.J. Super. 310 (2000).

The Local Public Contracts Law (LPCL), N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 to -50, requires that certain contracts entered into by local public entities be procured through a public bidding process detailed in that statute. The LPCL exempts a number of transactions from the public bidding requirement, including contracts for “real property or any interest therein.” N.J.S.A. 40A:11-2(4). In these consolidated appeals, defendants Mercer County (Mercer) and Morris County (Morris) argue that the LPCL did not require them to bid publicly contracts they entered into with defendant- intervenor Waste Management of Pennsylvania, Inc. (Waste Management) for disposal of the counties’ solid waste, because the respective contracts granted, in part, easement rights on landfill space owned by Waste Management. The Appellate Division held that both contracts were subject to the LPCL bidding requirements, notwithstanding their purported grants of property rights, because the transactions also required Waste Management to perform services, and, taken as a whole, the “entire thrust” of the contracts were “that of a contract for solid waste disposal.” Borough of Princeton v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of Mercer County, 333 N.J. Super. 310, 327 (App. Div. 2000). We granted certification, 165 N.J. 676 (2000), and now affirm.

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