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The DeKalb County Sanitation Division
DeKalb’s integrated approach to recycling and solid waste management
To provide an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable integrated solid waste management program through garbage, recyclable materials and yard trimmings collection, processing and disposal services for residents and businesses in unincorporated DeKalb County, and the cities of Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Lithonia and Tucker, with a sustained focus on customer service excellence.
A Brief Look Back
Formed in 1937, the DeKalb County Sanitation Division has provided solid waste, recyclable materials and yard trimmings collection as a basic and important core service to county residents for decades. From the introduction of twice-a-week garbage collection service in the 1940s to the introduction of the recycling program in 1974, one of the division’s foremost priorities has been and continues to be discovering opportunities and implementing policies and procedures for improving sanitation service delivery and cost value to its customers. The division is cognizant of the need to remain fiscally and environmentally responsible in the face rising operating costs, an approach that led to the implementation of the historic Rolling Forward to One sanitation collection service change on July 6, 2015, one of the most extensive service changes in the county’s nearly 200-year history.
A Move Toward More Efficient Service Operations
Effective July 6, 2015, the division began the consolidation of sanitation collection schedules aimed at improving service delivery and efficiency through simplified scheduling and once-a-week garbage, recycling and yard trimmings collection for all single-family residential households in its service area. This approach has been instrumental in streamlining sanitation collection processes, and has been a critical component of the division’s quest to provide an integrated and sustainable business operations model. The following identifies the key elements of this new approach to how sanitation collection service is provided to the division’s more than 170,000 customers:
Residential customers will not experience a fee increase. Improved efficiencies reduce the division’s costs to provide service, maintaining residential annual sanitation assessment fees at the same level they have been since 2006.
Standardized containers. The standardized use of green 65-gallon county-provided garbage containers ensures neighborhoods are cleaner and neater with the reduction of loose trash.
One-day-a-week garbage collection. Prior to 2015, garbage collection occurred twice a week for DeKalb County residents. On the first collection day, the Sanitation Division collected more than 66 percent of countywide garbage. This left a much lighter second-day collection.
Consolidated collection. With consolidated collection, solid waste, recyclable materials and yard trimmings are collected on the same day.
Environmental stewardship. The division’s commitment to environmental sustainability includes a renewed focus on recycling education for county residents, as well as environmental stewardship initiatives such as the conversion of landfill gas to compressed natural gas (CNG), the installation of electric vehicle charging stations countywide, and the construction and management of county-owned and operated CNG stations at the Seminole Road Landfill and Central Transfer Station, among others. Currently, more than one-third of the Sanitation Division’s customers have subscribed to the single-stream recycling program. DeKalb County’s recycling program recycles more materials than any other recycling program in the state of Georgia.
Effective April 18, 2016, the division implemented historic changes to garbage and recycling container requirements and collection procedures, whereby only county-issued garbage and recycling containers are approved for sanitation collection service.
The following provides a summary of approved garbage, recyclable materials and yard trimmings collection policies and procedures:
Garbage collection service - Only county-issued 35-, 45-, 65- and 95-gallon garbage roll carts are approved for garbage collection service. *Secure, durable plastic bags are approved for excess garbage disposal, and can be placed next to customers’ garbage roll carts on their scheduled collection day. Further, customers have the opportunity to obtain additional county-provided garbage roll carts to meet their garbage disposal needs, and are encouraged to consider this option.
*City of Tucker residents are required to adhere to the city’s approved excess garbage preparation and disposal requirements as referenced in Codes 308.2 and 308.3. Please click here for more information.
Recycling collection service - Only county-issued 18-gallon recycling bins, 40-gallon recycling bags and 65-gallon recycling roll carts are approved for recyclable materials collection. Customers have the opportunity to obtain these recycling materials container options to meet their recycling needs, and are encouraged to consider these options. To subscribe to the Sanitation Division’s FREE residential recycling program, please contact the division’s customer service team at (404) 294-2900 or click here.
Yard trimmings collection service - Customer-provided containers are approved for yard trimmings collection. Additionally, yard trimmings must be prepared according to the division’s preparation procedures, and should be contained in 20- to 40-gallon containers or biodegradable paper bags. Covered containers are not required, but any covered containers should have detachable lids.
A Look Ahead
The DeKalb County Sanitation Division is prepared to meet the challenges of an ever-increasing customer base, and the need for advancing the county’s environmental stewardship efforts. In light of this, the Sanitation Division continually seeks to improve its business operations model through increased staffing and equipment, the recruitment of dedicated employees whose goals, vision and mission align with the division’s, enhancements to collection, transportation and disposal equipment procedures that align with industry standards, and continually identifying ways to provide customers with the highest levels of service through the employment of standard operating procedures that are consistent with the division’s approved business model.
For more information on the division’s service offerings, please contact the customer service team at (404-294-2900) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please click for the DeKalb County Sanitation Division’s Solid Waste Management Plan
DeKalb County Sanitation Division
Administration Building/Central Transfer Station
3720 Leroy Scott Drive
Decatur, GA 30032
Hours of operation
Administration building: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Call center: 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.