The DeKalb County Sanitation Division
DeKalb’s integrated approach to recycling and solid waste management
To provide an efficient, cost-effective, sustainable and integrated solid waste management program for residents and businesses within our service area, with a sustained focus on customer service excellence.
Employee creed of service
Maintain a tradition of Efficiency • Accountability • Resilience • Integrity
A brief look back
Formed in 1937, the Sanitation Division has provided solid waste collection as a core service to county residents for decades. From twice-a-week service in the 1940s to the introduction of the recycling program in 1974, one of the division’s foremost priorities is discovering opportunities and implementing 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 of rising operating costs. This approach led to the implementation of once-a-week sanitation service 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
The implementation of once-a-week collection service is instrumental in streamlining sanitation collection processes to more than 173,000+ households; improving service delivery and efficiency through simplified scheduling, collection route optimization, standardized containers and consolidated collection; and has been a critical component of the Division’s quest to provide an integrated and sustainable business operations model. In 2016, the Division implemented changes to garbage and recycling container requirements, whereby only county-provided garbage and recycling containers are approved for use. In 2019, the Division integrated the industry-leading automated side-loader (ASL) collection trucks into its service fleet. In 2020, the Division transitioned from a 65-gallon garbage roll cart to a larger capacity 95-gallon garbage roll cart for households on ASL collection routes.
The Division’s coverage area comprises unincorporated DeKalb, and the cities of Brookhaven, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Stonecrest, Stone Mountain and Tucker.
Residential customers receive garbage, recycling, yard trimmings, bulky item and special collection services; and our signature collection service for disabled residents. Commercial customers receive garbage, recycling and special collection services. We also offer a public-access compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station; a renewable energy facility; a public-access mulch/compost operation; a public-access animal crematory; various landfill services; and a joint solid waste management plan with cities within DeKalb County.
Click here for our renewable fuels facility overview.
Sanitation division operational units
With oversight by the division director, the Division comprises 640+ employees in six operational units: Collections (residential & commercial); Processing (transfer stations & animal crematory); Disposal (landfill); Communications; Administrative services (call center/administrative operations); Payroll & Personnel services.
The Beautification Unit – Keep DeKalb Beautiful
The Sanitation Division’s beautification unit branded Keep DeKalb Beautiful (KDB) is an active community and environmental steward, tasked with protecting, enhancing and maintaining the county’s streets, rights of way, roadways, intersections and county-owned properties. The Unit comprises the Clean Communities and Roadside Enhancement operational areas. Click here for more information on the Beautification Unit.