garbageHomeDeKalb County residents will soon find something new in their driveways: a 65-gallon green garbage can.

Beginning July 6, waste collections by the county will be reduced to once a week from twice a week. Residents should receive a notice hanging from their door knobs informing them of their collection days.

On a resident’s designated day, he or she will be expected to roll the new green garbage cart to the street before 7 a.m. County sanitation workers will empty the bin before sundown. The resident is then to roll the cart back to the house.

Under the new system, county sanitation workers will pick up recycling and yard clippings on the same days the workers pick up garbage. Officials have said they are making the move to once-a-week pickups to save money and to avoid a hike in the county’s garbage fee which has remained unchanged since 2006.

They say they will save money by switching to an automated pickup system that uses the new carts and requires fewer employees. Over time, they say, the new pickup system will reduce employment as workers leave sanitation jobs and it will also make the job safer for the employees who remain.

Any resident who does not receive a cart from the county by July 6 is asked to continue using their current containers until they have received the new cart, the county says. Once the carts are distributed, though, a resident is expected to use only his or her cart when putting out the garbage.

“Once the program is fully implemented by the end of August 2015, garbage will not be collected in any other container or cart,” the county says on its webpage.

County officials say the program will improve the look of neighborhood streets by consolidating solid waste, recyclable and yard trimming pick-ups all to the same day. The consolidation of days will also reduce confusion as to what day is for recycling, trash, or yard trimmings and keep streets clearer on most days.

After the county tested the once-a-week pickups through a pilot program, county surveys found that 88 percent of participants supported the consolidated service. For any further questions or concerns contact the Customer Service Division of the DeKalb Sanitation Department at 404-294-2900 or sanitation@dekalbcountyga.gov.

–Mary Helen Kelly

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