Thursday, October 2, 2008

City of Atlanta Department of Public Works Update on Solid Waste Service Operations

In the spring of 2008, the Department of Public Works began implementing measures to improve service delivery and overall efficiency of Solid Waste operations. We began weekly collection of yard trimmings and also moved the previously outsourced collection of recyclables into the Solid Waste Services operation. The in-house collection of recycling is saving the City approximately $3 million dollars per year.

The FY09 budget addressed all of these changes. As a standard budgetary process, a certain percentage of the overall budget was allocated for overtime to adequately prepare for unforeseen circumstances such as equipment failures, injuries, accidents, and emergencies.

A typical workday for our sanitation workers spans from 7:30 am – 4:00 pm, with 30 minutes for lunch and two 15 minute breaks. Lunch and breaks may be taken during the day or at the end of their shift upon completion of their assigned route. It is not unusual for crews to work through their lunch and breaks. This allows them to return to the work station before the end of their assigned shift. If overtime is required, workers may make themselves available for additional work upon completion of their assigned routes.

It has come to our attention that there may be some alleged abuse of the City’s overtime policies, specifically within Solid Waste Services. We are looking into these allegations and will provide a detailed response to our findings. Should it be determined that any employees have violated the overtime policy, this would be dealt with in accordance with the City’s standard procedures for discipline.

For additional information, please contact Valerie Bell-Smith, Public Relations Manager at 404.330.6215 or via email to
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