By Jason Massad
The city of Dunwoody is going to stick with DeKalb County for its commercial and residential garbage and recycling service.
In 2008, the city was under a two-year mandate after its incorporation that required DeKalb County to provide for garbage pick-up.
At a regular meeting Dec. 13, Dunwoody City Council members decided to keep that agreement for, more than likely, another year.
Talk in some circles has surrounded Dunwoody independently contracting for all or a portion of its garbage service, but those talks have not materialized.
Part of the reason Dunwoody stays with DeKalb County is that residents are satisfied with reliable curbside pickup, residential recycling options and the cleanup of yard waste, said Brian Anderson, city attorney.
“People were very pleased with DeKalb sanitation. They are not beating down the doors to change,” he said.
Anderson acknowledged that some vendors have approached the city with pitches that could lead to increased revenues for the city if a switch was made.
Representatives for Dunwoody, for their part, have talked about splitting commercial garbage pickup and residential service with DeKalb County. With commercial service potentially more lucrative, the option hasn’t been attractive to DeKalb County.
“They did reject that in the summer time frame,” Anderson said.
The reason? “I’m sure they make money off the commercial and not much off the residential,” he said.
Dunwoody has pursued numerous initiatives to make the city more “green,” from promoting bike lanes and bike racks to encouraging livable, walkable community redevelopments and park and green space amenities across the city.
Councilwoman Adrian Bonser expressed interest in apartments and multi-family units in Dunwoody having better access to recycling. Some private vendors promise recycling up to 70 percent of the city’s trash, although no firm proposal has been presented to the city.
“At least what I’ve heard is that the biggest barrier is space,” she said.
Councilman Denis Shortal said he has been satisfied with the level of service that the city has received from DeKalb County for its garbage service.
“I think they do a pretty darn good job,” he said.
Garbage service is just one of many services that the city of Dunwoody is faced with making tough decisions about.
Currently, the city’s police calls are handled by the county’s 911 dispatchers. On the table is a plan to beef up the DeKalb service to provide dedicated police dispatchers to Dunwoody or for the city to join ChatComm, a joint emergency service operated by Sandy Springs and Johns Creek.