Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 05/03/12
Public Works launches Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Team
City continues to crack down on illegal dumping and other solid waste code violations in the public right-of-way
The City of Atlanta Department of Public Works announced the formation of their Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Team (SWEET) today in a joint press conference with the, Atlanta Police Department, Office of Code Enforcement, the City Solicitor’s Office, and Keep Atlanta Beautiful. This cross-departmental collaboration is part of the ongoing effort to clean up city streets.
Four Public Works employees were trained in the Solid Waste Code requirements and sworn in as code enforcement agents by the Atlanta Police Department. Each SWEET Enforcement Agent will be assigned per quadrant of the city to oversee education and enforcement of the City code, which allows for enforcement of code violations in the public right-of-way. Typical code violations include illegal dumping after an eviction, illegal sign placement, graffiti, and improperly contained waste disposal.
Agents will issue courtesy citations over the next 30 days in an effort to educate the public on the proper disposal of solid waste. Beginning June 1, 2012, citations issued can carry fines up to $1000 and jail time. Cases are prosecuted in the Atlanta Municipal court weekly.
“This effort’s two pronged approach of education and enforcement is designed to clean up our streets and sidewalks. Beginning with education, we intend to make sure our customers understand the proper way to put their trash out for pick up and for those egregious violators who use the public right of way as their dumping ground, there will be consequences. Our ultimate goal is to keep public spaces clean and safe,” said Richard Mendoza, Public Works Commissioner.
Carl Aaron, Anthony Byrd, Michael Crawford, and Louise Simmons were sworn in by the Atlanta Police Department in April this year as SWEET Code Enforcement Agents.
“Code Enforcement of the public right of way is not new for Public Works. Education and enforcement is part of an ongoing commitment to our residents and visitors to combat illegal dumping, illegal sign placement and other violations in the public right of way. It will now be done in a more comprehensive manner,” said Dexter C. White, Public Works Deputy Commissioner.
In February, Mayor Kasim Reed made the decision to re-align the civilian code enforcement division under the Atlanta Police Department recognizing that blighted areas, and abandoned or dilapidated properties facilitate crime.
“Violations of any type promote disorder and crime, lower property values, and affect the quality of life in our neighborhoods. The SWEET group will be an added set of eyes to partner with all efforts to keep the City clean and beautiful including the APD’s Graffiti Task Force and our collaboration with the new Tire Commission to combat illegal dumping of tires,” said Major C.J. Davis, Director of the APD’s Code Enforcement Office.
Individuals, community groups, associations, and others can help by reporting concerns about the public right of way to the Department of Public Works Customer Service Center at 404-330-6333 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @City_of_Atlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed.