It took them eight hours to do it.
Curtis Dozier, DeKalb Sanitation’s general foreman, said the stuff they removed included everything.
“It was dirt that had been embedded,” he said. “There were glass, bottles, rocks – everything. It was slow work. It’s time-consuming.”
Mia Buggs, youth services librarian at the Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Library, was so tired of seeing the dirty road in front of the library that she stopped looking at it and didn’t notice the clean street until four days later, when someone called her attention to it.
After taking a look, Buggs was pleased.
“It looks good,” she said. “They did a nice job. I am proud to come to work now.”
Buggs said some library patrons noticed.
“One man asked me if they will be coming back in the future,” she said.
That is not likely to happen.
Anthony McBride, the county’s deputy director of Collections Services, said the cleanup in front of the Wesley Chapel library was a one-time event and that county workers will not be returning to clean the curbs and won’t be doing the remainder of the median to Boring Road.
“We only did this as a special project,” McBride said Thursday. “We did it because it’s in front of the library.”
McBride said curb cleanup is not part of Sanitation’s scope of work.
The cleanup of the Wesley Chapel median and both sides of the road – between the intersections of Rainbow Drive and Snapfinger Road and Kelley Chapel Road and Chapel Lake Drive – came three days after CEO Burrell Ellis launched his Operation Clean to the Curb on June 13.
McBride said curb cleaning is not part of Ellis’ initiative and that the scope of what the Sanitation Department does has not changed fundamentally.
“In no way should it have been interpreted that we are going to clean curbs,” he said. “We don’t have the resources to do that.”
McBride said the Ellis announcement was to encourage county residents to clean to the curb in front of their properties, publicize the Sanitation Department’s regular mowing schedule, and describe the roles of code compliance and Keep DeKalb Beautiful in cleaning up the county.
McBride said his department mows and picks up trash from more than 3,000 miles of county roads in unincorporated DeKalb annually. It does it with six three-member crews and 13 mowers.
Because of illegal dumping and littering, especially along deserted stretches of roads like Old McDonough Road and Henrico Road in Conley, Dozier said county workers fight a losing battle with trash.
“You clean up the road one day, and the next week, there is trash everywhere,” he said. “That’s frustrating for us to see that people just don’t care about our county.”
Among the other problem areas for dumping are Cottonwood Drive in Atlanta and Scales Road in Lithonia.
“You name it, they dump it,” Dozier said. “Old tires, mattresses, washing machines, microwaves, old furniture. It is very frustrating.”
Dozier suspects that some of the dumping is being done by people from other counties.
“We have a landfill,” he said. “We pick up from homes so DeKalb residents have no reason to dump on the street.”
Dozier suggests that if residents see someone dumping along the road that they write down the tag number of the vehicle and call police or the Sanitation Department to report it.
Litter along roadways also is a big problem. Dozier said people toss paper, fast-food containers and soda cans along the roads.
“They just open their car windows and throw out stuff,” he said.
When residents call to complain, Dozier said they always suggest that groups adopt the streets in their neighborhood and pick up trash.
“They listen well, but we haven’t had many to respond,” he said.