by: Erica Byfield Updated:
DECATUR, Ga. - DeKalb County is saving taxpayer dollars by changing when workers pick up trash.
For years, sanitation workers picked up trash four days a week: twice for garbage, once for recycling and once for yard waste.
As of this week, workers will haul trash from residents' homes three days a week; recycling and yard waste will be picked up on the same day.
"We are trying to save money on future overtime and we are saving money on gasoline but we are saving tens of thousands of dollars," said county spokesman Burke Brennan.
Sanitation department overtime costs recently crept up when the county began offering free recycling.
"It was all stacking up on Wednesday and now we are spreading out throughout the week so we don't have huge
overtime expense on Wednesday," Brennan told Channel 2's Erica Byfield.
In an effort to drive down those costs, DeKalb officials also decided to reduce the number of days some sanitation workers work.
Now, instead of a five-day work week, a large number of employees will work four 10-hour shifts.
In addition to saving on overtime costs, taxpayers should also see a reduction in fuel expenses.
Brennan told Byfield, for example, that workers will pick up yard waste first and if they don't see any recycling bins on a given street they will skip that street when they return to the area to pick up yard clippings.