Solid Waste Management & Recycling Assistance

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Basic Info

Solid Waste Planning:  State law related to the solid waste management planning requirements for local governments changed significantly in 2011.  As a result, DCA has very little involvement in local solid waste planning efforts, today, and the department no longer reviews and approves local (or regional) solid waste management plans.  However, communities are still required to acquire authorization from the Environmental Protection Division at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources prior to expansion of existing landfills or beginning construction on new landfills.  As a prerequisite for such authorization, a community's current solid waste management plan, whether local, multi-jurisdictional or regional, must at a minimum:

  • include an up-to-date capacity assurance element that provides for 10 years of collection capability and disposal capacity,
  • enumerate the allowed solid waste handling facilities as to size and type, and
  • identify those sites that are not suitable for solid waste handling facilities based on environmental and land use factors.

For more information on solid waste management, please reach out to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division or your own local government.

Recycling:  The Recycling industry is big business in Georgia, yet every year, Georgians collectively pay more than $100 million to bury raw materials worth nearly $300 million to manufacturers based right here in our state. Those manufacturing feedstocks are also known as recyclable material, and about 40 percent of what Georgians set out as ‘garbage’ could have been recycled. For more information, DCA recommends reaching out to the partner organizations in the "Related Links" below for information to assist local governments in generating less waste, diverting what they can for reuse, and efficiently disposing of the rest. 

For more information about recycling in your community, please reach out to your own local government or, where possible, your local affiliate of Keep Georgia Beautiful.

Source-Separated Organics Recycling Toolkit

DCA is pleased to present the Source-Separated Organics Recycling Toolkit (S2ORT), funded by EPA Region 4. Local governments and other service providers seeking to meet residential waste diversion goals or offer additional collection services for their customers can use this resource to determine the feasibility, associated costs and optimal strategy for collecting organic material. Food residuals and yard trimmings can account for a third of the ‘waste’ material generated from households.