The city of Charlotte, NC solid waste services department: reorganizing for success

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Courtesy of Waste Advantage Magazine

Named for Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III of England in 1768, the city of Charlotte, NC was incorporated as a municipality and quickly expanded as a major processing and distribution hub in the East. Currently, the city of Charlotte is the nation’s second leading financial center and its Solid Waste Services Department (SWS), serves more than 750,000 residents, providing garbage, recycling, yard waste and bulky item collection services. The department also offers a variety of special services such as street sweeping, small business garbage collection, rightof- way litter collection and dead animal collection. To ensure sound urban development, every two years qualifying residents are annexed into the city’s boundaries. The most recent annexation in 2009 added 6,730 new households into the service area, for a total of more than 205,000 single-family households needing waste services.

As of December 2010, SWS has 283 employees under the direction of Key Business Executive, Victoria Garland-Johnson. There are six divisions (Collections, Special Services, Administration, Public Information, Contract Services and Technology Services) in the department. Initially, the department was housed in two different sites, one site for administration and the other for operations. In February 2010, the department moved into a newly constructed 37,361 square foot facility that houses the entire SWS department as well as a detached 4,400 square foot warehouse. The buildings are ergonomically designed to efficiently combine the department’s large operational components with its diverse administrative, clerical, technology and other support components. The new facilities incorporate a number of sustainable/green construction elements including energy efficient glazing, a high-efficiency HVAC system, and energy saving lighting features.

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