CANTON: The new chief of the city’s garbage collection effort is a man on a mission.
Mark Adams wants to eliminate, or at least reduce, the 3,300 complaints the Health Department receives about garbage each year.
Adams, director of environmental health for the Health Department, is taking over supervision of the Sanitation Department — a move that will mean more work, but possibly less frustration.
On Monday, City Council authorized Canton Service Director Warren Price to pay up to $60,000 to the Health Department to manage the city’s Sanitation Department.
Adams asked the service director a year ago to give him the job because he saw substantial overlap between the two areas.
Many of the complaints the Health Department handles concern garbage the Sanitation Department didn’t pick up, Adams said. He plans to prevent some of those problems.
Sometimes a garbage crew leaves an oversized load behind, returning to the garage with the news that the resident needs to schedule a special collection. Before that happens, animals and wind can turn the load into litter.
At other times, a garbage package might not be collected because it exceeds the city’s 35-pound limit.
In one case, a crew refused garbage because it contained insects.
Adams said his approach will be to have workers collect at least some of the garbage on an oversized load.
Automated equipment, with mechanical arms to lift large containers, could eliminate the problem of overweight cans and reduce worker injuries.
Education could help garbage collectors understand that domestic pests, like roaches, are less hazardous than mosquitoes transmitting potentially fatal West Nile virus, Adams said.
He also plans to examine long-standing collection routes to see if they can be streamlined.
Adams’ salary of roughly $76,000 is not affected by the contract.
He said he expects to work about five hours a week more than he does now, spending 10 to 15 hours a week at the Health Department and 25 to 30 hours a week at the Sanitation Department.
Nancy Molnar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.