ATL’s Sharon Douglas is runner-up in City Ideas competition

Filed in Employees, Sustainability by on March 12, 2014

Sharon Douglas, Sustainability Manager for the DOA’s Asset Management and Sustainability Division, placed second in the recent City Ideas 

Sharon Douglas - COA Ideas-2

Sharon Douglad with her award certificate.

competition, in which City of Atlanta employees proposed innovative ways for the city to save money, promote sustainability and increase efficiency.

Douglas won a cash prize of $7,000 and, along with five other winners, was formally recognized by Mayor Kasim Reed in recent a ceremony at City Hall for her idea, which she calls “Pay as You Throw.” The competition was hailed as a big success, having attracted 370 submissions from city employees.

Under Douglas’ proposal, city residents would pay for garbage collection based on the volume they throw away. By billing for garbage collection the same way utilities charge for gas, electricity or water consumption, residents would have a financial incentive to decrease their household trash by recycling more, Douglas contends.

“This plan would encourage people to take advantage of the recycling infrastructure that the city already has in place,” she explains.

Douglas estimated that Pay as You Throw – which has been successful in other cities – could save Atlanta $20 million over its first five years by reducing the volume of waste going to landfills.

In coming weeks, Douglas will meet with Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza to discuss how her proposal could be developed into a pilot program.

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