Verhoeff to head Solid Waste Authority

Photo by Matt Hamilton, The Daily Citizen  Dirk Verhoeff, interim director of the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, was recently named the sole finalist for the post of director. The authority's board is expected to finalize his appointment in November. 

Photo by Matt Hamilton, The Daily Citizen

Dirk Verhoeff, interim director of the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, was recently named the sole finalist for the post of director. The authority's board is expected to finalize his appointment in November. 

Dirk Verhoeff says becoming director of the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority has been "a professional and personal goal of mine" for several years.

Verhoeff has worked for the authority for nine years as environmental manager and project manager and has been interim director since shortly after director Norman Barashick announced his retirement after more than 20 years with the authority in May. And earlier this month, the authority's board named Verhoeff the sole finalist to be the authority's next director.

Authority employees are legally employees of the city of Dalton. Dalton Human Resources Director Greg Batts said Verhoeff's salary has not been finalized. He said ads for the job did not specify a salary but Barashick was earning about $90,000 a year.

"It was an easy choice," said Whitfield County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mike Babb, who is on the authority board. "Dirk has regularly reported to us during our meetings, and he came highly recommended by Norman. We felt that we had a good employee who had been there for several years and had taken on increasing responsibility during that time, and we thought that we need to encourage and reward that sort of employee."

Verhoeff has a bachelor of science degree in environmental engineering from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

"As environmental manager, I've been responsible for all the regulatory compliance and reporting that goes along with operating a solid waste facility," he said. "We have permits with the state and the feds. There's a lot of monitoring and reporting that goes along with that."

"And on the project management side, when I started, they had just started the landfill natural gas collection system, so I have managed that from day one," he said.

As director, he will be responsible for the budget and financial side as well.

The authority has an annual budget of about $5 million.

"We are an enterprise fund, so all of our revenues come from the customers who use our services," he said.

The authority has 36 full-time employees and three part-time employees. It operates the landfill on the south end of the county and convenience centers on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Dalton, McGaughey Chapel Road in Cohutta and Miracle Drive in Westside. It also oversees and monitors the closed landfill in Westside.

Verhoeff says he doesn't foresee any major changes at the authority.

"We've got staff who have been here 20, 25 years. Everything runs very well, so I don't see any need for change, at least not right now," he said.

"I'm rooted in the community. My wife is a Dalton native. We have two children, and I'm really excited about this opportunity," he said.

“An Earth Worth Saving” Mural Celebrated During Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful and 1000 Words Dalton Art Project celebrated the completion of the mural “An Earth Worth Saving” by local artist Henry Green. The mural is located downtown at the intersection of Thornton Ave. and Waugh St.

Local artist Henry Green was selected to design a mural with a recycling and sustainability theme for Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful. The selection process was facilitated by 1000 Words Dalton Art Project.

(Dalton, GA, April 14, 2016) –  The completion of the mural “An Earth Worth Saving” by local artist Henry Green was celebrated on Tuesday, April 12 with a ribbon cutting ceremony organized by the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce. The recycling and sustainability themed mural is sponsored by Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful in partnership with 1000 Words Dalton Public Art Project. The new mural is located at the corner of Thornton Ave. and Waugh St. on the side of the MAPCO gas station across the street from the Dalton Green Park.

Last fall Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful’s recycling committee requested artist submissions through 1000 Words for a recycling and sustainability themed mural. Green’s design which included a view of planet Earth from space was ultimately chosen out of six different designs.

While the painting of the mural was done by Green, volunteers helped to prepare the wall for the new artwork during three work days. Teens from The City of Refuge who volunteered also helped Green select different animals to add to his design.

In the mural the Earth is is covered with plastic bottles bringing attention to the amount of plastic being used but not recycled. By not recycling we produce more waste, litter, and fill up landfills with materials that could be used again. Circling the planet is an astronaut with a recycling bin reaching for a paper airplane that says, “What we save, saves us.” What we recycle and reuse saves the Earth by conserving limited natural resources.

The large trees on either side of the Earth are an homage to the Tree of Life. When we recycle paper we help conserve trees which provide oxygen, shade, and a habitat for living things. Some of the animals represented in the trees are the red panda, chameleon, horse, snake, dolphin, and elephant. As we save the Earth we in turn benefit ourselves because we are all interconnected, making this an Earth worth saving.

Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful is the local Keep America Beautiful affiliate striving to create a more vibrant, beautiful community. The non-profit focuses on initiatives for litter prevention, waste reduction and recycling, and community greening and beautification. They recently released an educational campaign about preventing litter called “Love it, don’t trash it!” #LiveLitterFree. Learn more at

1000 Words is a new initiative to promote and accelerate the growth of public art in Dalton. The initiative partners with local artist with the funding, location and community volunteers to create murals and sculptures around town. Program organizers want to give Dalton a voice through public art, accelerate beautification, instill pride in our community and inspire the next generation. Learn more about them and upcoming art collaborations at

For more information about the mural and additional photos visit the Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful on Facebook or call 706-278-5001.



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Electronic waste piling up

The Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority's electronics recycling program was featured in a story by the Chattanooga Times Free Press on January 20, 2011. To read the whole story click here: Electronic Waste Piling Up

Whitfield County and Dalton, Ga., have collected e-scrap since the county collected 13.4 tons in its first drop-off event in February 2008, said Liz Swafford with the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority.
In 2010, the waste authority collected 12.66 tons of e-scrap for recycling — equivalent to the weight of 10 compact cars, Swafford said.

Electronics recycling is available year round at the Old Dixie Hwy. Landfill and Convenience Center location only. Please see the on site attendant for assistance.