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.

Four Place In Equipment, Mechanic, and Truck Road-E-O

Two Advance to International Road-E-O

 

On May 11, 2016, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Georgia Chapter held its annual Equipment, Mechanic, and Truck Road-E-O at the Southern Pines Ag and Expo Center in Dublin, Georgia. This chapter event was held to qualify competitors for the SWANA International Road-E-O to be held at the same location on September 3rd. The equipment, mechanic, and truck Road-E-Os are just one way that SWANA tries to give back to and recognizes the outstanding personnel in the solid waste management industry.

 

Four employees of the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority participated and placed in the May event which qualified competitors from both the private and public sectors. Competitions were held for automated side- loader, front load, rear load, roll-off, and tractor trailer under the truck categories; dozer, articulated dump truck (ADT), rubber-tired loader, and track hoe in the equipment categories; and mechanics. Competitors skills were tested as they maneuvered through challenging courses.

 

In the Truck Competition category McKenny Pittman placed 2nd in the Front Loader event. In the Equipment Competition category Eddie Ashe placed 3rd in the Dozer event. Josh Kruse placed 3rd in the Off Road Truck event and in the Rubber Tire Loader event. Marlon Cole placed 1st in the Track Hoe event, and was the top overall finisher in the equipment category earning him the title of “Top Gun”. Pittman and Cole will move on to compete in the International Road-E-O next month. Learn more about this event here: http://www.gaswana.org/road-e-o.html

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    Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority employee, Marlon Cole, placed 1st in the Track Hoe event during the Road-E-O competition in Dublin, Georgia this May. His top scores in the Equipment competition category earned him the title of “Top Gun” and a spot at the International Road-E-O event next month.

Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority employee, Marlon Cole, placed 1st in the Track Hoe event during the Road-E-O competition in Dublin, Georgia this May. His top scores in the Equipment competition category earned him the title of “Top Gun” and a spot at the International Road-E-O event next month.

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    McKenny Pittman, who represented the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority at the Road-E-O in May, placed 2nd in the Front Loader event which is part of the Truck competition. Pittman will move on to compete in the International Road-E-O event in September.

McKenny Pittman, who represented the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority at the Road-E-O in May, placed 2nd in the Front Loader event which is part of the Truck competition. Pittman will move on to compete in the International Road-E-O event in September.

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    Josh Kruse, a Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority employee, participated in the Equipment category of the Road-E-O in May which was held in Dublin, Georgia. Josh Kruse placed 3rd in the Off Road Truck event, and in the Rubber Tire Loader event.

Josh Kruse, a Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority employee, participated in the Equipment category of the Road-E-O in May which was held in Dublin, Georgia. Josh Kruse placed 3rd in the Off Road Truck event, and in the Rubber Tire Loader event.

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    Joel Scott, SWANA Georgia Chapter Treasurer, recognizes Eddie Ashe at the Road-E-O competition in Dublin, Georgia this May. Ashe, an employee of the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, placed 3rd in the Dozer event which is part of the Equipment competition.

Joel Scott, SWANA Georgia Chapter Treasurer, recognizes Eddie Ashe at the Road-E-O competition in Dublin, Georgia this May. Ashe, an employee of the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, placed 3rd in the Dozer event which is part of the Equipment competition.

Former Operations Manager, Harvey Levitt, Receives Award

Harvey Levitt (center) receives the Professional Achievement Award for the Public Sector at a recent conference from representatives from the Solid Waste Association of North America. 

Harvey Levitt (center) receives the Professional Achievement Award for the Public Sector at a recent conference from representatives from the Solid Waste Association of North America. 

              Harvey Levitt, former Operations Manager at the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority (DWSWA), Dalton, GA, was recently awarded the “Professional Achievement Award-Public Sector” by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). Given annually, this award recognizes SWANA Members for valuable and distinguished contributions to the Association, the individual’s employing organization and the general public. The length of continuous contributions and services by the individual is a consideration in the selection.

            Nominated by the Georgia Chapter of SWANA, Mr. Levitt has more than 25 years of experience in solid waste management in both the private and the public sector. He served for 18 years at DWSWA, overseeing a very successful solid waste management program, before retiring in December 2012.          “Harvey’s recognition is well deserved,” remarked Norman Barashick, Executive Director of the DWSWA.  “Harvey has worked tirelessly over the years to improve recycling access at the local level and to improve professional education access on the state level.”

            Harvey is a certified landfill operator in Georgia, and has participated for 20 years in the Georgia Landfill Operator Certification Training program as lead moderator and teacher. He served for 14 years as the Georgia Chapter’s treasurer, has participated in multiple committees, and continues to sit on the board of directors.

            For more information, contact SWANA at 1-800-467-9262 or SWANA-Georgia Chapter at 770-822-9309. Or visit www.swana.org or www.gaswana.org.

Elizabeth Swafford Earns ATEEG Distinction

    Elizabeth Swafford has been certified as an Environmental
Educator thru the nationally accredited professional development program
Advanced Training for Environmental Education in Georgia.  






  
  
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Elizabeth Swafford has been certified as an Environmental Educator thru the nationally accredited professional development program Advanced Training for Environmental Education in Georgia.

(Dalton, GA, October 27, 2013) –  Elizabeth Swafford, Recycling and Education Program Coordinator for the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, and Executive Director of Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful, has earned the distinction of Certified Environmental Educator.  After completing a rigorous two and a half year study she received one of the first certifications for ATEEG, Advanced Training for Environmental Education in Georgia.  This professional certification program is offered by the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia.

Swafford was recognized at the 2013 Environmental Education Alliance’s Annual Conference in March along with other educators who successfully completed the program, which is nationally accredited by the North American Association for Environmental Education.  The ATEEG certification required 30 hours of specialization workshops, completing three core courses, and an independent study project.  The courses focused on the foundations of environmental education, fostering learning, and assessment and evaluation.

This certification is of benefit to educators in the state who want to be recognized as a leader in the field of environmental education and gain credibility for the profession that is reflected in various career paths.  Educators can range from those in formal settings, such as a science teacher in a public school, to those working in non-formal educational settings like a nature center.  Swafford is a non-formal educator who teaches local students about recycling, the landfill, and other environmental topics through her work at the DWSWA and KDWB.

Swafford’s independent study project, Recycling Ben’s Sidekick Training, was designed to train third graders to become recycling superheroes.  During the special 4 hour program students made upcycled name tags, toured the landfill and recycling center in Whitfield County, made an edible model of a landfill, completed a recycling relay race, and met mascot Recycling Ben.  The project included all aspects of the ATEEG program, including components for assessment and evaluation. The special training is now part of the regular educational opportunities offered at the facility.