DeKalb County is committed to sustainability, and there are many county and community-led efforts to ensure that our environment stays green and healthy.
Originally, this page was created in observation of Earth Week. However, these are valuable community resources that can be utilized year-round.
This page is a living document, so information will be added continuously to provide you with more resources.
DeKalb Green FocusDeKalb is earning a reputation for being the Greenest Urban County in America. Here you can find out about programs that promote conservation, reduce environmental impact, grow the green economy and improve our quality of life in DeKalb County.
Community Gardening in DeKalb
DeKalb County seeks to promote healthy eating and active living in DeKalb. Community gardens are a great way to promote healthy food choice, increase local food supplies and provides the following benefits in the community :
- Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
- Reduces Family Food Budgets
- Conserves Resources
- Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
- Reduces Crime
To learn about how to obtain a plot and view other community park guidelines, click HERE
To apply for a community garden, click HERE
Recycling is an easy way to reduce your impact on the planet. Recycling saves energy, keeps waste from the landfill, and creates green jobs in your local area. In 2005 Commissioner Gannon sponsored the legislation that established the countywide recycling program in DeKalb County. In 2012 the signup fee was dropped. Currently, there are over 66,000 households registered countywide.
DeKalb County’s Curbside Recycling Program
Recycling saves valuable raw materials and cuts down on waste collection by diverting recyclables from the county’s Seminole Road Landfill. You can drop off your mixed paper recyclables at DeKalb County libraries and fire stations
Residential Single-Stream Recycling
Single-stream curbside recycling is a FREE subscription service offered to DeKalb County residents by the DeKalb County Sanitation Division. Recyclable materials are collected on residents’ scheduled sanitation collection service day. To subscribe to the program or request recycling materials, please choose one of the following options:
- Click here to subscribe online to the
- Click here to print and complete the and mail or drop it off to the Sanitation Division’s administrative office, 3720 Leroy Scott Drive, Decatur, GA 30032.
- Click here for prepaid fee payment options for blue recycling bags and recycling roll cart requests.
Seminole Road Landfill
Seminole Landfill allows residents to recycle and get free compost. They will also accept up to 10 scrap tires at a charge of $1.00 per tire. At its Green Energy Facility, methane gas from the landfill is captured and converted to electricity. The landfill was the first facility in the state to participate in the methane to electricity conversion program. In partnership with the Clean Cities Atlanta Coalition, DeKalb County received a grant to create a program for the conversion of methane gas to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) at Seminole Road Landfill. This reduces the use of fossil fuels for transportation, and will save the county an estimated $3 million in fuel costs over the next few years. There is also a CNG fueling station open to the public at the landfill.
The landfill is also open for tours. Visitors can tour the landfill, the Green Energy Facility, and the CNG site.
Visiting a park is also a great way to support sustainable living in your community. Parks provide green spaces for recreation, events, and exercise. In DeKalb County, there are 130 parks consisting of approximately 6,000 acres of parkland and open space, 151 playgrounds, 2 golf courses, 105 tennis courts, 90 pavilions, 158 ball fields, and 11 recreational facilities. Through 2013, more than 3,500 acres of parkland and greenspace have been added to the County’s inventory, which has almost doubled the original acreage within the park system.
View more infomation about DeKalb's Parks here.
Park Pride and Friends of Parks
Many parks also have Friends of the Park groups (FOP), or groups of neighbors committed to improving that park or green space. Park Pride offers matching funds to help FOP Groups improve their parks. See if your park has a FOP group! Or find more information about starting your own FOP Group here.
The PATH Foundation organizes a network of off-road paths and trails in and around Atlanta for walkers, runners, cyclists, and skaters. Their trails include systems that serve Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain, Chastain Park, and Nancy Creek. Click here for a map of all the PATH projects in DeKalb County.
Working with citizens and county officials, PATH has developed a master plan for 124 miles of trails through DeKalb County. Find more information here.
Other Green Spaces
The DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management protects the public health, safety and welfare through the provision of safe drinking water and quality wastewater treatment.
DeKalb County’s drinking water comes from the Chattahoochee River. The county has a Raw Water Pumping Station in north Fulton County that brings us our water.
DeKalb County has two wastewater treatment facilities:
Pole Bridge Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility is located in southeast DeKalb County. After treating the water according to state and federal requirements, they discharge it into the South River. Through a process called beneficial reuse methodology, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s preferred method of solids management, solid waste avoids the landfill and is instead reused to benefit the environment.
Snapfinger Creek Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility, located in southern DeKalb County, is the only authorized septic tank disposal operation in the county. The facility received funds for significant improvements in 2011 as a part of the Capital Improvement Plan, and meets the requirements of the Clean Water Act. It also monitors, operates, and maintains remote lift stations and metering stations located throughout the DeKalb County sanitary sewer collection system.
DeKalb Water Conservation : Toilet Retrofit Rebate Program
The Department of Watershed Management offers a Toilet Retrofit Rebate Program to active DeKalb County water customers whose homes were built prior to 1993. This program will assist customers in replacing their old toilets with high efficiency toilets to conserve water and money. Toilets being replaced must have been installed prior to 1993. There is a limit of replacing three (3) toilets per household. The number of toilets per household will be verified through property tax records. Note: If you have purchased your property within the last 2-3 months, please provide a copy of your settlement statement, HUD statement, or warranty deed as proof of ownership. To qualify for a rebate, each new toilet must be replacing an existing old, large capacity toilet installed prior to 1993.
There are two rebate options. Rebates are determined by the capacity and the purchase price (before taxes) of the toilet.
|Option 1: For the purchase of any approved 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) toilet on the list of eligible toilets, a rebate of up to $50.00 will be given.
Program Application Instructions
1. Download the application or call (770) 414-2360 to request a copy be mailed to you.
Please check the list of eligible toilets before you make your purchase. Only the model names and numbers listed will qualify for a rebate.
2. Mail your completed signed application and original sales receipt(s) to:
Department of Watershed Management
ATTN: Toilet Retrofit Rebate Program
1580 Roadhaven Drive
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
For questions about the program, contact The Watershed Department by phone at (770) 414-2360 or by eMail.
You can support the health of your watershed by getting involved with a watershed group. Here are some in DeKalb County:
Burnt Fork Watershed Alliance Burnt Fork Creek, located in what is now Mason Mill Park, used to provide all the water for DeKalb County. It now serves as a home to diverse wildlife. The mission of the Burnt Fork Watershed Alliance is to protect and preserve the creek and its green spaces.
South River Watershed Alliance exists to restore the water quality and biodiversity of the South River watershed to benefit both people and wildlife. They host events, including a “Where the Water Goes” series, that educate the community about the watershed and assist in its cleanup.
Peachtree Creek Greenway is a group whose mission is to create a public linear park along the North Fork of Peachtree Creek. They have organized to revitalize the creek and surrounding area, clean up the watershed, and protect North Fork’s natural environment.
South Fork Conservancy was formed by a group of engaged neighbors with the goal of restoring, conserving, and protecting the South Fork of Peachtree Creek, which runs through much of central DeKalb County. Through a planned series of trails, they hope to reconnect area residents with this historic Creek area.
More ResourcesGeorgia Urban Forest Council
Because trees clean our air, cool us down, reduce erosion and noise, and support the natural environment, it is important to value and protect them. Read more about the benefits of trees here.
Trees Atlanta is an organization which works to improve metro Atlanta's green spaces through planting, preservation, and education. They and their volunteers work to improve Atlanta's urban forest through their activities in the metro Atlanta area. Find out more about how you can volunteer on their website.
Trees Atlanta’s Champion Trees Program honors the biggest trees of their species inside the I-285 perimeter. If you want to nominate a tree, you can find more information here.
An arboretum is a collection of trees. Often, arboreta will be organized by a botanical garden, but neighborhoods and other organizations can create them as well. Local arboreta also give great information about what kinds of trees are in the area, their history, and their significance.
Here are some that may be near you: