People like Ronnie Smith are going to be relieved when the old Sardis Road compactor site is moved to a bigger and better location less than half a mile away, likely by late spring or early summer.
“It will be so much easier for people to use,” said Smith, who is an attendant at the site.
The retiree assists people with whatever they need, keeps the flow of traffic moving and the area around the site clean.
“Sardis is a great community. (The people) help keep it clean. About 90 percent of people clean up after themselves, but 10 percent don’t, and I clean up after them,” said Smith, a Gainesville resident.
Out of the 12 current sites maintained by the county, the one located at 2801 Sardis Road is the busiest and picks up the most trash.
“We track the tonnage on a monthly basis,” said Ken Rearden, Hall County’s director of public works and utilities department. “It’s more populated in that area. ... There are more unincorporated folks out there.”
The containers are picked up nearly every day, and Smith said that they can hold up to 24,000 pounds of trash.
“You couldn’t skip a day,” Smith, who lives about a mile up the road, said.
Sometimes the site gets backed up into the street when there’s not enough room in the small space, which can cause traffic jams along Sardis Road.
Smith said he usually counts up to six cars waiting in line to dump their trash during the busiest hours.
“It’s kinda dangerous out there sometimes,” Smith said. The busiest days are usually Saturdays and Sundays. “It gets fast and furious. They come in one after another.”
The new site will also have double lanes.
Land for the new location was donated by Hall County Schools.
“It’s a good way to work together,” Rearden said.
The public works department recently cleared out some property for the Chestatee Academy cross country team and does other work for the school system.
“We work with them on road matters,” Rearden said. This partnership between the school system and the department made the new site possible.
Right now, there is only one compactor at the old location, with six large recycling bins on the other side. The new site will have four compactors, according to Rearden.
One compactor will be exclusively for paper and cardboard, another for aluminum and plastics and two for household garbage.
“We just brought the compactors themselves,” Rearden said. However, they have a 6-week delivery time, so the wait is on. Once they are delivered, fencing has to be put up and electricity has to be run through.
“It will take a bit of time,” Rearden said.