Residents of Dunwoody, Brookhaven and other DeKalb County communities soon may begin a three-month sanitation pilot program to study potential changes to the county’s garbage collection system, including once-a-week pickups instead of twice weekly pickups.

The pilot program will include 28,000 single family households, which were selected to represent customers from around the county

If the program eventually is adopted county-wide, it could save the sanitation department more than $6 million dollars a year in garbage-collection costs, DeKalb Sanitation Director Billy Malone told members of the Dunwoody City Council during the council’s Jan. 13 meeting. “It’s to balance our revenue,” Malone said.

A switch to once-a-week pickups using the new trucks and garbage containers being tested in the pilot program, he said, could mean the department would avoid a rate increase, he said.

“We have been running a deficit in sanitation,” Malone said. “We don’t want to raise our fees.”

Malone said the pilot program is expected to start in March. A firm date will be announced soon, he said.

Households selected to participate — including residents of neighborhoods in north-central Dunwoody — will receive a 65-gallon cart. Garbage, recycling and yard-trimming pickups will all take place on the same day each week. Those collections now may take place on different days.

DeKalb County officials will use the pilot program to assess the efficiency of mechanical garbage collection using semi-automated and automated equipment.

Households participating in the pilot will be contacted by a third-party vendor and asked for feedback on the program.

Contact DeKalb County using the email address  or by calling the sanitation pilot hotline at (404) 294-2980.