We know it’s important to keep everything as clean as possible right now. There’s a group of people on the front lines of this pandemic doing just that: the City of Savannah’s Sanitation Department. For now, the sanitation department is sticking to its regular pickup schedules. “Sanitation falls under the general area of public health so, good solid waste collection is important just like clean water. It goes hand-in-hand with public safety, police and fire,” said Gene Prevatt, Sanitation Director. “If we don’t handle it correctly, it sets up an environment for disease factors such as birds and flies and rats and fleas and things like that, which we want to avoid.”

With sanitation workers being exposed to garbage that so many other people have touched, they have to take extra precautions. “All of our employees have protective equipment, which is a uniform, safety vest, gloves, masks and safety shoes,” said Prevatt. They ask that you bag your trash and put it in your garbage can so they can minimize the things they have to touch.

Prevatt says they keep hand sanitizer in all trucks and they wipe down and sanitize inside the truck twice a day every day, especially the area inside where the workers sit.

Right now there are three workers in each truck, but they might have to reduce that. “Maintaining a six-foot radius is a challenge obviously and we’re looking at alternatives for that also additional guidance on how we might mitigate that,” said Prevatt.

While the city is under a shelter at home order, it’s changing the amounts of trash they’re seeing in different areas. “We’ve got a lot of people who are now at home so we’re seeing a little uptick in residential waste and obviously as business is shut down there’s less commercial waste being generated,” he said.

To read the full story, visit https://fox28media.com/news/local/sanitation-crews-on-the-front-lines-keeping-savannah-safe-through-this-pandemic.
Author: Katie Filling, Fox 28Media
Photo: Katie Filling, WTGS, Fox 28Media