WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011 • VOL. 14, NO. 32 •FREE
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
See Election on Page 15ASee Spills on Page 15A
Low turnout projected in Nov. 8 election
by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.com
low turnout is expected on Nov. 8as voters decide on school taxes,Sunday alcohol sales and four mayoral races.
, elections board director in DeKalb County, said turnout is expectedto be “very light” with less than 10 percent of voters participating in unincorporated areas.As of Oct. 28, only 242 early ballots had beencast and 551 ballots mailed out.“That is typical for special elections,”Daniels said.Turnout in cities could be higher be-cause “you actually have people campaign-ing,” Daniels said.Voters in all the cities in the county willdecide whether to allow the Sunday sale of alcohol and in Avondale Estates, Doraville,Dunwoody and Lithonia, voters will selecttheir next mayor. In Decatur, Mayor
is running unopposed for his citycommission seat. The Decatur mayor is se-lected by the city commission.In addition to selecting a mayor,
Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday at 2 a.m.
3-Day for the Cure
Hundreds of area residents participated in the 3-Dayfor the Cure walk through metro Atlanta to raiseawareness and support for breast cancer researchand to honor those affected by the disease. The60-mile walk began Oct. 21 at Stone Mountain Parkand the route took walkers through Decatur andAvondale Estates. Supporters along the way, manydressed in outlandish costumes, cheered on the par-ticipants along the route. Walkers stopped for lunch just outside Avondale Estates on Oct. 21 beforeheading into Decatur. Photos by Robert Naddra
County’s sewer spills already highest since 2007
by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comSewer spills in DeKalb Countyfor 2011 are already the highestsince 2007, with two months left inthe year.As of Oct. 20 there have been166 sewer spills reported in thecounty, six more than reported in2007. The spills total 1.6 milliongallons, and of those spills, about70 percent were caused by fats, oils,and grease (FOG) in pipes.“FOG is everywhere,” said
, the county’s director of thewatershed management department.“It’s everybody preparing their meats every day.”The main concentration of FOG-related sewer spills is “imme-diately downstream of multifamilycomplexes,” Basista said.To reduce these sewer spills Ba-sista said the county is consideringways to encourage or require multi-family complexes to do somethingabout their FOG problems. Possibleways to address the issue at the com- plexes include increase education,starting a grease collection serviceand installing a grease interceptor.Basista said his departmentwould not seek a mandatory, blanketgrease requirement and would notnecessarily seek legislation.Because most multifamily com- plexes have private sewer systemson their properties, it is to their ad-vantage that they keep grease out of their pipes, Basista said.Since 2007, the county has hada FOG ordinance that requires allfood service establishments to main-tain grease interceptors to preventfats from entering the sewer system.The grease traps are routinelyinspected by county FOG compli-ance inspectors who also check therestaurants’ permits and records for the grease interceptors to ensureregular maintenance and disposal.The FOG ordinance has “ef-fectively reduced spills,” Basistasaid. DeKalb had 256 sewer spills in2006, the year before the ordinancewas passed,Basista said the county hasreceived two unsolicited proposalsfrom companies seeking to makemoney by helping the county keepFOG out of its pipes.“FOG can be readily convertedinto biodiesel fuel,” Basista said. “Itnow has commodity value, [but] it’shard to determine the market.”One local company that is try-ing to reduce the FOG problem andmake some cash is Curbside Recy-cling.“We have a solution to the prob-lem,” said Curbside Recycling co-owner
.Curbside Recycling, which has been in business since March 2010,is concentrating on rolling out itsGRO Well (Grease RemediationOil Well) program to small cities.GRO Well is a free residential FOGcollection program performed on amunicipal level. The company holdsa registration event during whichit distributes a collection container for the monthly used, cooking oil pickup.Curbside rolled out the programin Clarkston in August. The city of Lithonia joined in September andStone Mountain implemented it onOct. 22.“The city supports any effortthat will redirect this troublesomeFOG and keep it out of our sewersand landlls,” said Clarkston Mayor
in a statement.To draw potential registrants,Curbside Recycling pays cash on thespot for metal-based recyclables.“The trash-to-cash is a featureevent of a free oil [collection] reg-istration,” Curbside Recycling co-owner
said. “That brings the people out.”Younge said the county’s FOG program may keep some grease outof pipes, but it does not address thefull environmental impact of FOGs.“What the county is telling peo- ple is put grease into a container andthrow it in the trash,” Younge said.But those containers are dumpedinto garbage trucks where the greasecontainers are compacted andsqueezed on the streets.Curbside Recycling’s goal is tocreate a market for biodiesel use inschool buses and ﬂeets.