Midtown News Center

On the Job with Midtown Green

Midtown Green’s crew is on the ground every day and literally sweating the details that make Midtown – where you’ll find an average of more than 100K people every day – a clean, green and inviting destination.

By the numbers, for the month of June, the Midtown Green team hauled off 883 trash bags of waste and debris, removed 513 instances of graffiti, took down more than 150 illegally-posted advertising signs, and performed countless other jobs from mucking out storm drains to watering trees. Come along as we shadow a few of the Midtown Green team who brave the summer heat to keep Midtown looking sharp. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017
6:58am – Midtown Green Warehouse at Peachtree and 7th

Day is breaking over Midtown. Midtown Green’s daytime crew clocks in and moves out in a fleet of vehicles including vacuum trucks, ATVs and pickup trucks to start their recurring daily assignments.

7:10am – 10th Street Temporary Park

James pulls his ATV up to the 10th Street park and puts on his work gloves. On James’ list for park maintenance today, and every weekday: empty trash and recycling bins; check the condition of the badminton and bean bag toss equipment; pick up any litter on the ground; restock bags for the doggie waste station and empty the waste bin; wipe down patio tables and chairs. Over the course of the day, James will visit eight parks throughout Midtown and haul off between five and ten 55-gallon bags worth of trash. And that’s just a fraction of the day’s total trash collection.

8:50am – Hillside along the Buford/Spring Connector

Jonathan and Andre are close to wrapping up their day’s first job, cutting grass along the ramp that leads from Midtown onto the Buford/Spring Connector. They’re at this site every two weeks during the warmer months to mow and edge on the hillside, which takes two to three hours. A car zooms past and sends up a friendly “honk-honk” in appreciation for their work. The heat and humidity of this summer day are beginning to take hold. Fortunately, there is some shade here. Another roadside median he maintains off the 10th Street bridge near the Turner campus has zero shade.

10:00am - Midtown Green Warehouse at Peachtree and 7th

With some of their recurring daily tasks complete, the crew regroups for a quick break and to get their next assignments. Their supervisors, Jorge and Rusty, completed their early-morning inspection through Midtown and spotted additional items needing attention. The 17th Street corridor between Spring and West Peachtree needs some “cut and clean” TLC. As they talk over the rest of the day’s work list, most of the crew break out water bottles and sports drinks to rehydrate. According to Jorge, the day shift will easily go through a case of water bottles today. When asked what the toughest workday is on their calendar, everyone answers without hesitation that Mondays are hardest. It’s the carryover effect from bustling weekend activity in the district, with more visitors coming into Midtown for events. To this end, Midtown Green added weekend shifts this year in response to the steady increase of weekend activity in Midtown.

10:35am – Juniper Street near 6th

Veado pulls his vacuum truck (called an ATLV) alongside the Juniper Street curb and flips the switch. He’s operating one of three ATLVs that run continuously from 7am to 3pm, vacuuming curbs, sidewalks, tree wells and storm drains. It’s estimated that the total vacuuming effort across Midtown’s 120 blocks each day takes in a combined 1,100 pounds of waste and debris – that’s half a ton, every day. By shift’s end, Veado will empty out the vacuum bin on his ATLV four to five times. Veado explains the ATLVs are constantly having to maneuver in and out of road traffic, which means he has to keep one eye on the task at hand and the other on adjacent cars, bikes, and people walking. Another complicating factor on some streets is having to vacuum at intervals when delivery trucks are not blocking curbs in front of bars and restaurants.

3:00pm - Midtown Green Warehouse at Peachtree and 7th

Another shift is in the books. The crew clocks out and heads home. A few hours later, the evening shift will arrive and perform many of the same tasks in many of the same spots the daytime crew just worked in hours earlier, the effects of a growing district that hosts 70K daytime workers, 20K residents and an average of more than 10K daily visitors. The three-person evening shift goes from 6pm to 2am, also handling pressure washing on sidewalks to wipe away the day’s foot traffic and repainting tarnished light poles.
Among Midtown Atlanta’s biggest selling points is the fact it is clean, green, and well-maintained. And after observing a day on the job with Midtown Green, it’s clear that keeping Midtown looking good doesn’t happen on its own. Their work in the public right of way never stops in a district that seems to never stop growing.

“We do a lot of things that might go unseen,” said Rusty, one of the day shift supervisors. “Many times, the trash or graffiti or fallen tree branch is gone before anybody even knew it was there.”

Watch: Behind the Scenes with Midtown Green

Your Role in a Well-Maintained Midtown

You can help maintain a clean and green public realm that everyone can enjoy. Some ideas to consider:

  1. It only takes a moment to pick up litter on the sidewalk and put it in a nearby receptacle.
  2. If you see something broken or out of service, contact Midtown Green at 404-817-0500.
  3. Your building can create a sense of community among tenants by adopting a tree well

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