Norwalk official earns 'Taxpayer Hero Award'

Sanitation boss saves city $150,000 a year, thanks to tweaks with garbage truck routes.
Scott Seitz2
Apr 10, 2014


Norwalk sanitation superintendent Jeff Montgomery has earned the "Taxpayer Hero Award."

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost created this award to acknowledge government officials who demonstrate initiative with innovative ideas to cut costs and/or increase efficiency with their respective entities.

"Mr. Montgomery has implemented changes in routing and pickup procedures over the past several years, resulting in a savings of $150,000 annually for the city," Mayor Rob Duncan said.

"This is a remarkable achievement, reflecting the hard work and willingness of Jeff and his employees to implement news ideas in the sanitation department," the mayor added.

Yost was scheduled to present the award to Montgomery at the sanitation department, but Yost had to postpone the event because his daughter had a baby Friday.

"I was shocked," Montgomery said about earning the award.

He was nominated by former safety-service director Mark Schloemer.

Montgomery spoke, specifically, about what changes were made at the sanitation department which resulted in the savings.

Montgomery said a few years ago he had an employee who was leaving for full-time military duty.

"We were in the red, then, and I knew I had to eliminate that position once he left," he said. "I also knew I wanted to eliminate a truck off a route.

"I talked to the administration about evening out the routes and fitting the trash on two trucks rather than three," Montgomery said.

Montgomery said some days crews would collect 24 tons of trash, while on others, just 12 tons.

"On Jan. 24, 2011, we implemented changes," he said.

"We saved a lot of money by eliminating the position and also on fuel," Montgomery added.

"Something else we wanted to try to do was eliminating the majority of left-hand turns on the routes," he said. "We found too many trucks waiting to make left-hand turns and that's a waste of fuel and time.

"We wanted routes that were almost all right-hand turns," Montgomery said.

Montgomery said much of the credit goes to the sanitation employees.

"Nobody likes change," he said. "But our employees worked hard on this, asked questions and it worked out perfect. We've been able to balance out the routes to within a ton of each other."

The residents also had to be understanding.

"This really affected the routes in Sycamore Hills, Midtown Manor, Chatham Street and the uptown apartments," Montgomery said. "It affected about 500 homes.

"The residents don't like change either so if you are going to make a change, you need to make sure it's 100-percent right," he said.





Have you even made a 150K in your entire life?


What about the city being ripped off by the transfer station? I know to be fact that the city sent truck loads of sludge to the transfer station just to be weighed and driven north to erie county at a high fee. When they could have just went to erie county and dumped for almost half the price! Kinda like mob tactics to me


@rbenn - truckloads of sludge from where?


water treatment


I didn't know the transfer station accepted sludge. You sure?




Yeah I've heard that too. The County Commissioners like to scr*w over the residents of Norwalk so they can pay salaries out of the landfill. There's a story worth writing, Reflector.

Also, the water plant ships it's sludge 10 miles south to the transfer station where it sits on the same truck, then is shipped back through Norwalk en route to Erie county. Talk about a waste of taxpayer dollars.


That's what goes on.


Im also curious to know if the transfer station is even permitted to take sludge. The underlying problem is the "flow control" that the county has. They can extort every city and get away with it. No waste of any kind can go to the landfill without going to the transfer station first. So they can charge a higher tip fee than being able to direct haul to the landfill. Time to close the transfer station in my opinion it really doesn't do anyone any good, just costs us more.


Dont u live in S.C.?


Im from norwalk, but live in sc now. ur point?

Kottage Kat

The sanitation department does a great job.

J Cooper

Public employee who saves money and a department that is more efficient, great job, keep up the good work.


While this is a very positive initiative headed up by the employee(s). Sometimes efficiency is difficult because it cuts out middle class workers and positions, which in turn makes the wealthy wealthier and the middle class struggle for career opportunities. If they were able to save $150K I just hope that part of that money was used to create a new and needed position for someone within the community.


His budget was in the red. He balanced it with the savings. Sanitation tax dollars can only be spent on sanitation.


Kudos to Montgomery and those guys at the sanitation department. They do one heck of a job and deserve this and more recognition. Also, kudos to the previous mayor for letting him implement this. I notice lo' Jobs couldn't give her any credit, though he deserves none himself.


The only person who deserves credit is the person who saw what could be done and implemented the changes. Great to see such initiative recognized- and with such a humble attitude. Way to go Mr. Montgomery...and to the guys who are working twice as hard to make the changes work!

J Cooper

Good job to ex-Mayor Leash and her administration for approving this change.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


john1128 I hope Mr. Montgomery finds your relation and abuses him like you are abusing this man. Mr. Montgomery takes pride and is committed to a job not many are willing to do, yet alone do well. You just accused Mr.Montgomery of committing a crime. Maybe even leaving yourself open for a law suit. Who knows?