Atlanta — In an attempt to collect on about $30 million in bad debt, Mayor Shirley Franklin has begun making phone calls to companies that have not paid their sanitation bills since the city started billing and collecting for services more than three years ago.

So far, Franklin has reached 11 of the 25 biggest debtors to the department, according to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The city’s sanitation program is approximately $10 million in debt. In May, the department sent out quarterly sanitation bills, but only about 10 percent of Atlanta residents bothered to pay on time, which prompted Franklin to make collections calls.