The Birmingham City Council strategic director responsible for the roll-out of wheelie bins has announced her retirement from her £156,000-a-year job, after 40 years with the authority.
Strategic director of place Sharon Lea is one of the council's top five officials and has been responsible for bins, parks, sports and events, highway maintenance and other local services.
She has been overseeing the roll-out of wheelie bins and the launch of the controversial £35-a-year garden waste charge.
There was much criticism over the introduction of this 'garden tax' with city streets littered and long queues at tips.
Ms Lea became acting strategic director of environment and culture six years ago and was a key figure in Birmingham's unsuccessful Capital of Culture bid.
At the same time, she also oversaw the upgrade of Alexander Stadium and Birmingham's role in the 2012 Olympics.
She survived a cull of top management in a council shake-up in 2013 to secure the newly created role of strategic director of place.
Ms Lea said: "It's been a huge privilege to serve the residents of Birmingham. Leading the transformation of many frontline services, managing 4,000 staff and nearly a billion-pound budget has been incredibly challenging but equally rewarding.
"I have worked with some of the most talented and committed people in local government today and, across a diverse range of public and private agencies, our common aim has been to improve the lives of Birmingham citizens.
"It goes without saying I will miss very much my many friends and colleagues at the city council and partner agencies but wish them continued success in building an even better Birmingham."
Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, added: "In anybody's estimation, working for the same organisation for 40 years is a clear sign of loyalty and dedication.
"Sharon is a proud Brummie and she has shown her commitment to the city throughout her long career here.
"I congratulate her on four decades of public service to the citizens of Birmingham and wish her the very best for her retirement."
She leaves in July and council bosses hope to recruit a replacement by the autumn.