Pull in your garbage cans — or you could be fined

Posted at 6:28 PM, Feb 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-06 18:40:09-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Leaving your supercan trash cans out for days after the garbage trucks have gone could cost you some money.

Now, Richmond officials are pushing to collect fines for those who leave their trash cans in  a city right of way. What many people may not know is that if you live within the Richmond city limits, there are only certain hours that you can put the cans out.

"You should not put your super can out before 4 pm on the day before your service and it should be removed by 7 am the day after your services," Public Works spokesperson Sharon North told CBS 6 News.

North says citizen complaints and safety reasons prompted them to step up enforcement.

"If you have supercans on the sidewalks people may not be able to walk through especially if they're left out there for days on end. If they're out on the curb line cars may not be able to park," North explained.

Things are about to change for a 2007 city ordinance that was hardly ever enforced because of manpower issues.

If you violate it by leaving your supercan or recycling binds out in a city right of way and you're caught, first you will get a warning sticker on your can and  a letter in the mail.

"There's a $50 fee per can per day for every day that you're out of compliance once that letter is issued," North said.

Jennifer Spann, who lives on the Northside, says she thinks a $50 fine is ridiculous and unfair.

"It's the city putting a burden on the people unnecessarily. I don't think having mine here near the alley is causing any problem for traffic here," she said. "In fact I'm ok with it being here because I don't mind if people walking through her put their trash in my can. It keeps trash from being thrown down in the alley."

North says the city will alert customers by adding a notice to their March utility bill. She says the city will make some exceptions. For example, those who have signed up for back yard service will be exempt as will be elderly or disabled folks who cannot get out to move their cans.

Those forms can be filled out through the city's department of public works. North says once they send out the notices to customers, they will start fining people after March 11.

And if you receive a fine, expect it to be tacked onto your utility bill.