TRASH TALK: Give Me A Sign

We think that part of the reason that our sites are being treated the way they are  is because residents don’t understand what goes where. When you pull up at one of our green box sites and convenience centers to drop off your household’s trash, it can be a little bit difficult to know exactly what you’re supposed to do. There are several, usually unlabelled, containers to throw things in. In the past, we’ve seen our signs torn down, spray painted, covered with brush. In one particularly sassy attempt to get rid of their tires, our ground level sign that stated no brush and no tires… was covered up with tires.

To combat this issue, we are putting up brand new signs that explicitly state what goes in each of the boxes you see at a convenience center and green box site. The green box site signs will also give you the address of the landfill and the nearest convenience center so that all you have to do is drive to it and drop off your garbage.

They will also inform readers of the penalties available for those who take advantage of our solid waste system in an illegal fashion. These signs will go up over the course of the next few months at all of our green box sites in the county, which will hopefully help stem the abuse.

While we want these sites to be useful for all of our citizens, this is not the place to swap things for other people to use or upcycle. If you think someone else might want an item, take it to a local thrift store or the Pittsylvania Pet Center – not the landfill. Leaving it outside the dumpsters makes it difficult for other people to get their trash into the dumpsters and makes our landfill workers have to make several extra trips out to the sites, which costs our taxpayers quite a bit of money.

We have begun the process of sending letters out to still-licensed contractors who have acquired a building permit in Pittsylvania County in the last decade. Any contractor who acquires a permit through our Zoning Office will also receive notice that the convenience centers and green box sites are not approved dumping places for any kind of construction debris and that those same penalties will apply to them and their company.

We have started installing cameras at our convenience centers in order to catch people and businesses in the act of dumping illegally or dumpster diving – something we have heard loudly and clearly that is a problem in our solid waste system. These cameras are powerful enough to take pictures of license plates and faces in order to enforce our ordinance. The staff has kept the Board of Supervisors up to date on all of these efforts.

So here’s my question for you, which I am asking at the end of each article I write. Is there something you’d like to see us change? Do you have suggestions for what we should add to our convenience centers to make your experience better? We want to know!