Vinton residents reminded to follow the rules on trash and mowing

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VINTON–High winds in recent weeks and the upcoming Dogwood Festival during the last week in April have led the town to remind residents about regulations regarding trash clean-up and disposal.

The Town Code says that leaving a bag of trash at the street does not fulfill your responsibility as a citizen of Vinton. Trash to be picked up by the town not only has to be inside a trash container, it must also be placed in a trash bag before being placed into the trash can. The trash can must be leak-proof with a tight fitting lids and handles.

The rules are meant to help keep trash contained and not blowing around the neighborhood, to make it easier for our hard-working Public Works employees to manage, and to keep animals at bay.

Trash collected by Public Works for the Town of Vinton must be placed in a trash bag and then placed inside a trash can which is leak-proof and has a lid.
Trash collected by Public Works for the Town of Vinton must be placed in a trash bag and then placed inside a trash can which is leak-proof and has a lid.

Trash containers (with the trash bags inside) must be placed at the curb for pick-up by 7 a.m. on collection day. The trash cans may be put at the curb after 7 p.m. the night before. Residents need to move the emptied cans from the curb by 7 p.m. on the evening of trash collection day.

Public works no longer picks up bulk items like furniture, mattresses, and brush from alleyways. Those items must now be placed at the resident’s street-side property line to be collected.

Trash violations in Vinton.
Trash violations in Vinton.

Residents are not allowed to accumulate trash, debris, litter, garbage, inoperable machinery, equipment or appliances, brush, limbs, tree stumps, materials, machinery parts, more than 3 vehicle tires, or stagnant water on their property.

Inoperable vehicles must be stored inside a completely enclosed structure or otherwise shielded from public view. If it doesn’t have current license plates, a current state inspection sticker, or a current tax decal—it’s considered inoperable.

It is also against the rules to have items or substances which might attract or harbor “varmints” like snakes, skunks, or rats, or mosquitoes.

The Roanoke Valley Resource Authority (RVRA) Residential Disposal Policy allows residents of the Town of Vinton 12 free trips per fiscal year (July 1-June 30) to dispose of household waste with some exceptions where everyone has to pay. Four automobile tires per trip are allowed; disposal of an extra automobile tire would cost $5. Residents may even take one small load (under 500 pounds) of rock, dirt, brick, asphalt, or concrete to the RVRA.

The RVRA facility is located at 1020 Hollins Road in northeast Roanoke.

Four tires each year may be taken to the RVRA at no charge.
Four automobile tires may be taken to the RVRA  per trip at no charge.

Karla Turman, the Code Enforcement Officer in the Planning and Zoning Department, says that each year in the two weeks before the Dogwood Festival, she makes every attempt to check all areas of the town to make sure the trash is cleared and everything is shipshape to present the best possible face to visitors at the Dogwood event. If there are problems, she dispatches contractors and the Public Works Department out to deal with the issues.

This is also the first time each year that she checks for grass that is too high (over 12 inches in height). If residents do not respond to notices to mow after repeated contacts, and the town is forced to facilitate the mowing, a lien may be placed on the property to pay the costs.

Grass over 12 inches in height is a violation in Vinton.
Grass over 12 inches in height is a violation in Vinton.

Property owners are also responsible for maintaining trees and shrubbery so that they do not cause site visibility problems for motorists or obstruct pedestrians on the sidewalks.

Mowing violation in Vinton.
Mowing violation in Vinton.

Turman says that most of the problems with trash disposal tend to involve rental and commercial properties. Commercial properties have their refuse picked up privately from dumpsters and sometimes do not schedule trash removal frequently enough. Litter is especially noticeable in shopping areas where bags and dumpsters are not secured.

She says that often problem areas are noticed and reported by neighbors, Public Works employees, or even by mailmen.

Trash in the right-of-ways falls to Public Works employees to manage. They generally pick up debris before mowing.

More information is available from the Vinton Planning and Zoning Department at 983-0605.