New trash compactor in downtown Roanoke - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

New trash compactor in downtown Roanoke

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The next time you are eating in downtown Roanoke, your neighbor won't be a trash can waiting for curbside pickup.

"You want patrons that sit outside and I'm sitting next to a trash can. I no longer want to be here for the unfortunate smell that comes along with a lot of restaurant waste. That will be null and void now," said Conrade Young, a manager at Benny Marconi's.

Now restaurants will be able to take out the trash 24-hours a day, seven days a week on their own schedules.

Curbside pickup stops this week for businesses and people living downtown between Jefferson, Williamson, Norfolk and Church.

People will have to bring their own trash and recycling to a centralized trash compactor off Campbell Avenue behind Mill Mountain Coffee. It's equipped with lights, security cameras and a key FOB system for people to gain access.

The city of Roanoke and Downtown Roanoke Inc. (DRI) partnered on the project.  

"We're trying to be responsive to our business owners. Business owners did not want trash on the street," said Skip Decker with Roanoke Solid Waste Management.

Skip Decker says it will save businesses money and trash trucks won't be clogging the streets. Right now, it costs about $140 a month for trash service. Under the new model, every business and resident will get a key fob. The first two swipes are free each week and every swipe afterwards is $1.

"It's a huge change for us but it's a great change were very excited about it," said Tina Workman, the president and CEO of DRI.

"I think on the whole this is a great idea and will see as it's implemented how well it goes," said Young.

There are some businesses with concerns about their employees encountering safety concerns like broken bottles or employees getting hurt but they didn't want to go on camera. 

Decker says they hope to build two more trash compactors in the next five years with the hope of one on the other side of downtown for those people to use.

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