Fees considered for extended dumpster stays in downtown Roanoke

Currently, crews can get a free 30-day dumpster permit with unlimited renewals

ROANOKE, Va. – There's a good chance you've seen dumpsters along city streets where crews are doing construction projects.

Construction workers getting rid of debris are a necessary part of growth and development in downtown Roanoke, but some big dumpsters right outside of construction projects in the area are causing traffic problems.

Roanoke's transportation division says those dumpsters can block parts of the street and sidewalks, which can be an issue for drivers and pedestrians.

They can take up parking spaces and make it tough to walk around downtown.

That's why the city wants to make sure dumpsters don't stay downtown longer than necessary.

"This is not an effort to go out and raise revenue because it's not going to raise that much revenue for the city. It's solely based on trying to make sure that the dumpster is placed when appropriate and removed when it's not appropriate," said Mark Jamison, Roanoke's transportation division manager.

On Tuesday, Jamison shared a proposal with the City Council that involves charging a fee for putting those dumpsters downtown.


Currently, crews can receive a free 30-day permit to put a dumpster downtown, with unlimited free renewals.

Under Jamison's proposal, the first 30 days would still be free, but the first 30-day renewal would cost $100.

After that first 30-day renewal, each additional renewal would cost $100, plus $10 per day.

Council member John Garland, who is also a downtown developer, agrees with the proposal.

"We're talking about $10 a day fee, $100 a month fee. That's nothing in comparison with what's being spent. That's minor compared to what's spent for the dump fees associated with a dumpster so it's very minor," said Garland.

The transportation division says dumpsters have been left for extended periods downtown only seven times since 2015.

They say it's not a big problem right now and they want to keep it that way.

This proposal would only apply to dumpster permits in downtown Roanoke.

The transportation division still has work to do before the City Council votes on the proposal.

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