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Trash study in Lynchburg reveals holes in city system

City officials hope to bring in consultant in fall

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LYNCHBURG, Va. – Steven Craig lives in one of the single-family neighborhoods Lynchburg city is required to pick up trash from. He is also one of the 18,000 people whose bought the required decal sticker for his trash bin.

"So we updated our trash decal this year and unless we missed it in the mail, I haven't seen it. And no one's put anything on our trash bin about it being expired,” Craig said. 

While Craig waits, city officials said there are others who aren't following city regulations.

"We got enforcement problems with the decal-- some folks don't buy them-- and then there's the overflow problem as well, which is basically bags outside of the cart,” Craig said. 

In the last 18 months the public works department has been studying its trash, brush and bulk collection, and illegal dumping at recycling sites. They also discovered they have a few holes in their system. 

"So we've got a complicated system. We don't have a trash customer database really so there's some difficulties with that and identifying who are customers are,” Gaynelle Hart, public works director, said. 

The city hopes bringing in a consultant can help them better serve and regulate customers.

"We feel like now we've gotten to a place and an understanding of our systems that we'd like to bring on a consultant, a solid waste industry consultant to help us identify what are our next steps,” Hart said.

City officials say they've set money aside in their budget for a consultant and hope to bring them in the fall.