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Henrico to resume modified Community Cleanups in September

Residents will be notified by mail 2 weeks before their cleanup is scheduled

After a pause for the COVID-19 pandemic, Henrico County’s Community Cleanup program is set to resume with changes aimed at controlling costs and preventing improper dumping and other abuses.

The first of eight scheduled cleanups for this fall will occur Saturday, Sept. 11. Residents of the selected areas will be notified through brochures mailed to their homes two weeks in advance.

“Since 1996, the Community Cleanup program has played an important role in maintaining attractive, vibrant neighborhoods,” said Paul A. Johnson, community maintenance manager for the Department of Community Revitalization. “We are eager to resume this service for the residents of qualifying areas. The changes being implemented are necessary to ensure the program is sustainable. We ask residents to strictly adhere to these changes, particularly as they relate to items that can and cannot be accepted.”

The Community Cleanup program offers qualifying older areas a day of free curbside pickup of bulky waste, including mattresses, appliances, electronics and small amounts of yard debris. As its popularity has grown, the program has been hampered by escalating costs and other challenges, such as dumping by contractors or individuals living outside an area scheduled for cleanup and residents leaving out items that do not meet the criteria for pickup.

The program, supported by Henrico’s general fund, was projected to cost $1 million – about $600,000 over budget – in fiscal 2020-21 before being suspended as a safety precaution due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The costs are a result of the amounts of waste collected, including 3,120 tons in 2019.

Community Revitalization, which manages the program with the Department of Public Utilities, announced modifications before the onset of the pandemic and is now ready to resume the service as follows:

  • Notifications: A brochure will be mailed to residents about two weeks in advance to inform them of their area’s service date. Previously, residents were notified through postcards mailed to their homes, signs posted in the community and a schedule published online.
  • Budget: Cleanups will be scheduled in the fall and spring and continue as funding is available. The program’s budget is capped at $600,000 in fiscal 2021-22. Officials expect to complete 14 to 16 cleanups per year. With 62 qualifying areas across the county, each area is expected to receive one cleanup every three to four years.
  • Schedule: As in the past, areas will be scheduled for a cleanup based on criteria that considers the age of homes and residents, participation in the county’s Real Estate Advantage Program, higher than average code violations for the area and other factors.
  • Criteria for pickup: As in the past, items unacceptable for pickup include household garbage, logs, tree stumps and root balls; tires, batteries and other automobile parts; limbs larger than 4 inches thick or longer than 4 feet in length; loose leaves; branches longer than 4 feet; piled items exceeding 8 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet; items or debris from construction demolition or eviction; such household garbage as air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers; hazardous or liquid waste; paint and drywall; propane or oxygen tanks; oil, gasoline and diesel fuels, pesticides and antifreeze; lawn maintenance equipment; glass, mirrors and windows; and any items on private property not placed at the road’s edge.

In partnership with a contractor, Henrico also offers a bulky waste pickup service that is available to residents countywide upon request for $67. To place an order or for details, go online or call (804) 294-4443.

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