Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Brian Whitesell
Lynchburg, VA- Lynchburg waste collection crews say enforcing the garbage tag rules on trash bags and cans is causing a big headache.
Waste collection is not a glamorous job by any means. The crews become very familiar with maggots and mess, and they never know what they'll find in trash bins. Some collectors have even seen dead pets thrown away.
"If it's in a house and can be thrown away we've seen it," said Damon Burford, a waste collector for public works.
While it isn't a pretty job, make no mistake about it, trash collectors are certainly in the beauty business.
"Granted these guys aren't doctors, they are doing a service nobody else wants to do and they are keeping the city clean while doing this," said Russ Blankenstein, a waste collector supervisor.
Now trash decals and tags are making their job more difficult. When residents don't put them on their bins and bags, it's up to the guys on the street to write them up.
"It takes time out of our day to stop and write out violations for everybody who does not participate in the program," said Blankenstein.
Blankenstein says on average the crews bring in about 50 to 100 violations a day.
Time will be an even bigger issue on July 9 when waste crews in Lynchburg have to bring all the trash here to the Campbell County landfill. They estimate round trip it will be about an hour.
And there's the issue of enforcement. When residents get four trash violations, Blankenstein has to give them a summons to court, another time consumer.
While the tags and decals are small, they add up to a lot of money for the city.
"If the city is not getting that revenue they have to take it from somewhere or make a cut here, that's how a lot of people get paid with the city," said Burford.
Public Works officials are currently researching ways to fix this problem. They will present their alternatives to City Council in August.