Litter Laws ~ Dumping & Storing Garbage, Trash, Litter & Debris

Section 10-100 of the Henrico County Code prohibits the storage or accumulation of trash, garbage, refuse, litter and other substances that might endanger the health or safety of other County residents. This section of the County Code also requires that all garbage, trash, refuse and litter be placed in watertight containers and kept covered until it is disposed of in a landfill or removed from the premises by trash or garbage collectors.

Section PM-306.1 of the Virginia Building Maintenance Code also prohibits accumulations of garbage or rubbish inside buildings or structures. Storing unlawful accumulations of trash, litter and debris or failure to use appropriate watertight containers may be punished by a fine of up to $250. Violations of Section PM.306.1 of the Virginia Building Maintenance Code may be punished by a fine of up to $2500.

What action does the County take in order to gain compliance with these ordinances?

A Community Maintenance Inspector will respond to a reported violation within three days. The inspectors make every effort to contact the property owner by leaving business cards, brochures and notices at the dwelling and following up by mail. Owners are normally given five to seven calendar days to comply. Voluntary compliance is a goal of the County’s program. If compliance is not obtained, the County may respond by hiring a contractor to remove garbage, litter, trash and debris and billing the costs of doing so to the property owner. Any unpaid bill will be assessed as a lien against the property and shown on the property tax bill. Only one Notice of Violation will be issued in any 12 month period. Additional violations may result in Henrico County removing the trash and billing the property owner. Any unpaid bill will be assessed as a lien against the property and shown on the property owner’s tax bill.

Transporting Litter, Refuse & Debris

Allowing trash or other material to fall or blow from moving vehicles is littering. Section 10-99 specifies that vehicles used to transport litter, trash or debris must be constructed, maintained and loaded to prevent littering.
Section 22-42of the Henrico County Code prohibits dumping trash, garbage and refuse from a vehicle onto a public highway or right-of-way or onto private property. Dumping trash, litter or debris, or allowing it to blow or fall from a vehicle may be punished by a fine of up to $250.

Public Utilities

Any chartered neighborhood association within the County can organize and schedule a Saturday cleanup through the Solid Waste Division within the Department of Public Utilities. The County will dispatch a refuse truck to the participating neighborhood. Volunteer homeowners are responsible for loading their household refuse and yard waste (no one under 18 years of age can load debris).

The Department of Public Utilities also provides a bulky waste collection service to dispose of brush, bagged leaves, household appliances and furniture. Property owners are charged a fee per visit for use of this service.Call 501-4275 to schedule a pick up or for more information.

Because We Care

(Henrico Volunteer Litter Prevention Program)

The Keep Henrico Beautiful office within the Department of Public Utilities administers the “Because We Care” program. This program offers citizen volunteers the opportunity to become proactive in the fight against litter throughout Henrico County. Volunteers can “adopt” a road, park, school or community, where they pick up litter and monitor their locations. County signs are erected to identify areas and adoptees. For more information call 501-4502.

Help us help you…

Properties with trash, debris or litter often have other ordinance violations. When you call to report a problem, please be prepared to let the County staff know about any other problems on the property. To help the inspectors address and resolve all problems concerning the property, they will need to know:

  • Is the property vacant or occupied?
  • Are there any inoperable or unlicensed vehicles or trailers on the property?
  • Is there any trash, garbage or litter on the property that is not stored in a covered, watertight container?