It happens every summer like clockwork. Largely due to the churn of VCU students, many of Richmond’s rental properties turn over August 1st. In their wake, many former residents–either in a rush to move out or just without any other perceived options–leave old furniture, mattresses, and garbage around the city’s alleys.
The Fan is obviously the hardest hit area annually with the bevy of students, but the problem also affects the Museum District, Carytown, and other nearby areas.
Richmond City Council 5th District representative Parker Agelasto took to the streets of the city, documenting the mess left behind through a series of photos that he posted to his Facebook page.
“These photos were taken mostly on July 31 showing the accumulation of the trash and debris left behind from the move in/out season in Richmond,” he wrote.
He says the city’s resources are “crippled” during the summer months while little has been done to enforce the removal of debris from the city’s streets and alleys following these months of high tenant turnover.
“I have presented options to the Director of Public Works that utilize existing code to improve the removal of trash from properties where there are more than four dwelling units,” he said. “These tools, if exercised, can require certain landlords to become more responsible such that every household in Richmond is not paying higher fees due to the demand from a few.”
Crews from the Department of Public Works cleaned the mess up within ten days, according to Agelasto. Some pulled overtime shifts to knock the work out, and workers were assisted by a Fan District Association cleanup and through the support of Virginia Commonwealth University.
“We want residents to act responsibly. There is so much waste when there are people in need. Its sad to not have furniture donated.”
Where to donate
Want to do your part to keep the city’s alleys and sidewalks clear? Here are a few places you can donate used and/or unwanted furniture. Check with each one to see who offers pickup in your area, what items are accepted, and tax deductibility.