RVACLEAN: Help Resolve Richmond's Illegal Dumping Problem

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THE GOAL OF THIS PETITION
    .....is to ask our city council to help eliminate Richmond’s illegal dumping sites, protect our historic cemeteries, and provide equitable amenities to Richmond residents both North and South of the James River by restoring the East End Dump to full operation; and further to have the dump open for seven days a week, 7 AM to 7 PM.

THE PROBLEM
     .....is trash illegally dumped throughout our city - in alleys, on vacant lots, on sidewalks, in historic African American cemeteries.

     There used to be two all purpose dumps in Richmond. In 2011, as the city’s population began to swell, an earthquake hit and damaged the dump in the east end...the East End Dump in the 7th district, the dump that’s now known as the “mulch dump.” Rather than repairing and reopening the section of the dump that accommodated household debris, that section of the dump was simply closed. Richmond's continuing to grow - fast - and so is the problem of illegal dumping.
  Note: In 2010 Richmond’s population was 210,214. The estimate for 2019 is 227,032.
     One place “notably” impacted by illegal dumping is historic African American Evergreen Cemetery, part of which is quite close to the East End Dump and continues to suffer from trash illegally dumped that could have been legally discarded if the dump were repaired. The situation at Evergreen is “notable” because even the city administration notes and recognizes the problem: the wording on at least one of Enrichmond’s volunteer forms available on the city website for Evergreen: “The cemetery...has been used as an illegal dumping area.”

SOME HISTORY
     After earthquake damage required closing the portion of the dump in the 7th district that took the type of trash we see dumped throughout our communities, that district’s representative was queried at public meetings for years about when the facility would be repaired and reopened. In 2016, never having received any response from that representative, the problem was taken before city council at a public meeting. To date there has been no action from either the council representative or from council as a whole.
     In 2014 a city budget analyst estimated a cost of $2 million to bring the dump back to operating status. It’ll most likely cost more now...ignoring a problem rarely means fixing it gets easier or cheaper
     Richmond’s Clean City Commission maintains a list of illegal dumping sites by district. As it is noteworthy that the city acknowledges Evergreen Cemetery as an illegal dumping site, it is also noteworthy that the the total number of illegal dumping sites in the 7th district alone is more than the total in all other districts combined.

PETITION FOR A SOLUTION

    Having only one dump for a city growing as fast as we’re growing contributes to blight in our communities. That’s a situation that needs to be fixed. That's a situation that CAN be fixed. Repairing and reopening the East End Dump in the 7th district won’t guarantee that illegal dumping will end; but the frequency of couches and beds and old toilets dumped where we play and work and revere ancestors should decrease - and any decrease will benefit us all. If the East End Dump is opened as proposed above Richmond will be halfway to offering for its residents the same service for waste disposal that Henrico does for theirs.
     Our communities are worth this effort. Our city is worth this effort. The city doesn’t even need to buy a new piece of land. We’re just asking city council to invest in our city’s visual and actual health by repairing and reopening the dump we’ve already got.



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