Solid Waste Fee

Frequently Asked Questions

I received my bill. How can I pay it? 

You may pay your solid waste fee online, by phone, by mail, or in person. Please visit the Pay Taxes & Bills page for more information.

Why is there a Solid Waste Collection Fee?

A high level of service is provided by the City of Roanoke's Solid Waste Management Division. These services include: 

  • Weekly trash collection, including physically challenged service
  • Single Stream recycling collection
  • Weekly bulk item collection
  • Weekly brush collection
  • Seasonal bagged leaf collection
  • Collection inspections
  • Collection Call Center

Given the current local tax revenue performance, it is challenging to maintain the high level of existing collection services. The additional revenue from the Solid Waste Collection fee will be used to protect against the risk of future revenue contraction. The intent is to mitigate the need to reduce the current level of Solid Waste Collection services. 

How much will it cost?

Any owner of a parcel of land in the City of Roanoke that receives solid waste collection service from the city will be responsible for paying one of the following fees:

  • $96 per year per parcel for a single-family dwelling unit.
  • $192 per year for multiple dwelling units on a parcel.
  • $144 per year per parcel used for business, commercial establishment, institution, or other location uses, other than dwelling unit purposes.

How was the fee determined? 

The total budgeted cost to provide Solid Waste Collection services, excluding the Central Business District Sealed Compactor, is $6.5 million.  Based on the anticipated number of billing units, the cost per year would be approximately $192. From that, half of the annual cost per unit was used to establish the $96 annual fee for single-family dwelling units.  Given that multiple dwelling units on a tax parcel are eligible for more trash containers than a single-family dwelling unit, the annual fee was doubled to $192 for multiple dwelling units. Given that businesses, commercial establishments, and institutions are eligible for more trash containers than a single-family dwelling unit, and fewer trash containers than a multiple dwelling unit (and do not receive bulk and brush service), the annual fee of $144 was set between the two rates.

How will the fees be billed?

The first billing will be in January for half of the yearly fee.  It will appear on a separate bill and will have a due date of February 15, 2018.  Thereafter, the Solid Waste Collection fee will be included as a separate item on the real estate tax bills that property owners receive in the fall and spring of each year.  For many property owners, real estate taxes are paid through their mortgage escrow. Those owners will likely see a subsequent adjustment in their escrow payments to offset the Solid Waste Collection fee.

Are there discounts available? 

Property owners who qualify for the elderly and disabled tax freeze may be eligible to pay a discounted rate of $60 annually. 

How do I qualify for the elderly and disabled tax freeze? 

Each homeowner who meets the following qualifications may have his or her real estate tax amounts frozen at the amount assessed at the time of application for relief:

  • The property must be the homeowner's principal residence
  • Elderly homeowners must be at least 65 years of age
  • Disabled homeowners must be able to certify total and permanent disability and must be less than 65 years of age
  • The annual combined gross income of all residents of the dwelling must not exceed $42,000 (not including the first $4000 of gross income of residents other than the owner and spouse, and not including up to $7,500 in disability income received by permanently disabled applicants
  • The combined net worth of the residents of the dwelling must not exceed $160,000 (not including the value of the principal residence)

Eligibility is determined according to the conditions on December 31 of each year. Applications are accepted between April 1 - June 30 of each year. If a homeowner is already qualified, the solid waste fee will automatically be billed at the $60 annual rate. Please contact the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue at 540-853-2523 for more eligibility information. If you'd like to be added to the Commissioner of the Revenue's Elderly and Disabled Tax Freeze mailing list, please call 540-853-2523.

Are there credits available if I don’t use Solid Waste Collection services every week?

The Solid Waste Collection fee is an annual fee billed twice per year and there are no credits available.

If my container gets missed will I receive a refund?

In the instance where a missed collection is clearly determined to be the responsibility of the City, every effort will be made to return and service the container. There is no provision for a refund.

What happens if I don't pay my bill? 

Failure to pay the full amount of the solid waste collection fee when due will be assessed a penalty of 10% and incurs interest at the rate of 10% per year.

Does the City of Roanoke also pay this fee? 

City properties that use solid waste collection services will be billed at the rate of $144 per year.

How are condominiums billed?

For condominium developments where the owner of each condominium unit receives Solid Waste Collection services directly from the city, each condominium unit shall be assessed the Solid Waste Collection fee as a single family dwelling unit. For condominium developments where the city provides Solid Waste Collection services solely to the condominium association, the condominium development shall be considered a multiple dwelling unit and the condominium association shall be assessed one Solid Waste Collection fee as a multiple dwelling unit.

What if I own property in a downtown compactor zone and the trash generated from that property is disposed of at a city trash compactor?

Downtown compactor zone properties that take all their trash to a compactor are exempt from the solid waste fee. Registered compactor users will continue to pay according to the current compactor fee structure.

Do other localities charge a fee for Solid waste collection services?

Yes, many other localities in Virginia charge a fee including Charlottesville, Danville, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Richmond and Salem.