What a waste! Richmond residents paying for unpaid trash bills

Less trash talk: Richmond residents and businesses can now recycle these items

Fees are piling up for Richmond residents who failed to pay their garbage bills last year.

On Tuesday, Richmond City Council will consider a resolution allowing the city to place liens against properties where waste collection charges have remained unpaid for longer than five months.

Property owners already owe interest on unpaid garbage bills. With a lien on their property, they would also have to pay a $45 administration fee to the city. All charges would appear on their property tax bill.

Between September and December of last year, 1,214 property owners and account holders fell delinquent in their payments to Richmond Sanitary Service totaling just over $401,000, according to city documents. If all those property owners fail to pay up before a lien is placed on their properties, they would owe the city a combined $54,630 in administration fees.

The number of delinquent account holders last year was about average for the city, said Antonio Banuelos, the city’s revenue manager. The number increased significantly during the peak of the housing crisis in 2008, Banuelos said.