City will talk trash with business owners


It’s a dirty, stinky job. But as the old saying goes, someone has to do it.

Before Roxboro City Council passes any major policy changes regarding the placement and servicing of waste receptacles, council members said they want to establish a partnership through dialogue with Uptown Roxboro businesses.

At a planning session Tuesday, City Manager Brooks Lockhart presented a new commercial solid waste policy to the council for consideration.

The proposed policy’s purpose is to provide clarity to the current business practices in the urban core regarding the placement and servicing of commercial solid waste.

Now, Lockhart will go out into the business community and seek feedback, thoughts and ideas from business owners.

“The important take away right now is the council has not actually considered or weighed in, giving any feedback on any specifics. What we are intending to do is meet with the businesses owners and get their feedback, so whatever might wind up being presented to council maybe completely different. We are very much on the early side of things trying to have an open dialogue and really work with the business to do something that hopefully everybody sees as fair as possible,” said Lockhart.

The issue came to the council’s attention when concerns from some businesses owners came pouring in.

“It was brought to our attention that there was some confusion amongst some of the businesses and we are looking to fix that,” said Lockhart.

The confusion stemmed from people putting their trash in the inappropriate container and not having a clear understanding of where to put their trash.

“The intention is make sure everybody clearly understands where their responsibility begins and ends,” said Lockhart.

However, understanding where businesses’ obligations and the city’s responsibilities lie is not so black and white.

The B3 District zoning is considered unique by council members.

Although commercial businesses in the City of Roxboro are generally required to pass a commercial waste service in the city, it is not necessarily realistic for the B3 District because of what are called zero lot line limits.

“There may not be a back of the businesses, there may not a side of the businesses or an appropriate place to put a garbage can or dumpster so that creates this challenge of a one-size-fits-all policy. It becomes a bit of a challenge for the B3 District because the zoning allowing some of the buildings uptown are at their lot line. The building itself is physically at the lot line,” said Lockhart.

For council members, the bottom line is trying to figure out a way to work around the B3 District’s unique zoning in a way that trash can still be taken care of and business owners won’t have to worry about it.

“Not so much a middle ground but we are looking to make sure that it is clear given that B3 has limited land constrains with the zero lot limit. We just want to make sure it is clear the people are given a way to be in compliance given that they may not have any space beyond the side or behind the building,” said Lockhart.

The city manager plans to make an attempt to visit and discuss the proposed policy with every single Uptown Roxboro business.

Afterward, feedback, new ideas and potential solutions would then be brought before council for consideration.


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