RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– Trash is piling up after the holidays in the Fairfield Court Community in Richmond’s East End and residents are now taking action.
Photos of a mountain of trash near the Fairfield Court Elementary School Playground quickly circulated on social media this week. The playground filled up with clothes, boxes, mattresses and waste. Steven Sykes is a resident who has lived in the neighborhood on and off for 20 years. Sykes posted the photos on his social media accounts.
Sykes calls the ‘dumping ground’ a health risk.
“I pulled over and cried. I literally called a friend of mine and said this is wrong,” said Sykes.
Monica L. Ball has lived in the East End for more than two decades. Ball told 8News, her neighborhood is predominantly African-American and is perceived to be a ‘low-income’ area by the general public. Ball believes that calling others out on social media shouldn’t be the only cause for action.
“It’s really depressing. We’re going through a pandemic and we already have issues with people dying and to see garbage in this area is unacceptable,” said Ball.
TFC Recycling is one of Virginia’s largest residential curbside recycling facility providing services for over 700,000 households and more than 4,000 commercial customers from their three locations in Hampton Roads, Newport News and the Greater Richmond area. The residential curbside recycling facility recorded a 20% increase in recyclable materials since the start of the pandemic. But with extra volume, also comes an influx in trash.
According to the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing authority, volunteers help to pick up trash weekday mornings during normal hours from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. The City of Richmond will come by once a week to pick up trash in Fairfield Court.
Sykes is calling on his neighbors to take responsibility for their actions.
“Everything is not about policy or various levels of government. Housing employees are overworked and underpaid. This one is not on them.”
He believes that regardless of someone’s income, people should have the right to a clean living environment.
“We have to show that we care. I can’t expect anybody willing to invest in our community if we don’t show that we care about our community. There was a time that we grew up taking care of our community and to let those days go by we just can’t stand for that anymore,” said Sykes. “Going into 2021, we cannot afford to accept any more mess.”
Residents in the East End told 8News they would like to see a change.
“It shouldn’t take social media to put people on blast to do the right thing. When you see something, pick up the phone and call, not just sit there and be passive, but be aggressive into making action within our community,” said Ball.
According to RRHA, if there is a health concern, residents can call their emergency maintenance line at (804)-780-4100. Richmond citizens can place large bulk items, such as sofas, mattresses and brush, beside their Supercans. These items will be picked up at no charge within a two to four week period.
People can also dispose of large items on their own. The Deparment of Public works has listed two sites that are open Monday through Saturday.
Any same day bulk and brush collection request is available for $100 per request and collection of appliances is available for $50 per appliance.