Friday, September 7, 2012

The Paper: How Does One Get Delivery Stopped?

(Update: According to a comment posted by an anonymous reader, Roanoke's City Code prohibits the leaving of these products in our yards without written permission. The next time the local daily delivery person deposits one in my driveway, I'm calling the constabulary. Asking nicely hasn't worked. Calling in the heavies might.)

I'm going to work hard to keep the profanity out of this post, but I'm chewing nails right now. I don't know exactly what it will take to get Roanoke's daily newsletter to stop throwing its plastic-wrapped newspaper advertising supplement onto my driveway every Friday and I'm at wit's end with the effort to get that done.

I have called three times to get it stopped and each time the 12-year-old on the other end of the phone says in a squeaky voice that "it will take two to three weeks to get it stopped" and two to three weeks later, it's still lying there. It was there again today, as it was last week and the week before. I called the city attorney at one point and he said there wasn't much he could do. Fact is that if I went around the neighborhood throwing garbage onto people's driveways on a weekly basis, there would be a black and white squad car in my driveway soon enough.

I do understand that the paper charges for the number of households whose driveways it pollutes with this crap, but the advertisers are not told how many of us are offended or how many simply take the paper straight to the trash can or (I hope) the recycling box. The paper is suffering hard times, I understand, but it's not up to me to solve that.

If anybody has a suggestion of how I might end this insulting and disrespectful behavior, please let me know. I'm filling up precious space in our landfill with these little deposits of bullshit (sorry, had to get at least one in).


  1. Dan,

    Grant and I couldn't agree more. What's worse than just having to toss our OWN "tossed" version, is going around the neighborhood and gathering these worthless papers from homes that we know to be empty, giving would-be burglars that knowledge served up on a platter, if we were to leave them there. Shall the rest of us storm the newspaper office with our phone calls to cease and desist? I'm game.


  2. Lou: Yes, it's time. Storm the bastards!

  3. Maybe becasue I get the SWOCO with mine I happen to appricate getting it on Friday. When it was in the mail it would sometimes come on Monday and was no good to me by then.

  4. The solution is as easy as looking up the following.

    Roanoke, Virginia, Code of Ordinances >> - CODE OF THE CITY >> Chapter 14.1 - SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT >> ARTICLE I. - IN GENERAL >>

    Sec. 14.1-3.- Littering.

    The dumping, casting, leaving or otherwise disposing of solid waste or other unsightly matter on a public highway, street or right-of-way, park or other public property, or on private property, without the written consent of the owner thereof, is prohibited.

    When any person is arrested for a violation of this section, and the solid waste alleged to have been dumped, cast, left or otherwise disposed of on a public highway, street or right-of-way, park, or other public property, or on private property without the written consent of the owner thereof, has been ejected from a motor vehicle, the arresting officer may comply with the provisions of section 20-2 of this Code in making such arrest.

    When a violation of the provisions of this section has been observed by any person, and the solid waste alleged to have been dumped, cast, left or otherwise disposed of on a public highway, street or right-of-way, park or other public property, or on private property without the written consent of the owner thereof, has been ejected from a motor vehicle, the owner or operator of such motor vehicle shall be presumed to be the person ejecting solid waste; provided, however, that such presumption shall be rebuttable by competent evidence.

    Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    Upon conviction of any person for a violation of this section, the court may suspend the imposition of any sentence on condition that the defendant volunteer his services for such period of time as the court may designate to remove litter from any public highway, street or right-of-way or other public property.

    The above subsections notwithstanding, the city manager may order, in writing, the owner or occupant of any property to remove solid waste found lying or located on the city right-of-way placed there by such person in violation of any provision of this chapter. The order shall be personally served on such owner or occupant by the city manager, who shall note the time, place and manner of such service on a duplicate copy of the notice to be retained by the city manager. In lieu of such personal service, such notice may be posted on the owner's property in a conspicuous location and a copy of such notice sent through the United States Postal Service by mail postage prepaid, addressed to such owner or occupant at his or her last-known address as set forth in the city's real estate valuation records. The notice shall state the time within which the action or work ordered to be done must be completed, and such time shall not be less than twenty-four (24) hours before such responsible owner or occupant shall have received notice of the work ordered to be done. Any owner or occupant receiving such notice shall immediately proceed to remove such solid waste and provide proof of proper disposal acceptable to the city manager, such as a disposal receipt from the transfer station.

    ... (g) the final section wouldn't fit in this message.

  5. My issue with the paper is totally different right now. The Roanoke Times is laying off delivery people. The commercial delivery drivers are being dumped and their routes are going to the home delivery drivers. All of my in-laws drive commercial routes. My mother-in-law lost her husband in October and still has a 16 year-old son at home to take care of. In about 5 weeks she'll be jobless. She's been there for at least a decade.

    I have yet to see any news reports of this development. Perhaps you'll get the word out.

  6. Dusty: You just did (get the word out). Thank you.

  7. Anon: Thank you for the City Code listing. That is quite instructive. Next time the paper is left, I'm calling the cops and making a stink. I hope those of you who object to this imposition will do the same.

  8. You could always save them, collect other who does not want them as well and...pick a day and deposite it strategically all over their parking lot.

  9. Dan,

    I think those of us who are weary of these undesirable, weekly irritants that are thrown into our yards and driveways should call the city manager's office and leave the tough stuff for the police. No busy city official wants office staff tied up with irate, tax-paying citizens complaining about something that can so easily be corrected.

    I've always gotten good results from calling that office with a problem, whether it was Darlene Burcham or Chris Morrill. (By the way, I've never once had to speak with the city manager. The person who answers the phone takes care of problems that don't require official attention, though this one might.)

    City Manager: Chris Morrill
    Phone: (540) 853-2333

    Dusty, I'm sorry about the loss of your family member's job as a commercial delivery driver. I'm glad you used this blog as a forum.

    Lou Bailes

  10. The below segment is from the city's website. It seems to suggest littering on public property is a class 1 misdemeanor, but not on private property and when private property is involved, the HOMEOWNER is at fault for not maintaining the property! how bizarre! on another note, i'd be curious to see if your predicament is "coincidentally" corrected since your post. will you update us?

    i'm sure there are plenty of people out there who DO want the grocery ads, but if one calls the Times and asks to be removed i'd expect that request to be honored (within a reasonable timeframe).

    Is littering in Roanoke a crime?

    Yes. In the city of Roanoke, littering on public property is a violation of Sec. 14.1-3 of Roanoke City Code. It is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    In addition, property owners are responsible for keeping their real estate parcel and public right-of-way between their parcel and the curb or centerline of any alley litter-free. Failing to do so is in violation of Roanoke City Code Sec. 33-18, and is punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.