Pittsylvania Co. Man Fined for Dumping Carpet in County Dumpster

Pittsylvania Co., VA - A Pittsylvania County man took out his trash and got slapped with a $50 fine, but he's appealing, hoping he can change things before others get hit with the same thing.

When Don Scearce took some old carpet to the local trash box last month, an officer patrolling the site gave him quite a shock.

"An animal control officer came up and said, 'You can't put carpet in a dumpster,' and I said, 'Well, I thought that was where I was supposed to put it.'"
The box Scearce was trying to use was for household items and appliances only. Once he realized his mistake, he got another surprise when trying to fix it.
"I said no problem, I'll just take it and put it back on my trailer. She said, 'You can't. Once you put it in the dumpster, you can't take refuse out of a dumpster.'"
After finding himself with a fifty dollar fine, Scearce took his case to the board of supervisors.
"It needs revisiting and revamping. I'm sure there are a lot of things that need to be changed, " said Supervisor Tim Barber.
Barber is a member of the Solid Waste Committee, and he admits that the current ordinances - first adopted in the late seventies - may be in need of revisions.
He says the definition of household waste is not clear and my be causing confusion for county residents.
"We need to be more specific on that, and I'm not sure I understand it completely. It's confusing, " Barber said.
Scearce says he looks forward to the day when the rules are easier for everyone to follow.
"I can take a refrigerator and put it in that dumpster, but I can't put a piece of wet carpet out of my basement, and if that isn't the craziest thing I've ever heard, then I don't know what is, " Scearce said.
Barber says the Solid Waste Committee will be meeting next month to consider changes to the wording of the current dumping ordinances in the county.