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Trash Compactor FAQs

A Central Business District trash compactor program was established through a partnership between Downtown Roanoke, Inc. and the City of Roanoke. The compactors are sealed and prevent the build-up of business waste on Downtown sidewalks, as well as the on-street pickup during peak outdoor dining hours. More information on the program can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up to use the compactor? Order your trash key fob here. We'll notify you when it's available to pick up at our office located at 213 Market St. (3rd floor). Please enter off of Kirk Ave.  

What if I lose my Key-fob? If you lose your key fob, you may purchase a second key-fob from DRI. Additional fobs are $10 per fob. Order your replacement trash key fob here. We'll notify you when it's available to pick up at our office located at 213 Market St. (3rd floor). Please enter off of Kirk Ave.  

How will I know how to use the compactor? For any training on use of the compactor, please contact Downtown Roanoke, Inc. at 540-342-2028.

How will I be billed for the unit? Billing for the unit will be based upon actual usage. In the past, invoices were billed three months in advance.  Now invoices will be based upon actual usage, with no charges above previous rates.

Who can use the compactor? Any business owner, resident or business employee who is over 21 years of age and who has been trained by representatives of Solid Waste Management will be able to operate the sealed compactor.

How do I get my trash and recycling to the compactor? Residents, business owners or their representatives can roll their 96 or 48 gallon city carts to the sealed compactor. Loose bags are strongly discouraged to be dragged to the unit as this could allow for broken bags or spillage onto city streets. If this occurs, business owners or their representatives are responsible for the clean-up of the spillage. Trash and or recycling can now be disposed off at any time, rather than holding it until the previous collection hours of 3:00pm.

What if I want to use the compactor after dark? This unit is state of the art and accessible 24 hours a day. You will not have access to the unit without a registered Key-fob.  Using your registered Key fob will allow you access to the enclosure. Once inside, the gate will automatically close behind you, giving you security within the unit. A light fixture that is 19’ in the air will provide adequate lightening for you to dispose of trash and or recycling. Once you dispose of your trash and or recycling, you can gain egress by pushing the exit bar on the gate.

What if power goes out while my employee is inside the enclosure? If power goes out while inside the unit, a battery back-up will kick-in, allowing the gate to open via the normal push-bar.

How do I dispose of my recycling? Recycling will be disposed of two ways. Cardboard boxes will be allowed to be nested together or laid flat. Boxes just thrown into the recycling area will not be allowed. Bottles and can recycling will be loaded into the staged green containers marked for bottle and can recycling.  All businesses will be responsible for the proper disposing of all recycling.

What type of security, if any, will be provided? There are security cameras that records all movements within the enclosure 24 hours a day. If a situation arises, police will be able to review the tape to observe the incident in question.

What if I go to the sealed compactor and the area is a mess? As you know there is a 24 hour monitor of the area, we will review the tape to see who created the spillage.  But, if you do see a mess, we ask that you please call City of Roanoke's Solid Waste Staff at (540) 853-6846.

What if I get to the facility and something does not work? If you get to the enclosure and something does not work, we ask you to please call City of Roanoke's Solid Waste Staff at (540) 853-6846.

What if there is inclement weather? The city is responsible for clearing the streets as quickly as possible during and following a snow event. Business owners are responsible to clear the sidewalks in front of their business