Fairfax County Park Authority Looking at a Trash Free Pilot Program


IMPORTANT NOTE: This Pilot Program has been put on hold, pending further review and community outreach from the Park Authority

 

In an effort to reduce costs and increase their “Go Green” efforts, the Fairfax County Park Authority will be implementing a pilot program whereby park staff will no longer provide trash cans for park visitors to use. Instead, visitors will need to make sure they collect and remove their own refuse.

The Park Authority has estimated annual costs to be $1,761,440 in time and materials to remove trash from Fairfax County parks, maintain trash cans, and dispose of the trash as provided by Fairfax County Solid Waste. Park Operations spends approximately 33 percent of its Labor force in trash removal and emptying trash receptacles. Throughout the past three fiscal years, Park Authority has spent $1,036,160 in refuse disposal averaging $345,387 each fiscal year; this does not include time or materials, trash pickup, maintenance/replacement of trash cans, or the purchase of trash bags. Each year Park Operations’ refuse costs increase primarily due to the amount of refuse taken to the landfill.

The Park Authority’s idea is an 18 month pilot program that will make a total of 27 parks trash free. They are proposing October 2010 to begin the pilot program at nine parks which would include one in each Supervisor District. In addition to the initial nine parks, every six to nine months more parks will be made trash free until all 27 identified parks have gone trash free. Each of the 27 parks will be carefully monitored for trash accumulation as trash cans are being removed. Nearby neighborhoods will be notified of trash can removal in the park prior to the removal.

As parks were selected for the Trash Free pilot program, parks that have either picnic rentals or athletic fields were not considered at this time, but will be revisited following the pilot program.

For Phase One, Crooked Creek Park is identified in the Braddock District. Moving forward, Surrey Square and Fitzhugh are additional Braddock Parks included in the Pilot Program.


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