Recover: Debris and Tree Removal


Recovery image

Following severe weather or other emergency events, increased levels of debris and fallen trees are to be expected. To minimize additional risk it is important to take steps for proper disposal.

Special collections may be arranged depending on the severity of the incident; it is best to stay informed for full instructions.

Tree Removal

In all cases, stay away from downed wires near downed trees. Electricity can travel through tree limbs. Never remove tree limbs or other items that are touching or near a downed wire.

Responsibility for downed tree removal is based on the tree's location:

  • Adjacent to Public Roads
    Contact Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-FOR-ROAD, TTY 711.
  • On County Parkland
    Contact Fairfax County Park Authority at 703-324-8594, TTY 703-324-3988.
  • Posing Hazard to Public Areas
    Contact Fairfax County Urban Forestry at 703-324-1770, TTY 703-324-1877.
  • Private Property
    Removal is the property owner's responsibility. Be aware of the risk of chain saw injury during tree removal. Use a chain saw safely to clear debris.

Illegal Tree Removal
If you suspect illegal tree removal or land clearing, contact the county's Department of Code Compliance at 703-324-1300, TTY 711.

Debris Removal

All refuse collection companies operating in Fairfax County must collect brush placed at their customers' curbsides as long as the brush is:

  • In bundles of less than 4 feet in length and less than 50 pounds;
  • No piece is larger than 6 inches in diameter.

Other types of debris, such as furniture, or metal items should be separated into individual piles for collection. Please use care when placing debris at the curbside and do not block the roadway or sidewalk with large debris.

  • Any brush that is bagged or placed in a container will be collected on your next regularly-scheduled collection day.
  • Leaves must be bagged and placed on the curb as well.

If you use a private trash collection service you should contact them directly for information on schedules and special instructions about pick-ups.

If the county is your trash hauler, separate the materials into source separated piles:

  • Brush, limbs and branches in one pile;
  • Metal items, such as appliances in another pile. 

Each customer of the county service will receive five no-additional-cost special collections of debris or brush annually. Residents must call 703-802-3322, TTY 711, to schedule the collection. Each special collection is limited to 12 cubic yards per special collection – roughly a pile 5 feet x 6 feet x 10 feet. If the county declares an emergency or disaster from a storm event, these thresholds may be changed. 

For a charge, the county also offers a MegaBulk collection service daily for larger amounts of brush or bulk debris.

For a fee, residents can self-haul trash, debris and recyclables to the disposal and recycling facilities:

Related Information



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