Clarification on Solid Waste Management Plan Public Hearing


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

May 7, 2004

 

Clarification on Solid Waste Management Plan Public Hearing

 

On Monday, May 10, at 4:30 p.m., the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the Solid Waste Management Plan, a document that will provide strategic direction for all aspects of solid waste management for the next 20 years. The public hearing will be held in the Board Auditorium in the Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

During the past week, there has been incorrect information provided to the community from sources other than the county. For this reason, the county would like to clarify some of the details of the proposed Solid Waste Management Plan that is the subject of the public hearing on May 10.

The Solid Waste Management Plan does not include a recommendation that the county assume responsibility for managing countywide solid waste collection as of July 1, 2004. On April 26, the county held a separate public hearing on creation of new sanitary districts, based on petitions received from residents asking for this county service. Only the sanitary districts approved at the April 26 public hearing, affecting approximately 141 households, will have a change to county service effective July 1, 2004, and this is a change that the residents in those newly created sanitary districts requested.

Regarding waste collection, the Solid Waste Management Plan does recommend consideration of changes in how residential waste is collected in the county. The plan identifies various implementation steps that must be accomplished before any changes in collection within the county could be accomplished, including at least two years for additional discussion and development of the details for recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. The county also is required to provide a five-year notice to private solid waste collection companies before a change is made that may displace a company. After receiving comments about the plan at the public hearing on Monday, May 10, the Board of Supervisors will consider whether to adopt the draft plan.

If the plan is adopted as presented, the Board of Supervisors is only authorizing additional study into the proposal that the county assume responsibility for negotiating and managing contracts for residential solid waste collection, and may begin the separate public process for issuance of the five-year notice.

The Solid Waste Management Plan provides an integrated management system and long-range planning for waste and recycling for the next 20 years. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality requires jurisdictions in the commonwealth to submit new solid waste management plans by July 1, 2004.

To create the draft plan, county staff sought community input via an online survey, which was completed by more than 1,400 respondents, and attended more than 80 public meetings and events over the past 18 months. During these meetings, over 6,500 residents were directly engaged in providing input to the plan. Through this public involvement process, residents expressed concern about:
• poor customer service
• disparity between prices and services throughout the county
• no coordinated approach to handling collection of brush and waste that results from major weather events

The county also placed 20 advertisements in local newspapers and provided information to the local media on several occasions; featured information on the homepage of the county’s Web site on three different occasions; provided information through two online county newsletters; sent letters to over 1,600 individual homeowners associations; featured programming on the county’s cable Channel 16; and produced a brochure which was distributed at community meetings and through Board of Supervisors’ offices.

Based on this community input, county staff created a draft plan, which was then provided for comment at five public meetings, provided in all public libraries and placed on the county’s Web site for review. The public hearing on May 10 will provide the final opportunity for public comment.

For more information, please visit the county Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/swmp and click on “Draft Plan” on the upper left side of the page to view the draft document. Information is also available by calling the Division of Solid Waste at 703-324-5230, TTY 1-800-828-1120.


 

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