Solid waste employees play a critical role in ensuring our community stays healthy as they move from house to house to collect, transport, and dispose of waste. Protecting our workforce during the current public health emergency while ensuring that trash is collected from communities is a delicate balancing act.
Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, the Solid Waste Management Program is changing collection requirements for trash and recycling haulers and changing service levels at the county’s two disposal sites. These changes will remain in effect until the public health emergency passes. Additional changes may be announced if the situation worsens in our area.
“These were tough decisions, but the health and safety of our hardworking men and women is paramount. We know some of these changes will be inconvenient for residents. We ask for patience and understanding as we do our part to protect our people. Everyone is making sacrifices to get through this extraordinary public health crisis. Our staff is looking forward to returning to normal as soon as possible,” said John Kellas, Solid Waste Management Program director.
Changes to Solid Waste Collection Requirements in Fairfax County
These changes apply to all private haulers (90 percent of county) and county collections customers (10 percent).
- The requirement to collect yard waste is suspended.
- The 30-day prior notice requirements for change of collection schedule or services is suspended. Collectors must still notify customers and the county as soon as possible if changes in schedule are being made.
Fairfax County Collections Operations
- Support for community clean-ups is suspended.
- Bulk/brush and electronic waste collection (no crane service) is suspended.
- Yard waste collection is suspended.
- Customers who have been provided with trash carts must set-out waste in those carts only.
- The creation of new sanitary districts has been suspended.
- Support for Operation Stream Shield (litter removal program) is suspended.
Residential Drop-off Facilities at I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex
- Facilities will open to general public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Administrative buildings are closed.
- Household hazardous waste and e-waste stations are closed at the I-95 landfill complex. These services remain available at the I-66 transfer station.
- Commercial Cash (non-residential) receipts are no longer accepted on Sundays. Only receipts from residential customers will be accepted on Sundays.
- Donation Stations at both locations are closed.
Purple Can Club (Glass Recycling)
- Collection of glass dropped off at purple, glass-only containers is suspended. Containers will be removed from existing locations throughout Fairfax County.
- Residents can bring glass to containers at the I-66 transfer station and I-95 landfill complex, or glass can be placed in the trash.
Secure Document Shredding Events
- Secure document shredding events are postponed until further notice.
Solid waste industry employees are delivering essential sanitation services even as the coronavirus public health emergency worsens. They are on the front line fighting the spread of COVID-19. Managing the removal of potentially contaminated waste from our community is a critical function in the fight to stop the spread of the disease.
Residents can help provide safer working conditions for our workforce by following these best practices:
- REDUCE THE WASTE YOU GENERATE- During this unprecedented time, residents should be mindful of the quantity of waste they generate, so as not to overwhelm the collection system. For example, this is not the best time to clean out the garage/do spring cleaning.
- STOP SETTING OUT YARD WASTE AT THE CURB. Start grasscycling, backyard composting, and limit generation of yard waste if possible. Yard waste is still accepted at the I-66 transfer station and I-95 landfill complex.
- BAG ALL TRASH and REFUSE – Bagged trash limits exposure to potentially harmful materials, such as used tissue that could spread viruses and bacteria.
- KEEP ALL RECYCLING CLEAN AND LOOSE – When recycling is loose in the bin, not in bags, it is easier to process. Removing food and liquid residue from recyclables minimizes the spread of viruses and bacteria. Only place plastic bottles and jugs, paper, cardboard, cartons and metal cans in the bin.
- EMPTY ALL LIQUIDS – Liquids in bottles, cans, and other containers can carry viruses and bacteria and can splash onto collectors when trash and recyclables are emptied.
- WIPE/DISINFECT CART HANDLES AND LIDS – The two main touch points on a cart for collectors are the lid and the handles. By wiping those areas down with disinfectant or soapy water, you minimize the danger of shared contact areas.
- SEAL AND MARK ALL SHARPS/NEEDLES – Properly dispose of medical sharp objects such as syringes by placing them in a sealed, rigid plastic container. Seal the container with sturdy tape, clearly mark it as “Sharps,” and place in the trash.