Public Works and Environmental Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administrative offices are open to the public by appointment only at this time. Please call or email 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 448 Fairfax, VA 22035

Christopher S. Herrington,

Paper, Not Plastic: A Public Outreach Toolkit for Proper Disposal of Yard Waste

This page contains informative and educational resources to send, share, and speak about the changes to yard waste collection for Fairfax County residents. These materials and information are suitable for a wide variety of audiences.

It has been noted that pieces of plastic bags, shredded during the composting process, end up being re-introduced into the environment when the compost is applied in gardens, yards, and other similar projects. Prohibiting plastic bags removes plastic pollution from the yard waste being made into compost. If you have questions about any of the content or materials provided here, or suggestions/requests for additional items, please e-mail

What is yard waste

  • Grass and grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Small prunings
  • Straw

What is NOT considered yard waste

  • Trees and large branches or limbs
  • Materials from land clearing
  • Materials from home renovation projects

Why eliminate the use of plastic for yard waste setout

When plastic bags are shredded during the composting process, pieces of the bags often end up mixed in with the compost, which is then applied to gardens, yards and other projects.

Alternatives to using plastic

  • Grass cycling & leaf mulching
  • Backyard composting
  • Reusable containers (residents are asked to check with their service provider for details)
  • Paper bags
  • For hire vacuum leaf service

Social Media Graphics

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

Click photo to enlarge

Yard Waste Notification 2021

Yard Waste Notification 2021 Evergreen


This toolkit contains several pictures you can use as examples of paper yard waste bags and reusable containers.

Click photo to enlarge

paper bags - 1

paper bags - 2

paper bags - 3


paper bags - 4

paper bags - 5

paper bags - 6


paper bags - 7

paper bags - 8

paper bags - 9


Leaves and rake on lawn



Eric ForbesEnviroPod episode 24 features Eric Forbes, Solid Waste Management Program, talking with Host Scott Coco about the change from plastic yard waste bags to paper bags effective April 19, 2021.

To learn more about Yard Waste


Fairfax Virtual Assistant