Public Works and Environmental Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administrative office is open 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Mon. - Fri.

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 458, Fairfax, Va 22035

Eric Forbes,
Director, Solid Waste Management


Glass Drop-off Safety Recommendations

Fairfax County recommends that those using the glass drop-off program consider the following:

  • Wear a mask and eye protection
  • Wear long sleeves and gloves
  • Carry hand sanitizer with you and use after removing gloves

Purple Can Club (Glass Recycling)

Containers are available at locations throughout Fairfax County. See Northern Virginia Glass Recover Map.

Residents can also bring glass to containers at the I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex, or glass can be placed in the trash.

purple canAs of October 1, 2019, Fairfax County no longer accepts glass bottles and jars in the curbside recycling program. Residents should reuse glass containers or bring them to purple, glass-only recycling containers located throughout the region. If this is not possible, glass should be placed in the trash.

Glass creates many problems for single-stream recycling. It is heavy, which adds cost to transporting recyclables to and from recycling centers. Glass containers placed in curbside recycling bins break during collection and transport to material recovery facilities, or MRFs, where recyclables are sorted. The abrasive broken glass damages the machinery at the MRFs. Glass also contaminates bales of other more valuable items, such as cardboard and metals.

glass stock pileContamination has become a major problem for the recycling industry since China, the largest customer for recycled material, imposed strict standards on the quality of recycled material it accepts. For years, most glass has passed through the recycling process as residue, or waste. Some of the glass is applied as alternative daily landfill cover, an approved use by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, but most of it is simply landfilled with other unrecyclable waste. Glass collected in the purple containers is handled differently.

Glass from Purple Cans is collected weekly. For information regarding collection at specific locations, email or call 703-802-3322 | TTY 711.

Broken glass: Carefully package into a rigid container. Label the package "GLASS" and set out with your trash for disposal.

See Also


Northern Virginia Glass Recover Map

Fairfax Virtual Assistant