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 p.m., Mon. - Fri. The permit office is open to the public with or without appointment 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Mon. - Fri.

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 448, Fairfax, Va 22035

John Kellas,
Deputy Director, Solid Waste Management

Yard Waste

bundled yard debrisYard waste includes grass clippings, leaves, straw, flowers, small prunings, and brush (i.e., branches and twigs smaller than 4-feet in length) generated during general yard maintenance. Yard waste does not include materials generated during tree removal, land clearing, or home renovation projects such as tree stumps, lumber treated wood, pallets, sawdust, dirt, mulch, sod, or food waste.

How to Manage Yard Waste

*Please Note: yard waste is collected at curbside year-round, but only processed for recycling from March 1 through December 24. With the exception of Christmas trees which are collected and recycled the first two weeks in January, the small amount of yard waste generated is disposed of as trash.

Exceptions to Managing Yard Waste

Large amounts of yard waste & brush: If you are a county collection customer, please see Curbside Yard Waste. If a private hauler collects your trash, please contact them or a bulk/junk removal company for collection services.

Townhome Communities: Some townhome communities that do not generate a large amount of yard waste may be exempted from county collection requirements by seeking approval of an "alternative yard waste recycling system." For more information about how to qualify, please call our office at 703-324-5230, TTY 711.

Bagging Yard Waste

Use paper yard waste bags for grass clippings, leaves, and brush; they are durable, sustainable, and available in stores and online.

Rigid Containers or Paper Lawn Bags

yard waste in paper bags and reusable binWhen packaging yard waste for collection at the curb, please use compostable paper lawn bags or a rigid container. Fairfax County is working toward ending the use of plastic bags for yard waste. Rigid containers like old trash cans are a great way to manage yard waste – especially branches and twigs. Paper yard waste bags are designed to withstand the elements and are great for all types of yard waste. Eliminating plastic bags for yard waste collection will help reduce the amount of plastic in our natural environment.

Yard Waste Management in Fairfax County

Fairfax County has a comprehensive yard waste recycling program for all residential and commercial properties, whereby waste haulers and landscapers deliver yard waste to yard waste management facilities legally permitted to operate in the state of Virginia.

Each year the county and private haulers manage more than 200,000 tons of yard waste such as grass clippings, brush, leaves, and branches. You can assist by adopting all or some of the sustainable yard waste management practices suggested below.

Subscribe to Fairfax Recycles

Tips like these can be delivered right to your email inbox in Fairfax Recycles, our periodic e-newsletter. 

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