CCounty Board Approves Plastic Bag Tax
5¢The County Board adopted a 5¢ tax on disposable plastic shopping bags at its meeting on Sat, Sept 18. Currently, Arlington’s residential recycling program does not accept plastic bags because its contractor’s equipment can not process them. The plastic bag tax will go into effect on January 1, 2022.
The tax will not apply to restaurants, farmers markets, clothing stores, and alcoholic beverage retailers. Bags used for wrapping meat, produce, dry cleaning, garbage and pet waste are also exempt. The tax is estimated to cost about $50/year to a family of 4 who persists in using plastic bags. ARLnow reported that County Board member Christian Dorsey hinted that the county may pursue other forms of behavior modification in the future. ARLnow Agenda Highlights
Is the County Greenwashing?
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ECARE Recycling Event
When: Sat, Oct 9, 8:30AM – 3PM
Where: 1425 N. Quincy St. (across from Washington-Liberty High School)
The Arlington Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE) is a biannual event at which residents can safely dispose of household hazardous materials (HHM), bikes, small metal items and other recyclable items. Business and commercial wastes will not be accepted. The county is increasingly picky about what it will accept. Check the county information page for a list of acceptable items. More information
Food Scraps Recycling
Food scraps may now be placed in the green organics cart for collection on our normal trash day (Wed in most of LV). Food scraps include vegetables, fruits, peels and rinds, meats (including bones), bread, poultry, etc. plus greasy pizza boxes, soiled napkins, natural corks, etc. Food scraps may be deposited in compostable bags, paper bags or just dumped in loose.
In recent weeks the county has delivered to every private residence a fancy collection caddy and a roll of compostable bags. The county will not be providing additional compostable bags in the future.
The county is charging households an annual fee of $12 for this service.
Food Scraps Collection Webpage Food Scraps Collection Brochure PDF
Food Scraps Collection Begins Labor Day, Sept 6
The collection includes leftover food scraps: vegetables, fruits, meats (including bones), bread, poultry, etc. The County will distribute a 2-gallon kitchen caddy and 10 biodegradable bags to all residents. Food scraps will be co-collected with yard trimmings in the green cart. Scraps can be loose or bagged in paper or compostable bags. This will result in an increase of about $12/year to the Household Solid Waste Rate. County Food Scraps Collection Page
E-CARE Recycling Event Resumes
When: Sat, May 22 at 8:30AM–3:00PM
Where: 1425 N Quincy (across from Washington-Liberty High School)
Note: List of accepted items has changed
Arlington residents can dispose of household hazardous materials. Business and commercial waste will not be accepted. Bring ID to verify residency. Current instructions have some contradictions, expect future clarifications. E-CARE Details
Residents should wear masks and stay in their vehicles. Make unloading simple by clearing trunks of items you do not want to recycle. Pack your vehicle in reverse order of E-CARE drop-off: electronics first, hazardous materials next, then last (closest to the outside) metals and non-repairable bicycles.
Items Not Accepted: Nonhazardous trash will not be accepted. Small metal items will not be accepted (see alternatives below). Bikes for the World will not be accepting bikes to be sent abroad.
Easy Disposal Alternatives: Small metal items:pots, pans, tools, pipes, venetian blinds, small appliances and metal items can be put out on residential trash day (Wed in LV). County now asks us to schedule such disposal, like tossing out a kitchen pot. Are they kidding?
The County will pick up many bulky items like sofas, mattresses, box springs, futons or home construction debris curbside on residential trash day (Wed in LV) without a pickup request.
Metal items (large and small) and appliances (TVs, air conditioners, cabinets, exercise equipment) need to be requested. Large items now have a $10 pickup fee. Old-style computer screens have $15 or $20 fees. Pickup Details
Request Pickups online or by calling 703-228-5000 M–F from 7AM–7PM.
The county has a great online guide with detailed instructions for specific items (some recent changes seem questionable/contradictory): How to Dispose Your Item
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day (Contactless)
When: Sat, Apr 24 from 10AM to 2PM
● Arlington County Police Dept, 1425 N Courthouse Rd
● Fire Station #5, 1750 S Hayes St
Service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. All participants are expected to follow COVID-19 guidelines: physical distancing & face coverings.
Permanent Drug Take-Back Box Locations
Drop off available 24/7/365. Items accepted: prescriptions, vitamins, prescription ointments, pet medications, prescription patches and over-the-counter medications. Items not accepted are needles, inhalers, aerosol cans, thermometers, lotions, liquids, & hydrogen peroxide.
● Fire Station #2, 4805 Wilson Blvd
● Fire Station #5, 1750 S Hayes St
● Fire Station #9, 1900 S Walter Reed Dr
● Arlington County Police Dept, 2000 block of N 14th St
Arlington Glass Recycling Pays Off
Arlington asked residents to stop placing glass in their blue recycling carts back in 2019 because recyclers no longer wanted it. Residents were asked to either put glass in the black cart for incineration or to drop it off at one of 2 recycling drop-off centers (Quincy Park & Trades Center) or 3 community centers (Aurora Hills, Lee, & Madison). Recycling Drop-Off Sites
In recent months, a private glass recycling company has been paying Arlington for its glass. Glass taken by residents to the drop off sites had virtually no contamination, which greatly increased its value. The company uses the recycled material to make new bottles, insulation, filter materials, sand material, and other products. So far the County has received over $37,000 for its recycled glass. News Release
LV Trash Day is THURSDAY This Week
Due to ice and crew safety concerns, trash collection is delayed by a day. In LV pick up will be Thu, Feb 25 not Wed, Feb 24.
Holiday Waste Recycling
The County Will Take Your Tree And Turn It Into Mulch
Special tree collection for residential customers: Jan 4–15. After Jan 15 trees are picked up as part of regular year-round yard waste collection.
● Place trees at the curb before 6AM on trash day (Wed in LV)
● Tree only: remove decorations, nails, stands, etc.
● Do not place trees in plastic bags
● Cut trees over 8-feet tall into smaller pieces
Residents Without Curbside Pickup May Drop Off Trees
Those living in townhomes, apartments and condominiums can bring trees to the Solid Waste Bureau’s Earth Products Yard in Shirlington. Call 703-228-5000 Mon–Fri 7AM–7PM to schedule an appointment. Proof of Arlington residence required.
Some Other Holiday Waste is Recyclable
● Most boxes, wrapping paper & gift bags can be recycled
● Can not recycle items with any glitter or metallic coating
● Can not recycle tissue paper, bubble wrap, lights, ornaments, etc.
County Recycling Website
Holiday Recycling Guide
Survey: County Food Scrap Collection Program
Arlington County is considering expanding residential organics collection to include food scraps. Scraps would be collected with yard trimmings in the green cart. Scraps can be loose or in paper or compostable bags. There would be an additional charge of about $12/year. Respond to their Survey before Fri, Dec 4. Additional Information
Fall Leaf Collection
The County collects and recycles leaves using vacuum trucks, biodegradable bags and green organics carts. Website
Vacuum Collection in Lyon Village
Crews will make 2 passes. Dates are subject to change.
First Pass: Nov 14-18
Second Pass: Dec. 5-10
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Water Bill, Trash & Yard Waste Questions?
Call the Arlington Department of Environmental Services Customer Contact Center with questions about water bills, trash carts & yard waste pickup. Call the at 703-228-5000 weekdays 7am to 7pm.
Curbside Yard Waste Collection Overwhelmed
Curbside yard waste collection was overwhelmed 2 days after it resumed. Some residents’ collection may be delayed. If your yard waste cart has not been emptied, leave it at the curb. If carts have not been emptied by 12 PM the following day, submit a missed collection ticket online or call 703-228-5000 weekdays 7 AM to 7 PM.
Curbside Yard Waste Collection Resumes Aug 31
Residential curbside yard waste collection resumes Mon, Aug 31. During the first week, please limit yard waste to your green cart and up to 5 paper organics bags.
The County’s temporary yard waste drop-off locations will close after Fri, Sept 4.
Curbside collection of larger yard waste material like brush and limbs remains available by appointment.
The County will be issuing a $10.77 credit, which will appear on customer’s quarterly water/sewer/refuse utility bills. News Release
Trash Collection Failures Continue
Arlington’s residential trash/recycling contractor continues having trouble collecting everyone’s trash & recycling on the usual schedule.
If your trash/recycling have not been collected, DES asks that you leave your carts at the curb until collected. If your trash/recycling has not been collected after 48 hours, please submit a missed collection ticket online or call 703-228-5000 weekdays 7 AM to 7 PM.
Suspension of residential yard waste collection continues with no announced resumption date. Yard waste may be brought to temporary drop-off sites during restricted hours 8 AM to Noon, Mon to Fri.
● Earth Products Yard at the Trades Center, 4300 S 29th St in Shirlington
● Mulch pick-up site at N 26th St and Yorktown Blvd
Details at Arlington Trash, Recycling, & Yard Waste Page
Refunds for Yard Waste Collection Failure?
Residential yard waste has not been collected since May 12 from green curbside carts and paper bags. The Dep’t of Environmental Services (DES) says it is unable to cope with the volume of residential trash and the inability of its contractor to provide sufficient staff. DES has been unable to devise a solution and does not foresee a solution in the near future. Instead DES proposes to refund $2.93 a month to residents for services not provided. DES Slide Deck
Brush collection is still available by request. Schedule a Brush Pickup
Trash Not Picked Up? County Urges Patience
Arlington’s trash/recycling contractor is not succeeding to pick up everyones’ trash on their scheduled day, requiring follow-up runs the next morning. Residents are asked to not call in complaints unless trash is not picked up by noon of the next day.
Submit a missed collection ticket Online or using the Arlington mobile app or by calling 703-228-5000.
Jun 8 County Resuming Bulk Trash Collection
Beginning on trash day (Wed June 10 in LV) large furniture like sofas, mattresses, box springs, or futons and home construction debris can once again be left on the curb for pick up without prior arrangement. This does not include yard waste.
Unanticipated Consequences Hit County Parks
After the Dept of Environmental Services stopped picking up yard waste, some frustrated Arlington residents began leaving their yard waste in Arlington’s now-closed county parks. Arlington Parks & Rec is not happy about this and urges residents to make use of the limited options offered by Environmental Services. Yard Waste Options
Yard Waste Collection To Be Suspended
One week reprieve: Yard waste will be collected the week of May 4 and Mon May 12, but not thereafter.
May 12 yard waste collection is suspended indefinitely. Residential yard waste from green curbside carts and paper bags will not be collected. Arlington's waste management system is unable to cope with the recent 40% increase in residential trash. By request brush collection services will continue.
County News Release
Schedule a Brush Pickup
Trash Surge Strains Residential Trash Collection
Over the last week, residential trash tonnage has increased more than 30%. The residential collection system is becoming stressed. The County asks residents to limit the amount of trash, recycling and yard waste placed out for collection. Please keep your spring cleaning pile in your basement or garage for now. County News Release
The Toilet is Not a Trash Can
A toilet is designed to remove only human waste and bathroom tissue. Other items do not break down and can cause problems with home plumbing, Arlington’s sanitary sewer system and ultimately the Water Pollution Control Plant. Never send fats, oils, grease down the drain.
The County suggests everyone to keep a small trash can in the bathroom near the toilet for all those things that are not bathroom tissue.
Full list of toilet horrors at the County Web Site
Composting Organics & Food Scraps
Composting is a wonderful way to reduce disposal of organic kitchen, garden or yard waste, and it creates a rich soil amendment that’s a natural for gardens. Save time bagging leaves, cut grass and kitchen trimmings by tossing them into a compost bin.
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Arlington’s Recycled Glass Made Into Bottles
Glass coming from dedicated collection bins in Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County has been of sufficiently high quality that, in addition to being crushed and used as construction materials, some is now going to a processing facility and is being recycled into new glass products, like bottles.
Glass-to-glass recycling uses less energy than making bottles from original material, reduces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and supports hundreds of jobs. Press Release
Successful Start To Arlington’s Glass Recycling Drop-Off Program
More than 1 million pounds of glass was collected for recycling in less than nine months.
Nearest dropoff for LV is Cherrydale Branch Library.
Glass material collected in the drop-off bins is sent to Fairfax for reuse as roadbed aggregate, pipe bedding in wastewater and storm improvement projects, and other construction uses.
Christmas Tree Curbside Pickup Dec 30 – Jan 10
From Dec. 30 through Jan. 10, place trees at curb no later than 6 a.m. on your regular trash collection day.
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The Arlington County Code is available online for all to read.
Problems with trash bins are covered in:
● Chapter 10 “Trash, Recycling And Care Of Premises”
● Article I. “Residential Trash, Recycling and Organics”
● § 10-6. Storage, Removal, and Maintenance
● E. Failure to adhere to the storage, removal,
and maintenance provisions
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