Plastic Leaf Bags May Be a Thing of the Past in Fairfax County

by Karen Goff May 16, 2016 at 11:30 am 16 Comments

Plastic yard bags/Credit: Amazon.comFairfax County is considering banning plastic lawn and leaf bags.

The county’s Solid Waste Program will be hosting a series of meetings with professional landscapers to discuss the elimination of plastic bags used for the curbside collection of leaves, lawn clippings and other yard waste.

Yard waste collected throughout the county is processed into mulch and compost products, but their quality is compromised by the presence of small pieces of plastic, Fairfax County says.

Here is the problem, according to Fairfax County Solid Waste officials:

Plastic bags have to be manually or mechanically ripped open for the material to be processed. These processes can be expensive and labor intensive. More importantly, neither method prevents small pieces of plastic from getting into the finished products. Prohibiting plastic bags for yard waste collections will help ensure the county provides high-quality end-products for use on residential lawns and gardens.

Since yard waste makes up most of the waste generated by landscapers, we would like to hear the industry’s thoughts on prohibiting the use of plastic bags when setting out yard waste for curbside collection.

All landscapers, industry representatives, and other interested parties are welcome to join in these discussions at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway starting at 6 p.m., on the following dates/locations:

  • May 25, Conference Room No. 232
  • June 22, Conference Room No. 232
  • July 20, Conference Room No. 9-10

Under Fairfax County law, yard waste such as brush, leaves and grass must be recycled. In nearby Arlington County, only paper bags are accepted.

Reston Now will update you if the county bans plastic in favor of the paper yard waste bags.

Photo: Plastic yard bags/Credit: Amazon.com

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