Reston, VA

The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on glass recycling in Fairfax County, including the Town of Herndon.

Now, officials are resuming the glass recycling service, also known as the Purple Can Club, according to the county’s website.

The collection of glass dropped off at purple, glass-only containers resumes on Monday, May 11.  

Containers are currently being reset at locations throughout the county. The Reston bin is located at the Reston South Park and Ride (2431 Reston Parkway). Another bin is located at Great Falls Library.

Residents can also bring glass containers at the I-66 transfer station and the I-95 landfill complex. Free mulch service also resumed on Saturday, May 2.

The county suspended glass recycling at the purple bins in mid-March. 

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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The Town of Herndon is proposing to double recycling fees, which are paid quarterly, from $8 to $16.

The Herndon Town Council will consider the proposal at a meeting tonight (Tuesday). The fee was last increased 2019 from $4 to $8 per quarter.

But since then, the recycling industry has suffered dramatic changes.

“Commodity prices are no longer as they once were and processing costs have continued to increase, while tonnages have either remained the same or increased,” Tammy Chastain, deputy director public works, wrote in a memo.

If approved, the increase would offset roughly 83 percent of recycling costs that the town bears. Currently, the recycling fee only covers 42 percent of the cost of recycling.

The fee increase would go into effect on July 1.

Photo via Patricia Valerio/Unsplash

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In an effort to protects its workforce during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Town of Herndon is suspending curbside pick-up of yard waste.

Residents can also expect delays in normal collection times because crews are working on rotational schedules in order to maintain social distancing requirements.

“This change allows crews to prioritize and safely collect residential refuse and recycling,” according to a statement from the town.

Residents should comprise their yard waste at home or “wait to place it curbside until service returns to normal.”

“We appreciate your understanding. We are working to protect our workforce during the current public health emergency while ensuring that trash and recyclables are collected.”

The town offered the following tips to create better working conditions for its workforce:

1. REDUCE THE WASTE YOU GENERATE- During this unprecedented time, residents should be mindful of the quantity of waste they generate, so as not to overwhelm the collection system. For example, this is not the best time to clean out the garage/do spring cleaning.

2. STOP SETTING OUT YARD WASTE AT THE CURB. Start grasscycling, backyard composting, and limit generation of yard waste if possible. Residents may take their Yard waste to the I-66 transfer station and I-95 landfill complex.

3. BAG ALL TRASH and REFUSE – Bagged trash limits exposure to potentially harmful materials, such as used tissue that could spread viruses and bacteria.

4. KEEP ALL RECYCLING CLEAN AND LOOSE – When recycling is loose in the bin, not in bags, it is easier to process. Removing food and liquid residue from recyclables minimizes the spread of viruses and bacteria. Only place plastic bottles and jugs, paper, cardboard, cartons and metal cans in the bin.

5. EMPTY ALL LIQUIDS – Liquids in bottles, cans, and other containers can carry viruses and bacteria and can splash onto collectors when trash and recyclables are emptied.

6. WIPE/DISINFECT CART HANDLES AND LIDS – The two main touch points on a cart for collectors are the lid and the handles. By wiping those areas down with disinfectant or soapy water, you minimize the danger of shared contact areas.

7. SEAL AND MARK ALL SHARPS/NEEDLES – Properly dispose of medical sharp objects such as syringes by placing them in a sealed, rigid plastic container. Seal the container with sturdy tape, clearly mark it as “Sharps,” and place in the trash.

New trash recycling rules also went into effect in Fairfax County on Monday (March 30).

Photo via Patricia Valerio/Unsplash

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Local residents can expect changes to their trash and recycling starting today (March 30).

Fairfax County announced on Friday that the Solid Waste Management Program is making some changes to trash and recycling collection to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

“These changes will remain in effect until the public health emergency passes,” the county said. “Additional changes may be announced if the situation worsens in our area.”

The county says that administrative buildings and donation stations are closed, along with the household hazardous waste and e-waste stations at the I-95 landfill complex. People can still find those stations at the I-66 transfer station.

The glass recycling drop-off bins have been temporarily suspended, and people are now asked to bring their glass recycling to the I-66 transfer station and I-95 landfill complex or to place the glass items in the trash.

Here’s what else has been suspended:

  • yard waste collection
  • 30-day prior notice requirements for change of collection schedule or services
  • support for community clean-ups
  • bulk/brush and electronic waste collection
  • support for the litter removal program
  • secure document shredding events

“These changes apply to all private haulers (90 percent of county) and county collections customers (10 percent),” the county said.

To help protect sanitation workers and residents from the coronavirus, the county asks that people reduce the amount of waste they generate, bag all trash and refuse, empty and clean containers that contained liquids and residue from food and regularly disinfect cart handles and lids.

Photo via City of Falls Church

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A new glass recycling program that went into effect in Fairfax County last year has shattered expectations, officials say.

The policy shift resulted in the placement of several purple bins across Northern Virginia for glass recycling. The county no longer accepts glass containers in its curbside recycling program.

More than four million pounds of recyclable glass has been collected since the program began.

The continent’s largest glass recycler, Strategic Materials, is now moving the county’s glass to a processing plant in Lorton. Glass will be sold to manufacturers of different glass products.

A spokesperson for Strategic Materials said that Fairfax County produced particularly clean, usable glass.

“Fairfax County probable has the highest quality of material we’ve seen in a drop-off program,” said Laura Henneman, Vice President of marketing and communications for the company.” The trial glass load was about 98 to 99 percent usable glass, which is incredible.”

Drop-off locations are throughout Northern Virginia are available below:

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Tuesday Morning Notes

County’s New Glass Recycling Program Shatters Expectations — “In just a few months, Fairfax County’s new glass-recycling program is reportedly getting great results. Since the county started its “Purple Can Club” last spring, 2.8 million pounds of glass have been dropped off in special collection bins, one official said.” [WTOP]

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Accepts Toys for Donation — The department is participating in the region-wide toys for tons campaign. Children served by this campaign include toddlers and youth through age 17. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

County Launches Dog Park Study — The Fairfax County Park Authority is conducting a comprehensive study of off-leash dog areas in the county in order to assess current and future needs and opportunities for dog parts throughout the county. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The Town of Herndon will no longer collect glass during curbside pickup, joining the county in an effort to shift glass recycling to purple dumpsters throughout the county.

While Restonians can drop off glass recyclables at the Reston South Park and Ride lot, Town of Herndon residents can head over to a purple dumpster at town’s public works complex (1479 Sterling Road).

Fairfax County officials shifted to the purple bins as part of a regional glass recycling program called the “Purple Can Club.”

Officials note that recycled glass often ends up in landfills because it breaks doing the transportation process and mixes with other recyclable materials.

Residents can drop off all types of emptied glass containers — including bottles and jars. Residue should be removed from the materials before recycling.

Photo via Town of Herndon

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Fairfax County residents are no longer required to place glass bottles, jars, and other glass items in curbside recycling bins.

The change, which went into effect on Tuesday (Oct. 1), was made at the request of private recycling sorting centers and Covanta Fairfax, Inc., which operates the area’s waste-to-energy plant.

In the past, county officials say single-stream recycling has caused major problems. Glass recyclables often break during collection and transport to recycling centers, contaminating other more valuable recycled items like cardboard and metals.

In recent years, China, the largest customer of recycled materials, has begun imposing strict standards on the quality of accepted recycled materials.

County officials also say glass has damaged machinery and is often heavy, adding costs to transporting recyclables to centers.

Residents can deliver glass containers to one of 21 purple recycling bins in the county. Recently, a new bin was added to the Reston South Park and Ride lot.

All colors of clean glass bottles and jars are accepted at purple containers. Light bulbs, lamps, ceramics, porcelain, mirrors, window, and sheet glass cannot be recycled at the sites.

Collected glass will be processed by the region’s only glass processing plant in Lorton. Recycled materials will be used for pipe bedding, filter material, and other purposes.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Residents can drop off glass for recycling at a new purple dumpster at the Reston South Park and Ride lot. The bin, which is located on the southeast corner of the lot, is part of the county’s efforts to encourage glass recycling.

Most recycled glass in curbside recycling bins ends up in landfills because the glass breaks during transportation to the county’s recycling facility and mixes with other recyclable materials, according to the county. Collected glass will be used for construction materials.

All colors of emptied glass — including bottles and jars — are acceptable. Residue should be removed from the material before recycling.

Items that include food, plastic bags, lamps or light bulbs, ceramics, mirrors, windows, porcelain and glass sheets will not be accepted. Glass recyclable will also be accepted for collection in curbside pickup.

The regional glass recycling program, which is called Purple Can Club, kicked off in April. The county partnered with the City of Alexandria, Prince William County, and Arlington County to bring several glass-only bins to Northern Virginia.

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The Town of Herndon is kickstarting the annual fall clean-up week in October.

The week, which is designed to encourage residents to place large or bulky items outside for curbside pick-up, will happen from October 7-11.

Items that can be placed outside for curbside pick-up include appliances, furniture, vehicles parts and plumbing fixtures, tires, and a limited amount of building materials.

Only two tires can be disposed of per household and vehicle parts and plumbing fixtures must be under 50 pounds. Building materials cannot exit one cubic yard, with lengths under four feet.

The pick-up service, which is set for the same day of scheduled trash collection, does not include yard waste and electronics.

Items must be placed on the curbside by 7 a.m. on residents’ scheduled trash day.

For questions and concerns, email [email protected].

Photo via Patricia Valerio/Unsplash

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After more than 20 years of business-as-usual, changes are underway to the Town of Herndon’s trash and recycling collection schedule.

Beginning on August 5, recycling collection days will change for all residents, while trash collection days will change for some residents.

The changes are “needed to increase collection efficiency, balance routes, consolidate collection areas, and allow for existing and future development,” according to the town’s website.

No changes to the level of service offered by the town’s curbside collection program are proposed.

All recycling days will change to either Monday or Tuesday. Trash collections days will be on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

Residents can visit the town’s website to see their new schedule. All containers must be at the curb by no later than 6 a.m. on the scheduled collection day.

More information about the changes are available online. Residents with questions can contact the town’s Department of Public Works at [email protected].

Photo via Patricia Valerio/Unsplash

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Friday Morning Notes

Recycling 2.0 — Have old CDs and video games that you’d like to get rid of? A Reston neighborhood is hosting a recycling event in time for spring cleaning. [Facebook]

For crime junkies — Crime data for Fairfax County was released yesterday. Chief of Police Edwin Roessler Jr. said the county is the “safest jurisdiction of its size in the United States.” (Still, don’t forget to lock those doors tonight). [Fairfax County Police Department]

A chat with Reston Regional Library’s branch manager — Get the latest information on library reference services, libraries in the age of Google, and more. [Fairfax County Government]

Metro service changes this weekend — “As the cherry blossoms get closer to peak bloom, Metro has limited track work scheduled for Easter weekend. The track work that is scheduled is after 10 p.m. each night, similar to Metro’s new consistent weeknight track work policy.” [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Reston recycling bin via Friends of Reston

More than a dozen new recycling bins are being installed around Reston in the attempt to reduce trash in the community.

Reston Association says it has purchased 13 custom-made recycling bins, designed to fit the “Restonesque” style approved by the Design Review Board.

According to information provided by Reston Association:

RA staff will install the bins in high-use areas throughout the community, including sports fields and recreational facilities. RA is working on additional strategies to reduce trash and increase recycling.

Mike Leone, RA’s communications director, said local businesses sponsor the cost of the bins.

“We are always seeking individual and business donors to fund the purchase of new recycle bins,” Leone said. “The Friends of Reston, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer organization of Reston Association, works with our staff doing the fundraising for the purchase of more bins.”

The “Adopt a Bin” program is an attempt to drum up support for the recycling effort in the community. Donations can be made in any amount. For a $1,000 donation, an individual or company can have their name or company logo placed on a plaque on the bin.

RA crews service the bins and deliver their contents to the Fairfax County collection site.

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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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