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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Following County Changes, Town of Herndon Shifts to Purple Dumpsters

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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New Glass Recycling Rules in Effect in Fairfax County

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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Fairfax County Adds New Glass Drop-Off Center in Reston

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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Fall Clean-Up Week in Herndon is Two Weeks Away

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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New Trash Collection Schedule in the Town of Herndon to Begin in August

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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More ‘Restonesque’ Recycling Bins Coming to Community

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

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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