Tysons, VA

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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(Updated 10/16/19) Two weeks ago, Fairfax County announced that glass bottles and jars would no longer be recycled via curbside collection.

Instead, the county wants residents to toss those items in one of the purple, glass-only recycling containers located around the county or throw them in the trash.

Following in the footsteps of Arlington, Fairfax County said the change was spurred by China’s decision to stop accepting some recycling materials, along with growing concerns about the dangers of broken glass items in curbside recycling bins.

(The City of Falls Church and the Town of Vienna still allow glass bottles in curbside recycling bins.)

Earlier today (Tuesday), two members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors pushed to declare Nov. 15 “Fairfax County Recycles Day” to promote the county’s recent messaging around glass recycling.

The board matter by Springfield District Supervisor John Herrity and Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross also wants the director of the Solid Waste Division and members of the recycling team to get recognized for their efforts with glass recycling on Oct. 29 by the county board.

The closest purple containers for glass recycling in the Tysons area are at the Providence Community Center (3001 Vaden Drive), Dolley Madison Library (1244 Oak Ridge Avenue) and the Lee Community Center (5722 Lee Hwy).

Map via Fairfax County

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(Updated 10/16/19) Fairfax County is now asking residents to toss glass bottles and jars in the trash instead of the recycling bin at home.

The county decided to change its rules that previously required that glass bottles and jars be placed in curbside recycling bins “to improve the quality of single-stream recycling,” according to the county’s website.

As of yesterday (Oct. 1), residents now have two options for glass disposal — take the items to purple, glass-only recycling containers located around the county or throw them in the trash.

“The decision to remove glass from the single-stream recycling program was made after consulting with private recycling sorting centers and Covanta Fairfax, Inc., which operates the waste-to-energy plant,” according to the county.

The county also says that China’s decision to stop accepting some recycling materials has prompted changes to glass recycling.

Glass containers can break in curbside recycling bins, leading to the shards damaging the other recycled items and possible damage of machinery, the county said, adding that bins weighed down by heavy glass can increase transportation costs.

Earlier this year, Arlington County also decided to move away from recycling glass in a single stream system that has recycled items mixed together in one bin.

Meanwhile, the City of Falls Church and the Town of Vienna still allow glass bottles in curbside recycling bins.

The closest purple containers in the Tysons area are at the Providence Community Center (3001 Vaden Drive), Dolley Madison Library (1244 Oak Ridge Avenue) and the Lee Community Center (5722 Lee Hwy).

People can place any colored glass bottle or jar in the purple containers, but should not bring lamps, light bulbs, windows, mirrors or glass sheets.

What about broken glass? The county urges residents to place the broken glass in a rigid container labeled “GLASS” for trash collection.

Map via Fairfax County

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After flooding in early July washed two dumpsters into Pimmit Run, the stream bed is now dumpster-free.

On Wednesday, Tysons Reporter found the two dumpsters — washed up on the bed of Pimmit Run near Old Chesterbrook Road.

Fairfax County officials said the bins that washed up on the stream bed roughly eight weeks ago and belonged to American Disposal Services and Republic Services.

The county alerted the companies about the dumpsters in July, Judy Pedersen, a spokesperson of the Fairfax County Park Authority, told Tysons Reporter.

“Over the past few weeks we have contacted these two companies six times in an effort to get them removed,” Pedersen said.

One Nextdoor user said they reached out weeks ago to Fairfax County Park Authority, DPWES, law enforcement and Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust about the dumpsters.

“Admittedly, removing the dumpsters is going to be difficult,” the user wrote. “There’s no easy access for heavy equipment to reach them.”

Both bins were removed today (Sept. 5), according to Nathan Geldner, a spokesperson for Republic Services.

Geldner did not answer Tysons Reporter question about why it took so long to respond to the requests from governmental officials.

American Disposal Services promised to have both bins removed after the county’s Department of Code Compliance pressured the garbage companies to make changes, Matthew Kaiser, the spokesperson for the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES), told Tysons Reporter.

Kaiser said a contractor removed the bins. Tysons Reporter has not been able to confirm which company hired the contractor.

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and American Disposal Services have reached a settlement after reports of missed trash pick-ups prompted an investigation.

Back in May, John Cook and Kathy Smith, the district supervisors for Braddock and Sully, said that the solid waste and recycling collection company’s failure to make “many trash pick-ups in the county” was causing health, safety and community enjoyment issues.

The county board then started an investigation to prepare to take legal action.

Ultimately, the county decided not to sue, Matthew Kaiser, the spokesperson for the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES), told Tysons Reporter.

American Disposal Services signed a consent agreement with the county on June 10 to bring the company into compliance with the county’s law saying that waste and recycling need to get picked up at least once a week, Kaiser said.

American Disposal also paid a $2,500 civil penalty in a settlement regarding code violations, Kaiser said.

Kaiser said that for compliance verification, American Disposal Services must:

  • provide daily reports to compliance staff for review
  • review and follows up on incoming complaints from residents on a daily basis
  • have ongoing weekly meetings to discuss compliance with the consent agreement

Based in Manassas, American Disposal Services is the primary private trash service company for county residents.

Kevin Edwards, the general manager of American Disposal Services, previously told Tysons Reporter was “aggressively hiring and recruiting” to address a truck driver shortage, which Edwards said was the reason behind the delays.

Staff from DPWES, Consumer Affairs and the Health Department had been working with American Disposal Services earlier.

Now, Solid Waste Enforcement and Compliance staff will continue to work with American Disposal Services to “maintain compliance with the code and deliver adequate service to the residents of Fairfax County,” Kaiser said.

“The situation with American Disposal Services has improved with the number of daily complaints significantly decreasing,” Kaiser said.

Image via Facebook

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Fairfax County is investigating reports of missed trash pick-ups by a solid waste and recycling collection company in preparation to take legal action.

During the county’s Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday (May 7), John Cook and Kathy Smith, the district supervisors for Braddock and Sully, respectively, presented a board matter prompting the investigation into whether American Disposal Services has violated any consumer protection laws.

“For the last several weeks, American has failed to make many trash pick-ups in the county,” the board matter says. “Trash is left on street corners, or in overflowing HOA dumpsters. This open trash attracts rats and other vermin, it smells, and is ugly.”

Cook and Smith said that the trash collection’s failures are creating a “significant” health, safety and community enjoyment problems.

Inside NoVa recently reported that a spokesman for the Solid Waste Management Program of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) received 143 missed-pickup complaints this year as of May 1.

While DPWES serves about 45,000 homes in the county, 22 private companies pick up trash for the remaining 400,000 homes, the article notes.

Based in Manassas, American Disposal Services is the primary private trash service company for county residents, according to the board matter.

Kevin Edwards, the general manager of American Disposal Services, told Tysons Reporter that a nationwide problem recruiting truck drivers started causing delays in trash pick-ups for Fairfax County residents about six to eight months ago.

“This shortage we’ve been experiencing for the last few years, but we’ve been able to keep ahead of it,” Edwards said. “The majority of what we have been doing has been delays instead of failed pick-ups.”

To address the shortage, Edwards said that the two-day trash service pick-up has been temporarily shifted to now once a week and on a different day, affecting about 10,000 of American Disposal Services’ roughly 100,000 Fairfax County customers.

While American Disposal Services tracks the number of failed pick-ups that get reported by customers, Edwards did not have information available to share on how many failed pick-ups have been reported in Fairfax County for the last six months or last few weeks.

Edwards said in response to the board matter “the level that is being described is not entirely accurate” and that public health shouldn’t be an issue because the company has been alerting residents via phone calls, texts and website updates between one week to 24 hours in advance about changed schedules.

For a long-term solution, Edwards said the company has been “aggressively hiring and recruiting” for several months and trying to convert some customers over to a once-a-week schedule.

Trash schedules have been “back on track” this week and American Disposal Services is talking to the county, Edwards said.

Fairfax County decided on Tuesday to request the county attorney to prepare a briefing for the board for the closed session of the May 12 meeting. The board matter says:

This briefing should include an analysis of all applicable consumer protection statutes, potential claims of fraud, or other legal issues potentially arising out of American’s failure to meet its commitments to our residents, and any options for the county to seek legal remedies. Fairfax County should continue to assist American in providing its promised services, but must also make clear that this is American’s problem, and we expect the company to solve it in the next two weeks, or else the County will be prepared to take whatever legal action may be available.

Staff from DPWES, Consumer Affairs and the Health Department have been working with American Disposal Services for the last few weeks on the issues and the county executive updated the Board of Supervisors on the county’s efforts on Monday, May 6, according to the board matter.

The American Trucking Association said in a 2015 report that the shortage in 2014 totaled 38,000 truck drivers and that the shortage could spike to nearly 175,000 by 2024.

“All trash haulers in the country are facing challenges, but here in Fairfax, after the acquisition by Waste Connections, American’s problems are more acute,” the board matter says.

Image via Facebook

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Vienna’s quarterly Recycling Day is tomorrow (Saturday), so if you’ve been Marie Kondo-ing your home, this is your chance to get rid of your troublesome surplus.

Materials can be taken to Northside Property Yard, located at 600 Mill Street NE, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is provided by the Department of Public Works (DPW) to help locals dispose of waste products in a convenient and environmentally friendly way, according to the Town of Vienna website.

Materials that can be collected include:

  • Used motor oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Vehicle and other batteries
  • Electronics except “large backside” computers or TVs
  • Refrigerators

Hazardous waste products, like insecticides, paint or other chemical products are not accepted for recycling.

Photo via Facebook

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The City of Falls Churched announced via a Simpsons GIF that trash and recycling curbside pickup services delayed yesterday on account of the snowstorm have been rescheduled for this Saturday.

Trash pickup for other localities started sooner. In Vienna, trash pickup canceled yesterday was picked up earlier today, though the town asked locals not to include brush or bulk items.

Roughly 90 percent of Fairfax County residents and businesses use a private collection service and are encouraged to reach out to their chosen provider to find out when trash services resume.

American Disposal Services, one of the largest private collection services in the county, announced that its Wednesday trash pickup service was also postponed to the weekend. According to the website:

Wednesday Residential service will be made up on Saturday, February 23, 2019. Please have trash and / or recycling out the night before to ensure collection.

Commercial and Roll off service will be on a one day delay. Wednesday service will be performed Thursday, Thursday service will be performed Friday, Friday and Saturday services will be performed Saturday.

The collection service also asked that the lots near dumpsters and the wheels are cleared of any ice.

At least one Falls Church resident noted on Twitter, though, that some Fairfax Public Works employees were braving the foul weather yesterday to pick up bulk trash on the street.

Photo via Facebook

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Morning Notes

Christmas Tree Pickup Underway — Fairfax County and Town of Vienna residents can dispose of Christmas trees with their regular trash collection through Jan. 11. [Patch]

Vienna Companies Celebrating Anniversaries — Two Vienna companies are celebrating 60 years in business: Ar-Jon Portable Toilets and the Parkwood School. [InsideNova]

Local Restaurants Participating in Restaurant Week — Nearly two dozen McLean, Tysons and Vienna area restaurants are participating in the annual Winter Restaurant Week from Jan. 14-20. [Patch, Patch]

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Morning Notes

Tysons Car Dealership Properties for Sale —  “Perhaps the largest concentration of vehicle dealerships in Tysons is on the market. McLean-based Capital Automotive has retained Newmark Knight Frank Capital Markets to sell a large portion of Dominion Square, its long-planned redevelopment of a collection of dealerships adjacent to the Spring Hill Metro station.” [Washington Business Journal]

Unusual Bike Theft Near Vienna Metro — Fairfax County Police investigated a burglary at a townhouse development not far from the Vienna Metro station last week. Police say someone rummaged through an unlocked car and used a garage door opener to break into a house and steal a bike. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Overeager Trash Collector Cited in Vienna — From the Town of Vienna Police Department’s crime blotter: “While on routine patrol Sgt. Ruddy observed a trash truck emptying dumpsters prior to 7:00 a.m. Sgt. Ruddy made contact with the driver and issued him a summons to the 49-year-old man from Dartford Place in Bristow, Virginia charging Noise Violation. The man was released on his signature.” [Town of Vienna]

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