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Minimize Waste to Keep Collection Workers Safe

Post Date:04/30/2020 7:40 AM

Curbside trash and recycling collection is an important service provided to ensure the health and safety of our community. Our collection crews play a critical role in providing these services, and like many essential workers, are taking a risk just by coming to work each day.

With stay-at-home orders in place, the City of Fairfax has seen a 30 percent increase in the amount of trash and recycling generated.  This increase leads to greater safety risks to collection workers and overburdening waste and recycling systems.  This increase, coupled with additional cleaning and safety protocols related to the virus, makes for a longer, more difficult workday for collection workers.

What to do? Residents can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure safe working conditions for our solid waste employees by following the best practices:

  • Reduce the amount of waste you generate: Please be mindful of the quantity of waste you are generating, as to not overwhelm the collection system. Now is not the best time to clean out your house. Please keep your spring cleaning pile in your basement or garage for now.
  • Bag all trash: Please double-bag your trash or use durable bags that are unlikely to rip, tear or burst. Bagged trash limits exposure to potentially harmful materials, such as used tissue that could spread viruses and bacteria.
  • Clean out all recyclables before placing in the bin: Liquids in bottles, cans, and other containers can carry viruses and bacteria and can splash onto collectors when recyclables are collected.
  • Keep all recycling loose in the bin: When recycling is loose in the bin (not in bags), it’s easier to process and minimizes contact with recyclables that may carry viruses and bacteria.
  • Recycle Right: Follow the recycling guidelines on the city's recycling services page ( to make sure you’re recycling the right materials.
  • Wipe and disinfect cart handles and lids: Wiping down the two main touch points with disinfectant or soapy water, you minimize the danger of shared contact areas.
  • Grasscycle your lawn clippings: Leave your grass clippings on your lawn to fertilize the grass.
  • Don't litter: When outside the home, properly dispose of masks, gloves, wipes and other items in the trash.

Thank you for helping us keep city essential employees healthy and safe. Information: email, 703-385-7816



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