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County Suspends Yard Waste Collection

(Updated at 4 p.m.) With little notice, Arlington County is suspending its weekly collection of grass clippings, twigs and other yard waste.

The suspension is effective as of Monday, meaning that those whose green carts are already full will have to compost or figure out some other way to dispose of the contents.

The county says it made the decision to temporarily halt yard waste collection because, as much of the county works and shelters at home during the coronavirus crisis, the volume of residential trash has increased 40% and it needs the extra manpower to make sure it all gets hauled away safely.

Arlington approved adding yard waste to its residential trash and recycling collection service in 2015. The municipal curbside collections mostly serve single-family homes in the county, while apartment, condo and office buildings are served by private waste collection companies.

More from the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services:

Because of the impact of coronavirus on trash crew staffing, residential yard waste pickup from green curbside carts and of biodegradable paper waste bags is suspended indefinitely. Plastic bags with yard waste will not be collected. Residents are strongly encouraged to grasscycle lawn clippings and compost organics whenever possible. Brush collection services by request will continue.

As residents heed the call to stay home, an increase of up to 40 percent in residential trash tonnage since mid-March has placed strain on regional waste management systems. Refuse and recycling collection are vital to the region’s health and safety, and Arlington is committed to providing this essential service. Every morning, collection crews report to work while facing the same life challenges as the rest of the community.

To help ensure crew health and safety, as well as daily completion of routes, residents are asked to follow these guidelines:

  • Dispose of used wipes, tissues and paper towels in trash bags that are tied shut.
  • Refrain from generating large amounts of waste – Keep your spring cleaning pile in the basement, attic or garage until normal operations resume. (Bulk item pickup is suspended.)
  • Flatten cardboard boxes to create more room in recycling carts.
  • Consider backyard composting or grasscycling lawn clippings.

Thank you for your cooperation during this challenging time.

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