Arlington, VA

If you have a Christmas tree in your house — a real one, like 44% of respondents to a recent ARLnow poll — you’ll need to keep it watered for at least the next week.

Arlington County is not beginning its annual Christmas tree collection until Monday, Jan. 4. The two-week curbside collection will run through Friday, Jan. 15.

Residential waste collection customers — primarily those in single-family homes — will have trees collected on their regular trash collection day. Residents of apartments, condos and townhomes can drop trees off at the county’s Earth Products Yard in Shirlington.

Collected trees will be turned into mulch and reused throughout the county.

More from the county website:

Trees collected by the County the first two full weeks of January are turned into mulch available from County facilities.

From Jan. 4 through Jan. 15, place trees at curb no later than 6 a.m. on your regular trash collection day after removing ALL decorations, nails, stands. Do not place trees in plastic bags.

After Jan. 15, Christmas trees are handled at curbside as part of regular year-round yard waste collection. Make sure the tree is bare and ready for composting. Trees over 8-feet long will need to be dismantled.

Tree Drop-Off

Residents without regular curbside pickup, including those living in townhomes, apartments and condominiums, can bring Christmas trees to the Solid Waste Bureau’s Earth Products Yard in Shirlington. For safe dropoff, call 703-228-5000 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. to schedule a weekday appointment. You will need proof of residence in Arlington to drop off.

Photo via Arlington County

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Arlington County is looking at ways to make composting easier for residents.

County staff are considering a collection service that would allow residents to mix their food scraps with their yard trimmings for collection. They are asking residents to share their thoughts in a survey available through Friday, Dec. 4.

Quarterly trash audits reveal that food scraps make up more than 20% of the residential waste stream. Staff said collecting food scraps would support the County’s goal of diverting up to 90% of waste from incineration by 2038.

According to the County’s website, the weekly service would cost less than $12 annually, far less than the City of Falls Church, which charges $66, and the rates of private haulers, which charge up to $360.

“Many communities have successfully implemented food scraps collection programs in the manner proposed by the County,” the website said. “By implementing a food scrap collection program, residents would increase the County’s recycling rate, reduce the amount of County trash incinerated, create soil amendments and depending on individual actions, save money, reduce food waste, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

During the week, residents would collect their fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy in a countertop pail. Once the pail fills up, residents would place the scraps — bagged in paper or compostable bags — in their green organics cart and take it to the curb on trash pickup day.

To limit odors, staff recommend lining the pail with a bag, emptying it regularly and rinsing it occasionally. Freezing the scraps also reduces odors. Like the yard trimmings, food scraps will be brought to a ” Virginia-permitted composting facility certified by the U.S. Composting Council.”

The County has collected grass clippings, cut flowers, brush, hedge trimmings and leaves year-round since 2016.

(The service is available to those who receive residential waste collection from the county — mostly those in single-family homes. Apartment and condo residents are typically served by private waste collection haulers.)

“The year-round program has been very successful — so much so that the County is now considering the addition of leftover food scraps including fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy,” the county said.

Currently, all Arlingtonians can bring scraps to the Earth Recycling Yard at the Arlington County Trades Center from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Some farmers markets also recycle food scraps.

The County sees a food scrap collection service as a chance to educate people about reducing food waste and improving the environment.

In addition to saving households money, the County website on food scrap collection said there are other benefits to preventing food waste, including “learning to make better use of leftovers, minimizing spoilage by storing refrigerated and perishable items properly, and most importantly, that each of us has a direct role in reducing food waste both inside and outside the home.”

It listed several environmental benefits: reducing methane emissions from landfills, conserving energy, and reducing pollution.

Compost pail photo by The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

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Morning Notes

Arlington Again Named Top Digital County — “Arlington today was named the No. 1 Digital County in the U.S. by the Center for Digital Government and National Association of Counties 2020 awards. This marks the fourth time Arlington has received the top spot for its 150,000-249,999 population category.” [Arlington County]

County Swamped With Would-Be Poll Workers — “Earlier this summer, some Washington-area election officials were warning of a possible shortage of volunteers to work the polls come November. But a recent surge in interest has left those same officials with a good problem to have… ‘We have too many right now, to be honest,’ says Eric Olsen, the deputy director of Arlington County’s Board of Elections.” [DCist]

Yard Waste Collection Resumes With Delays — “Due to heavy yard waste volumes associated with the resumption of curbside yard waste collection, some customers may see their yard waste carts delayed until the following day.” [Arlington County]

Turkey Trot 5K Goes Virtual — “Organizers of the annual Arlington Turkey Trot have opted for a ‘virtual’ format for 2020. Instead of running as a group on Thanksgiving morning, the hundreds of Turkey Trot participants are being asked to run on their own the weekend of Thanksgiving.” [InsideNova]

Nearby: D.C. Getting New Area Code — “D.C. has had one single area code — 202 — for more than 70 years. But it will soon be joined by a second area code… The nation’s capital is expected to run out of 202 phone numbers in the third quarter of 2022.” [WTOP]

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Yard waste collection is set to resume next week in Arlington, after a four-month hiatus.

Residential waste collection customers have had to do without the weekly collection of organic material since early May, when the county suspended it on account of increased trash volumes during the pandemic over-stretching collection crews.

Arlington County announced this morning that the service is set to resume this coming Monday, Aug. 31.

“During the first week of service restoration, limit yard waste to the green cart and up to five paper organics bags. This will help ensure collection crews are not overwhelmed and can complete routes on schedule,” the county urged.

Overall, the volume of trash collected from residential waste customers — mostly those living in single-family homes — has increased by more than 30% during the pandemic, as people stay home from work, school and other activities. Arlington’s waste collection contractor “continues to experience staffing issues” and delays as a result of the increased workload and other pandemic-related challenges, according to the county.

Arlington opened two drop-off sites for organic waste during the collection suspension, which were utilized both by homeowners and a cottage industry of enterprising students hauling yard waste for a fee. The drop-off sites will be closing next Friday at noon.

To compensate for the lack of yard waste collection, the county says it will be crediting $10.77 back to those who pay the household solid waste fee.

The full county press release is below.

Read More

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Morning Notes

Storm May Affect Waste Collection — “In preparation for the upcoming storm ‘Isaias,’ residents should properly secure trash, recycling, and yard waste carts in case of flooding and high winds… The storm may cause additional delays in collection services. Please leave un-serviced carts at the curb (if not a flood risk) until they are collected.” [Arlington County]

County COVID Testing Sites Closed — “Arlington’s COVID-19 sample collection sites at 1429 N. Quincy Street and Arlington Mill Community Center will be CLOSED Tuesday, August 4, in anticipation of inclement weather.” [Arlington County]

Apartment Operator Suspends Evictions — “AHC Inc., one of the D.C. region’s largest managers of affordable housing, will not move to evict any of its residents struggling amid the coronavirus crisis for the rest of the year. The company announced the move in a letter to roughly 5,000 tenants in late July, just before August rents started to come due. The Arlington company also said it won’t charge any late fees for missed payments, or seek to impose any rent increases, until at least Jan. 1.” [Washington Business Journal]

Stabbing in Ballston on Sunday — “At approximately 5:55 p.m. on August 2, police were dispatched to the report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, officers made contact with Metro Transit Police, who had already arrived on scene and detained the suspect. The investigation determined that the victim was sitting in the park when the suspect allegedly approached him from behind and struck him with a sharp object, causing a laceration. The victim was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.” [Arlington County]

Boy Scout Troop Donates Food — “Scout families and members of Troop 167 in Arlington delivered 1,500 packages of food to local families facing unemployment and financial instability during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic.” [Patch]

New Officers Sworn In — ” In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arlington County Police Department added 15 new officers to its ranks, following the graduation of Session 142 from the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy (NVCJA) and their completion of additional, supplementary local training.” [Arlington County]

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Morning Notes

Trash Collection Delays — “Due to truck breakdowns, some residential trash/recycling routes were not completed yesterday and today. If your trash and/or recycling carts have not been emptied, please leave them at the curb for collection.” [Arlington County]

BLM Event Planned on Saturday — The group Arlington for Justice is holding a March for Black Lives on Saturday from 4-6 p.m. The event will start at the Charles Drew Community Center in Green Valley (3500 23rd Street S.). [Facebook]

Pro-School Opening Group Planning Rally — The group Arlington Parents for Education is planning a rally in support of opening Northern Virginia schools in the fall. The event is planned from 9-10 a.m. Saturday at Arlington Public Schools headquarters (2100 Washington Blvd). “Wear green. Social distance and wear masks. Bring banners and friends & families who support this cause,” the group says. [Twitter]

Marymount Offers to Host Int’l Students — Marymount University is currently planning to bring students back to campus in the fall, including international students. With Immigration and Customs Enforcement not allowing international students to enter the country if their school is operating entirely online, Marymount is also offering to host international students from other schools. [Press Release]

Arlington Ranks High for Single Homeownership — A new set of rankings from the website SmartAsset puts Arlington at No. 25 for places “where singles are increasingly choosing to buy over rent.” [SmartAsset]

Startup CEO Facing SEC Lawsuit, Too — “Former Trustify CEO Danny Boice is accused of spending millions of investors’ dollars on private jet flights, vacations, jewelry and mortgage payments on a beach house as part of what’s alleged to be an $18.5 million fraudulent scheme, according to a lawsuit the Securities and Exchange Commission filed Friday against both Boice and Trustify Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]

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Arlington’s yard waste collection service has been suspended since May, and there’s still no word as to when it might resume.

There is a bit of a silver lining, though: those who receive curbside collection — mostly single-family homeowners — will be getting an account credit for the lack of service, once it resumes. The county made that announcement today.

The credit will only be enough to buy a couple of lattes from one’s favorite cafe, however: just under $3 per month.

Yard waste collection service was suspended due to increased trash collection volume and staffing issues experienced by the county’s contractor. During the suspension, the county has been offering free yard waste drop-off at two locations, as well as curbside brush and tree limb service.

The suspension has led to a bit of entrepreneurship: some local high school students have facilitating the drop-off of yard waste for a fee of $5 per bag or $20 per green bin, while advertising their services on local listservs and social networks.

More from Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services:

The County will be issuing a yard waste credit to the Household Solid Waste Rate once curbside collection is restored. Yard waste collection has been temporarily suspended since mid-May due to contractor staffing issues related to COVID-19. A date for service restoration is still unknown.

Yard waste collection and disposal accounts for $2.95 of the $26.58 (FY21) monthly Household Solid Waste Rate.

We know that suspension of yard waste collection,  especially during the spring and summer months, has been frustrating to many residents and appreciate your understanding during this challenging time. The County offers two yard waste drop-off centers for grass/leaves/vines, available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Curbside collection of larger yard waste material  like brush and limbs remains available by appointment only.

Our Solid Waste crews have been working every day since the pandemic began to maintain essential trash and recycling service while dealing with the challenges we all are facing. We hope to return to normal service as soon as possible.

An update will be provided once we have restored yard waste service and the County is able to calculate the full credit amount and expenses.

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Arlington’s residential trash collection has hit a snag due to problems at the waste processing facility in Alexandria.

In an email to residents this morning, Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services says that an electrical problem at the facility is forcing county trash crews to drop off their loads at a more distant facility. That, in turn, is causing delays.

Anyone whose trash is not collected on the scheduled day this week is being told to keep it out for collection the next day.

More from DES:

Potential Service Disruptions: Due to an electrical problem at the trash waste-to-energy processing facility used by the County, residential solid waste will continue to be collected but will have to be transported to a separate facility farther away. This may impact our collection schedules and efficiency.

If your trash cart is not collected on its assigned day, please leave it out for the following day. If it has not been collected by the end of the following day, please submit a missed collection ticket online or call us at 703-228-5000. Visit recycle.arlingtonva.us for updates.

Thank you for your understanding.

Arlington’s municipal trash collection service primarily serves single-family homes in the county, while those who live in apartments and condos have their trash collected by private firms that contract with the property owner or homeowners association.

The county’s yard waste collection service remains suspended due to staffing and trash volume issues caused by the pandemic.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Riot Cops Sued by ACLU — “Defendants John Poe 1 – 20 are officers of the Arlington County Police Department and other non-federal law enforcement officials who participated in the attack on peaceful protesters in and near Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020. They are sued in their individual capacities.” [Associated PressWashington Post]

Washington Monument Struck By Lightning — As seen from the Crystal City / Pentagon City area, the Washington Monument took a direct lightning strike last night. [Twitter]

Marymount Apologizes for Removed BLM Tweet — “One specific concern we heard in the Listening Session referenced the removal of a social media post last Saturday which included the message, ‘Black Lives Matter.’ This was the wrong decision. We apologize and acknowledge the impact this decision has had on our Marymount community.” [Marymount University]

Arlington Unemployment Spikes — “The COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent government-imposed lockdown and resulting economic freefall cost nearly 17,000 Arlington residents their jobs between mid-March and mid-April, according to new state data… The county’s unemployment rate, which in March had been a miniscule 2.2 percent, ballooned to 7 percent, knocking the county off its longstanding perch of having the best jobs picture in the commonwealth.” [InsideNova]

Local Centenarian Gets Neighborhood Parade — “Right around 5 p.m. on her 100th birthday, her usually quiet neighborhood in North Arlington was shaken up by loud sirens and flashing lights. A caravan of vehicles blaring sirens, tooting horns and shouting greetings snaked down the street for several blocks. The parade of sorts was led by two Arlington County Police officers on motorcycles followed by countless police vehicles, Arlington County Fire Department engines, sheriffs’ vehicles and several private cars and trucks, one sporting an inflatable unicorn on its roof.” [Arlington Catholic Herald]

APS Welcomes New Superintendent — “This is Dr. Francisco Durán’s first week as Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools. Welcome aboard! As a reminder, there are several Virtual Town Halls scheduled this month for our community, students and staff to get to know Dr. Durán.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Trash Collection Still Facing Delays — “Arlington’s trash/recycling contractor continues to experience staffing issues due to COVID-19. As a result, some routes recently have not been completed on their scheduled day, requiring a follow-up run the next day. If trash and/or recycling is not collected on your service day, leave the carts at the curb the next day.  If carts have not been serviced by noon the second day, submit a missed collection ticket.” [Arlington County]

County Offers Mask Flyers — “If a business or residence needs ‘face coverings required’ signs (in multiple languages), we have flyers for download here.” [Arlington County, Twitter]

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Arlington’s residential waste collection crews will be gradually resuming their collection of bulk items, starting next week.

“Limited curbside bulk item trash collection returns the week of May 25 but to avoid overwhelming the crews and system, residents must call 703-228-5000 to schedule a bulk pickup on their trash day,” the county said on its website. “Limited to 100 customers per day the week of May 25 (regular Monday trash routes on Memorial Day); 150 customers per day the week of June 1.”

“Normal unscheduled bulk collection resumes the week of June 8,” the county says.

Bulk items collected curbside include things “that are too bulky to be bagged, bundled or put in the trash cart (e.g., large furniture like sofas, mattresses, box springs, futons or home construction debris).” Those who receive residential trash collection service — mostly those in single-family home neighborhoods — are eligible to have such items picked up.

Collection of yard waste remains suspended amid the pandemic. The suspensions were necessary “due to truck crew health/staffing during coronavirus,” the county said.

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