Arlington, VA

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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Arlington officials are asking residents to refrain from dumping their yard waste in county parks.

The request, which is being made via neighborhood newsletters, comes after the county suspended the curbside collection of yard waste due to the pandemic. Collection crews have been strained by significant increases in residential trash and recycling collection volumes, necessitating the temporary suspension.

With no more curbside collection of twigs, lawn clippings, leaves and other organic material, some residents have apparently been illegally dumping their yard waste in local parks. But that can be harmful to the environment, the Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation said in a note to residents (below) to be published by local civic associations.

The parks department is instead requesting that residents bring their yard waste to designated drop off sites, request a brush pick up, or start a compost pile.

More from the parks department (some formatting has been modified by ARLnow):

As you know Arlington County has suspended the pickup of yard waste collection and bulk trash pickup due to health and safety concerns of the crews who had been doing it. While it may be tempting to dump excess yard waste in a nearby park, it is actually harmful to the environment (and illegal). Most yard waste contains non-native plants which may grow and take over, thereby decreasing support for native wildlife. Help us by being good stewards to the environment and good neighbors.

Here are options if you have excess yard waste:

1. Temporary Drop-off Yard Waste Sites

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-noon (no appointment necessary, identification required)

  • Earth Products Yard at the Trades Center (4300 29th St. S.)
  • Mulch pick-up site at 26th St. N. and Yorktown Blvd.
  • Pick up free paper yard waste bags weekdays at the Bozman Government Center or Earth Products Yard at the Trades Center (4300 29th St. S.)

2. Curbside pickup is still available for large-scale material (like brush and limbs). Schedule your pickup here.

3. Consider a compost/brush pile. It reduces yard and food waste!

Thank you to everyone taking these extra steps to make sure that not only our neighborhood, but our beloved parks are clean and neat.

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Morning Notes

APS Working to Keep School Construction on Track — “Top Arlington school-system staff are recommending doing whatever it takes – including shuffling money away from other projects – to ensure construction of a new elementary school in Westover does not fall behind schedule.” [InsideNova]

Yard Waste Collection Suspended Again — After a one-week reprieve, Arlington has again suspended its residential yard waste collection service. There’s no word on when it will resume, though the county has opened two yard waste drop-off centers. [Arlington County]

Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony to Be Livestreamed — On Wednesday at 8 a.m. “the Arlington County Police Department and the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office will host a virtual Observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor and pay tribute to the memory of Arlington’s seven fallen law enforcement officers.” [Arlington County]

New Superintendent’s Introductory Remarks — “Among other things, Dr. Durán pledges to close ‘access, opportunity and achievement gaps;’ to ‘commit collectively to sustain and improve the level of academic excellence for students in APs
through an equity and inclusion lens;’ and to help students and families ‘through these troubling times times.'” [Blue Virginia]

Paper’s Prediction: Dems Win Special Election — “The field is set at three: Democrat Takis Karantonis, Republican Bob Cambridge and independent Susan Cunningham. The arrival of Cambridge is probably music to the ears of Democrats, as he will help split the anti-Democratic vote with the better-known and probably more viable Cunningham, allowing Karantonis to win and avoiding a repeat of a 2014 special election when John Vihstadt went mano-a-mano against Democrats and wrestled them into submission.” [Sun Gazette]

Amazon Running Arlington-Herndon Shuttle — “It’s too early to tell if Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) will launch a Seattle-style shuttle service for its HQ2 employees, but the company has connected its Herndon and Arlington offices via shuttle.” [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Participating in Virtual Tech Conference — “For the last several years, Northern Virginia has taken dozens of promising tech start-ups to the Collision conference, granting them access to programming, investors, mentors and networking opportunities. This year, the Collision organizers have moved everything online, so instead of traveling to the conference in Toronto this year, eighteen lucky start-ups from Northern Virginia will get an all-access pass to the Collision from Home tech conference.” [Press Release]

Nearby: Alleged W&OD Trail Creeper Arrested — “City of Falls Church Police arrested Lamar Dontae McCarthy, 23 years old of Stafford, VA, and charged him with assault. On Saturday, May 9, police reported to Grove Ave. and the W&OD Trail for a report of a suspect who had pursued a woman on the trail. The woman stated she saw a man in a red hooded sweatshirt suddenly stop his vehicle and sprint after her.” [City of Falls Church]

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(Updated at 8:45 p.m.) After abruptly announcing a suspension of residential yard waste collection Friday afternoon, effective Monday, the county is backtracking a bit and resuming it for a week.

“Arlington’s residential trash contractor has identified enough staff to offer curbside yard waste collection during regular routes tomorrow May 5, through next Monday, May 11,” the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services said in a tweet Monday afternoon. “The service will be temporarily suspended again beginning Tuesday, May 12.”

DES said last week that it was halting the weekly collection of grass clippings, twigs and other organic materials from local yards due to a sharp rise in residential trash volume during the pandemic. The county’s waste contractor is working to keep up with the increase in collection volume while dealing with staffing issues, DES spokesman Peter Golkin said today.

“American Disposal Services checked crew levels and wanted to get one more run of routes for yard waste before staffing numbers made that impossible,” Golkins told ARLnow. “The guys on the trucks are doing heroic work to protect Arlington’s health and well-being and as their numbers go down because of the coronavirus, ADS will concentrate on trash and recycling. The County is glad residents can get the green carts emptied before the suspension.”

Also starting Tuesday, the county is opening two yard waste drop-off locations for Arlington residents:

Beginning Tuesday, May 5, the County will offer two drop-off yard waste locations: the Earth Products Yard at the Trades Center, 4300 29th St. S. in Shirlington; and the North 26th Street and Yorktown Boulevard mulch pickup site, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Residents will be required to show identification. Landscapers must use official County paper yard waste bags available at 2100 N. Clarendon Blvd. and at 4300 29th. St. S.

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(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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With much of the Arlington population confined to their homes, it’s little surprise that residents are generating more trash.

But the scale of the increase — more than 30% by weight — is straining the trash collectors, who are trying to stay on the job and stay healthy during the outbreak.

Over the weekend, Arlington County renewed its call for residents to try to limit their trash generation, if at all possible. That includes pausing any spring cleaning.

“Obviously a lot more people are home all day,” Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokesman Peter Golkin told ARLnow. “They’re cleaning out more than usual, listening to their inner Marie Kondo as they stare at the walls and what’s piled up in front of them. They should indulge themselves with the couch and ARLnow and a few books and put off the big clean-ups for a few months.”

“The rise in trash left out for weekly collection has slowed the crews on the trucks of our contractor,” Golkin said, explaining why some residents may be seeing later than usual pickups. “[Crews] deserve great respect as they continue to do a vital job while facing increased health concerns and the other issues we’re all dealing with.”

The county has also suspended curbside bulk trash pickup and cancelled its popular spring E-CARE recycling and disposal event.

“Unfortunately, our spring 2020 E-CARE on April 18 has been canceled,” the county said. “Updates will be posted regarding an E-CARE event in the fall or later.”

Arlington’s residential trash collection serves all single-family homes, duplexes and some townhomes. Apartment and condo residents are served by private, commercial trash haulers.

The press release about the county’s call for less trash is below.

Curbside trash and recycling collection is an important service provided to ensure the health and safety of our community. Our crews play a critical role in providing these services, while balancing the same life and home challenges we all are facing during this time.

Over the last week, residential trash tonnage has increased more than 30%. The residential collection system is becoming stressed and we all need to do our part and limit the amount of trash, recycling and yard waste being placed out for collection.

To help ensure their health and safety and maintain our collection schedule, Arlington County is issuing additional guidance:

  • Please minimize setting extra bags outside the cart.
  • Keep your spring cleaning pile in your basement or garage for now.
  • Flatten your cardboard boxes to create more room in your recycling bin
  • If you have a large quantity of cardboard boxes, drop them off at one of our recycling drop-off centers.
  • Drop off glass at one of our recycling drop-off centers instead of throwing it in the trash.
  • Make an appointment and drop-off your household hazardous materials, now available Monday through Thursday (by appointment only. Call 703-228-5000 to schedule.)
  • Grasscycle your lawn clippings.

Photo courtesy Arlington County

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