Trash & Recycling News: Some Straight Talk on Curbside Service

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Trash and Recycling

June 3, 2022

Some Straight Talk on Curbside Collections 2022


Some straight talk about trash. This summer looks to be something of a challenge for residential recycling, trash and organics curbside service in Arlington.


The County’s contractor is dealing with a jobs market that strongly favors indoor work amid early record heat and commercial driver shortages, plus supply chain issues are affecting maintenance of current trucks and arrival dates for new ones. This is a challenge that many jurisdictions are facing, regionally and nationally. 


Crews service approximately 6,500 households per day in Arlington. With an average of three carts per household, that means nearly 20,000 carts set curbside daily, not to mention the addition of bulk items and organics bags (paper only, please). It’s demanding, exhausting work easily complicated by quickly arising factors like storms and equipment failures.


How hot has it been already? So hot that crews downed $3,000 worth of sports drinks working the recent swelter.


We’re now seeing a rising number of collection routes not being completed until the next day, particularly for green organics carts that are often the last serviced due to routing based on processing facility locations.


We ask for your patience and understanding.


How to help:

  • If you did not receive regular weekly service, report it online in just a few clicks.
  • If carts are not emptied in your area, your route was not completed. Leave them at the curb until a crew returns. Recycling and trash crews generally start catching up the following morning, but organics misses are not typically collected until the following afternoon.
  • There are no limits to the amount of recycling, trash and organics customers can leave curbside but be considerate—every moment counts as crews try to stay on a tight schedule.
  • Large amounts of cardboard, paper, metal cans (plus glass bottles and jars) can be dropped-off at recycling sites around the County.
  • Household hazardous materials and electronics can be dropped off at 31st Street South.
  • Brush and limbs are collected curbside by request.
  • Consider lightening your organics load by grasscycling, which leaves the cut blades of grass on the lawn as an easy fertilizer.
  • Lastly, it helps to remember that the people working the collection trucks aren’t in it for the glamor. A friendly wave, thumbs-up or even a note of thanks taped to a cart is always appreciated.


Not the most prominent celebration but Waste and Recycling Workers Week this year runs June 17 – 23.


Thanks for reading.


Keep Up with Your County Environmental Services

Follow the Arlington Department of Environmental Services on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates and tips.