How local trash and recycling pickup services are changing amid coronavirus response

Trash and recycling pickup services across our region are also feeling the impacts of closures and adjustments in an effort to practice social distancing.


Trash collection will go on as scheduled. D.C. residents are encouraged to drop off food waste and scraps at designated farmers markets in all eight city wards, which is composted locally at area composting sites. Dairy and meat products are not accepted. For a map of participating sites, see the Department of Public Works’ website.


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Prince George’s County: All bulky trash collections are suspended and will be rescheduled at a later date. Convenience Center Drop-Off is still available to the public during regular business hours; the Materials Recycling Facility and Organics Composting Facility are open only to business customers. Otherwise,  trash, recycling and yard trim collection services remain on schedule.

Montgomery County: All trash and recycling services are on a normal schedule, but hours have been modified at the Shady Grove Transfer Station. See the Department of Environmental Protection’s website for more details.


In Alexandria, residents must put their garbage in city-issued bins or carts. Trash should be tied or sealed in plastic bags within the bins or carts. Recycling should be placed loose, with no plastic bag, inside the blue bins or carts. Residents who have not been issued a trash container should place tied or sealed plastic trash bags on the curb. Those without a recycling bin or cart should place recyclables in paper bags on the curb. For the safety of collection crews and to encourage waste to be reduced, loose trash or recycling on the curb will not be collected.

Alexandria will also be offering a temporary drop-off site for yard waste, including grass, leaves, brush and branches. Dirt, sod, stumps, rocks and stones are not allowed for disposal. Only Alexandria residents will be allowed to use the site, and must show a government ID or a piece of mail showing their name and address to confirm residency. Those making use of the site are responsible for either dropping off waste in containers to be emptied on site or in biodegradable paper bags that can be ground and processed. Otherwise, they must take the waste from their cars and put it in appropriate containers. The yard waste site is located at 4251 Eisenhower Avenue.

In Arlington County, residential trash has increased more than 30%. In an effort to decrease that number and maintain the current collection schedule, residents are being asked to hold on to their spring cleaning pile a while longer and avoid leaving bags outside the cart. Bulk item pickup is suspended. Yard waste collection will be temporarily suspended.

Prince William County: Trash drop off facilities remain open but only bagged household garbage and recycling will be accepted. Residents are also encouraged to avoid weekend drop offs between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and staff are not allowed to assist with unloading in an effort to encourage social distancing. For more information visit Prince William County’s Trash and Recycling page.

Fairfax County: No changes have been made to weekly trash and recycling collection, but bulk, special pickups and yard waste collection services provided by the county have been suspended. Mulch service has also been suspended. Glass recycling drop-off at Purple Can Club containers is also suspended; the I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex will still accept recycling and yard waste drop-offs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Loudoun County: County officials are asking residents to reduce yard waste, as some trash haulers have recently notified customers that they may reduce service as a result of the pandemic. Yard waste is considered a recyclable material and under local ordinance, it must be sorted and recycled separately from household solid waste and collected by all major waste haulers. More information is available on Loudoun’s waste management site.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez and Will Vitka contributed to this report.

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