The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) requires that all jurisdictions, including the City of Falls Church, prepare a 20-year integrated solid waste management plan (SWMP). Currently the City of Falls Church SWMP was adopted by City Council in 2004, approved by VDEQ in 2005, and updated and approved by VDEQ in 2015.
The SWMP establishes a road map for minimizing solid waste to protect public heath, safety, the environment, and natural resources throughout the city and the commonwealth. The array of actions proposed in the plan include becoming a community of citizens whose actions reflect an ethic of resource conservation and waste minimization and to develop and maintain a secure, cost-effective, environmentally sound and resource-efficient solid waste management program.
Solid Waste Services
The Department of Public Works (DPW) manages solid waste for the City, including a comprehensive range of services:
Weekly curbside collection of trash, bundled brush, yard waste, and recyclables
By request, special residential collection of bulk items
Refuse and recycling collection for all municipal facilities including street cans
The City's Recycling Center
Special events including two recycling extravaganza events, one household hazardous waste event, and two city-wide clean up events
In performing these tasks, the City collects approximately 6,600 tons of solid waste annually, including:
2,300 tons of refuse
1,500 tons of loose leaves
400 tons of brush and yard waste
2,000 tons of recyclable materials (950 tons from the recycling center)
Recycling, along with refuse collection, transfer, and disposal, is governed by the City's integrated solid waste management plan. The plan aims to decrease the amount of waste generated in the City by increasing source reduction, reuse and recycling. The City's recycling program also supports litter prevention activities and solid waste management initiatives, with the assistance of approximately 150 citizen volunteers.
Recyclable materials include those collected curbside (cart and green bin program, yard waste bags, brush and leaves) and at the Recycling Center. These collected materials are recycled, diverting material from the waste stream. In addition to environmental stewardship benefits, the City benefits economically by generating modest revenues and reducing waste disposal costs. Through the robust nature of its recycling service and outreach to its residents, the City enjoys the highest waste diversion rate (recycling rate) in Virginia.
Recycling is collected from curbside residential customers weekly on Wednesdays year-round (except on observed city holidays).
Trash is collected from curbside residential customers weekly on Wednesdays, year round (except on observed city holidays). DPW manages the contract for trash collection, and provides related services for the community, including special bulk pick ups.
DPW manages the street sweeping contract. Regular street sweeping is required by stormwater management regulations and benefits the City by significantly reducing the volume of pollutants entering local streams through the City's 900 storm drain openings. It also reduces the cost of storm sewer cleaning efforts and the chance of blockages in the system.