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November RECA Environmental Committee Report
Posted on Nov 18th, 2019

Environmental Committee Report
Riverside Estates Civic Association
November 6, 2019
Judy Joyce, Chair

The monthly meeting of the Environment and Recreation Committee of the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens’
Associations (MVCCA) was held on Wednesday, November 6 at 7:15 pm at the Mount Vernon Government
Center Community Room. Meetings are held monthly (except for August) on the first Wednesday of the

This month’s meeting brought an interesting speaker, Marion Plummer, Recycling Outreach Specialist from
Fairfax County’s Solid Waste Management Program. She stated that the “recycling message” has changed so
many times that it is difficult to keep everything straight in order to know the correct things to recycle and what
not to recycle.

The curbside recycling bin program is designed to collect specific materials. Recycled items should be kept
loose, clean and dry, NEVER in plastic bags. Placing unaccepted material or wet, dirty, sticky items in the bin
reduces the recyclability of other materials. You may leave lids and labels on containers. If you are unsure if
something is recyclable in the bin, “when in doubt, throw it out.” Here in Riverside Estates, we use private
collection companies that take our recyclables to sorting facilities. These facilities often have different lists of
acceptable items for recycling, so it is best to check with your individual company to determine which items are
recyclable and which are not. For specialty items such as food containers like tubs, clamshells and other
plastics, always contact your hauler.

These items are universally accepted and should ALWAYS be placed in the recycling bin:
Plastic bottles and jugs, with lids on
Metal food and beverage cans
Cartons (such as milk cartons)
Mixed paper and cardboard (boxes need to be flattened)

These items should NEVER be placed in the curbside recycling bin:
Plastic bags, film and pillow packaging (plastic bags can be returned to grocery stores)
Glass (see note below)
Food bags and wrappers
Needles and medical waste
Shredded Paper
Mixed Packaging
Hangers, hoses and cables
Clothing and shoes (these items can be donated)
Foam and plastic takeout cups and containers

Glass is no longer accepted in curbside recycling bins. Glass breaks during the collection process, damages
sorting machinery, and reduces the value of other recyclable material. Please bring glass bottles and jars to
purple, glass-only recycling containers. The collected container glass will be recycled for use in county
projects and other beneficial applications. If you choose not to bring your glass to a purple container, please
place your glass in the trash. We are very lucky to have a conveniently located purple container at the Mount
Vernon District Governmental Center, 2511 Parkers Lane.

Some things are recyclable but not in the curbside bin program. The I-66 transfer station in Fairfax and the
I-95 landfill complex in Lorton accept phones and electronics, paint, batteries, household hazardous waste,
scrap metal, cooking oil, motor oil, and much more. Proper disposal of these types of materials protects
collection workers and the environment. For facility hours and locations, please visit
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