Clean Fairfax

Clean Fairfax Clean Fairfax is keeping Fairfax County, VA clean, green and sustainable! Become a fan!
Clean Fairfax works on litter prevention, recycling education and environmental advocacy in Fairfax County, Virginia
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Clean Fairfax is embedded in the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, but is its own non-profit organization. We are not a county agency.

Operating as usual

The plastic crisis continues and the fossil fuel industry is doing their best to make sure it doesn’t stop. Here are a f...
09/16/2020
News Round Up- Fossil Fuel Industry Lies, Algal Blooms, and more!

The plastic crisis continues and the fossil fuel industry is doing their best to make sure it doesn’t stop. Here are a few news stories to help keep you informed and a tip to make your garden more self sufficient!

The plastic crisis continues and the fossil fuel industry is doing their best to make sure it doesn’t stop. Here are a few stories to help keep you informed and a tip to make your garden more self …

It's hard to keep track of everything going on, so we put together a few important environmental stories from the last w...
09/10/2020
News Round Up!

It's hard to keep track of everything going on, so we put together a few important environmental stories from the last week to get you up to date. Virginia is suing the EPA and it's time to get your fall garden ready!

With so much going on around the world we wanted to give you a midweek news roundup! (Plus we would like not all our posts to get lost at Facebook!) Virginia has joined Maryland, Delaware, and DC …

One of our most ardent volunteers who does the work because it is important, not because she's on our board or for any o...
09/10/2020

One of our most ardent volunteers who does the work because it is important, not because she's on our board or for any other reason than it is THE RIGHT THING TO DO, was awarded the Fairfax County Environmental Excellence Award this year! We could not be more pleased for her! She is such a good leader in her community and for her kids!

Individual County Resident Category

Sara Holtz. Sara is an active volunteer with several prominent environmental organizations in Fairfax County, including the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA),Fairfax ReLeaf,and the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. Among her contributions and accomplishments, Sara serves as the Site Leader at Difficult Run Stream Valley Park in Oakton for the FCPA Invasive Management Area Program. In connection with Fairfax ReLeaf, Sara has recruited and managed volunteers who have planted nearly 1,000 trees and shrubs and has educated hundreds of youth through the Waples Mill Elementary School STAMP (Science Technology Art Music Philanthropy) program. With the Soil and Water Conservation District she mobilized volunteers to label all of the nearly 800 storm drains in Waples Mill neighborhoods.Sara particularly enjoys promoting environmental volunteerism with youth including STAMP, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Scouts BSA; leads by doing; and is an avid volunteer, dedicating over one thousand hours each year to local causes and organizations.

Another great tip on how to live within your means of one trash can and one recycle bin during these times at home when ...
09/07/2020

Another great tip on how to live within your means of one trash can and one recycle bin during these times at home when we are suddenly finding how much trash we actually generate!

We are sending out clean up supplies for SMALL (10 or fewer unrelated people and other new rules apply due to COVID-19 r...
09/04/2020

We are sending out clean up supplies for SMALL (10 or fewer unrelated people and other new rules apply due to COVID-19 rules!) Cleanups to coincide with the International Coastal Cleanup during the months of September and October

To request cleanup supplies to be delivered to your nearest government office, http://www.cleanfairfax.org/programs-events/community-clean-up-program/. (please give us at least a week to get your supplies to you)

Be part of the Solution. NOT part of the Pollution!

Teachers, homeschoolers, environmental clubs, are you looking for new and exciting programming for this coming term? We ...
08/31/2020
Adopt a Cow - Discover Dairy

Teachers, homeschoolers, environmental clubs, are you looking for new and exciting programming for this coming term? We know you are. And look what our friends have put together for you! Adopt-a-Dairy-Cow!

A year-long experience in your classroom Forget the guinea pig. How about adopting a 1,500-pound dairy cow for your classroom mascot? Don’t worry...

Here's another tip on how to live within your means and keep all your household trash in your can and off the curb!
08/28/2020

Here's another tip on how to live within your means and keep all your household trash in your can and off the curb!

Stay involved during the Virginia General Assembly special session. HB 5003 would remove $336,000 from the general fund ...
08/25/2020
LIS > Bill Tracking > HB5003 > 2020 session

Stay involved during the Virginia General Assembly special session. HB 5003 would remove $336,000 from the general fund and $117,000 from the Litter Control and Recycling Fund. Let the House Finance Committee know you do not support reducing funding for environmental protection programs. Protecting the planet saves people and benefits the economy!

Refunds for penalties for late payments of the litter tax. Directs the Department of Taxation to waive penalties for late payment of the litter tax for the taxable year beginning June 1, 2019, and ending May 31, 2020. The Department would refund any penalties already paid, provided that the tax is p...

Another tip on ways to live within your means of one curbside trash can, and one recycling bin, think about composting y...
08/25/2020

Another tip on ways to live within your means of one curbside trash can, and one recycling bin, think about composting your kitchen (fruit, vegetable, coffee grounds, tea bags etc-no meat or dairy!) scraps and your lawn and leaf collections!

The University of California system has developed an excellent plan to reduce their plastic waste stream. This strategy ...
08/24/2020
UC moves to scrap single-use plastics

The University of California system has developed an excellent plan to reduce their plastic waste stream. This strategy should be used on all college campuses.

University of California campuses are phasing out single-use plastics as part of a bold commitment to achieve zero waste, furthering its long-established, innovative sustainability efforts and goals. The new policy will transition UC away from plastic bags in retail and dining locations and eventual...

With almost everyone working at home, school virtual, lots of our usual outlets either closed or limited, You may be fin...
08/24/2020

With almost everyone working at home, school virtual, lots of our usual outlets either closed or limited, You may be finding that you are generating far more trash than you ever thought possible--because you're not distributing it across your day!

Our friends who work in taking your curbside trash away have found that there's about a 30% increase in curbside set out in Northern VA which is substantial!! So we will be posting a few tips for how you can live within your means of your one trash can per household, and not put your waste workers at risk by piling up trash on the cub in bags.

(Also, trash in bags often gets torn open by animals, scattered, blown around, and ends up really contributing to the litter problems we have in Fairfax County)

Our colleagues at Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy had a devastating flood not too long ago and almost all their copies of t...
08/22/2020

Our colleagues at Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy had a devastating flood not too long ago and almost all their copies of their beautiful Birds of Loudoun County were water damaged (but still good!)

Please join us in sending in a donation to help cover the costs of the damage and buy one of their now dry books. We'll put the donation link in the comments, please mention Birds of Loudoun in the comment box when you make your donation if you are so inclined. It is a tough time for non profits right now, but a great time to be identifying the birds in your backyard.

(and do follow their page, especially if you are looking for some fun nature events for you and your family) yours, Jen

We are dismayed and saddened to inform you that 180 copies of our self-published Birds of Loudoun were damaged by recent flash flooding at our office. While we still have copies available, over half of our remaining inventory was damaged.

Unfortunately, our insurance does not cover damage due to flooding. This has been a challenging year, and we will navigate and overcome this obstacle as well.

Last Thursday night, our office at the Gatehouse at Morven Park was a casualty a flash flood. Our garage was inundated with 4 feet of water, and three rooms of the Gatehouse were submerged with over 1 foot of water.

The waters had receded by Friday morning, but they left a layer of mud over everything they touched. In the garage, the floodwater knocked over two of our shelving units, and made a mess of our citizen science and habitat restoration equipment. Inside the building, items stored on lower shelves were damaged or destroyed, including copies of the Birds of Loudoun.

We want to thank our staff, board members, and volunteers who came by on Friday to help clean up our space. The staff at Morven Park is already working to repair the Gatehouse, and we thank them for their assistance to remedy the situation.

More plastics, more problems. It’s time to turn off the tap on plastic production!
08/20/2020
Massive Plastics Plant Fire Sends 'Toxic Plume' Over North Texas

More plastics, more problems. It’s time to turn off the tap on plastic production!

A massive fire at a plastics facility Tuesday night in Grand Prairie that can be seen for miles is likely to continue burning for the rest of the day and could knock out electricity in the area for some time, firefighters say. No injuries have been reported.

Protecting the environment supports human health and helps communities thrive!
08/19/2020
Don't let water quality become another COVID-19 casualty - Virginia Mercury

Protecting the environment supports human health and helps communities thrive!

By Peggy Sanner You often smell them before you see them. Harmful algal blooms are an annual summer curse in Virginia’s waterways, staining waters shades of red, green and brown. This year has been no exception, with blooms observed from Lake Anna to the James, Lafayette and Lynnhaven Rivers, to t...

The sheer numbers of plastic bags used during the last 5+ months is mindblowing. There's a cost to all that plastic--fin...
08/19/2020
Prince Edward Island Has Removed Millions of Plastic Bags From Its Waste Stream

The sheer numbers of plastic bags used during the last 5+ months is mindblowing. There's a cost to all that plastic--financial and environmental. Let's get back to using our own bags where we can and get ready for some Virginia communities to hitch their wagons to the $.05 user fee after the first of the year.

Canada's Prince Edward Island banned single-use plastic bags in July 2019. A year later, nearly 16 million bags are no longer being discarded.

08/18/2020
Fairfax County Park Authority

Is it time to go back to the gym?

We missed you! New and returning members can save on RECenter memberships at all 9 locations through Sept. 30. Enjoy increased safety measures including limited capacity, no contact payment and enhanced cleaning.

If you're upgrading your pajamas and leisurewear for the next round of work/learn from home, check out this ranking of w...
08/17/2020

If you're upgrading your pajamas and leisurewear for the next round of work/learn from home, check out this ranking of which companies are using sustainable cotton.

https://www.sustainablecottonranking.org/

08/13/2020
rethinkplasticalliance.eu

Don’t let the plastics industry fool you! Recycling is not the longterm answer to plastic waste. We must reduce the amount of single use plastic that is produced! This infographic explains the problem well.

What happens to your old phone/tv/computer  and other electronics when you upgrade? Spoiler alert: "This record-breaking...
08/13/2020
The World Threw Away 54 Million Tons of Electronics Last Year

What happens to your old phone/tv/computer and other electronics when you upgrade? Spoiler alert:

"This record-breaking number is tough to picture, but as the CBC explains, it's equivalent to 350 cruise ships the size of the Queen Mary 2, which could create a line 78 miles long. "

The Global E-Waste Monitor Report for 2020 shows that electronic waste is up 21% in five years and that national recycling strategies remain inadequate.

Curious about whose Native land you live or play on? Text 907-312-5085 and it will respond with the answer. In Fairfax w...
08/12/2020
Code for Anchorage

Curious about whose Native land you live or play on? Text 907-312-5085 and it will respond with the answer. In Fairfax we are on Manahoac land. If you're outside Fairfax, let us know the information you learned about your area. This free project was started by Code for Anchorage, an all volunteer coding group who "like to work on software projects for the good of our community." Send them a text and check out some of their other projects!

We're a brigade of Code for America, which means that we're a volunteer group of coders who like to work on software projects for the good of our community.

The time to think about a leaf composting program in your yard is just before the leaves fall! Instead of bagging your l...
08/12/2020
We've Broken Down the Science of Composting for You

The time to think about a leaf composting program in your yard is just before the leaves fall! Instead of bagging your leaves for pick up, why not make a compost pile? You can do the same with grass clippings and if you have an actual bin--kitchen (no meat or dairy!) scraps! You'll want that great composted material for your garden next year, trust us!

All you need is some food scraps and patience.

Plastics cause problems for their entire lifecycle. The port’s conclusion of this accident was that these plastic pellet...
08/11/2020
Plastic pellets litter batture near Chalmette Battlefield after cargo container accident

Plastics cause problems for their entire lifecycle. The port’s conclusion of this accident was that these plastic pellets “were irretrievable”. Additionally, no decision has been made as to who will be held responsible for the attempted clean up. It will be impossible to remove all of those plastic pellets and all the other plastic pollution from our waterways. We must stop them at the source!

Thousands of tiny white plastic pellets from a container aboard a cargo ship being unloaded at at the Napoleon Avenue Wharf in New Orleans ended up littering the east bank

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12000 Government Center Pkwy, Ste 458
Fairfax, VA
22035

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Follow Clean Fairfax for the latest environmental news and information pertaining to Fairfax County VA. The mission of Clean Fairfax is to encourage environmental stewardship and urban sustainability in Fairfax County, Virginia through education, programming, and community involvement. Clean Fairfax seeks to reduce littering and to encourage recycling, reusing, and reducing consumption, promote community action by supporting clean-ups and adopt-a-spots and serve as a clearing house for environmental information in Fairfax County.

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Comments

Hi, so we should be good stewards of the earth and not use plastic bags for waste. We go to the store and get the paper lawn bags and use them for yard waste. (64 bags of leaves at our house alone, put at the curb in reusable buckets and MANY paper lawn bags) WHY can't all the lawn services in this county do the same. They create more plastic trash than any one else. Can't we pass something that pushes the Lawn Companies to do good for the environment also.
Good quiz, check it out ... very informative and interesting
Good reason to reduce/reuse/recycle. Landfills are huge CO2 emitters. Let's get a local flyover!
Hey Clean Fairfax! I'm trying to find out how to recycle used prescription bottles. Evidently they are not allowed in curbside recycling, but I've been tossing my pill bottles in the bin all this time. What do we do with them?
I was getting conflicting messages from different haulers and the county so I contacted American directly. I understand they process recycling for the county. This is the response I received, which taught me several new things. First, the county still says you can put glass in though it’s not ideal. American says don’t do it. Also, I didn’t know you could recycle the fruit plastic containers here, so that’s great. Still trying to get in for a tour: WE RECEIVED YOUR EMAIL INQUIRY ABOUT RECYCLING MATERIAL THAT IS ACCEPTABLE. ANYTHING CARDBOARD, PLASTIC, MILK JUGS, FRUIT PLASTIC CONTAINERS, ALUMINIUM FOIL AND TRAYS, PAPER TOWEL/TOILET PAPER ROLLS, SODA CANS, NEWSPAPER, BOOKS, MAGAZINES, LAUNDRY DETERGANT CONTAINERS, BUT NO GLASS. GLASS WOULD NEED TO BE IN REGULAR TRASH.
There's a lot of confusion still about what to recycle in Fairfax. I contacted our refuse company who said they don't take glass at all. But their website clearly states they do. They claim it's controlled by the county and not up to them. The county has told me to check with each company directly because they don't control it. I contacted our neighbor's refuse company - they don't take some items that our company does (foil) but they do take glass. Are they just throwing it away? Is it processed by the hauler or by the county? I don't know how much it matters since our recycling continues to get thrown in the same truck as the trash every week. I'm just saying that some of us are trying very hard to recycle right and it's very, very hard.
Where can I take empty pill bottles to be recycled? Anyone know. I hate to throw them in the trash.
What is the best way to recycle paper here in Fairfax? Shred it? Or do I need to recycle it separate from the other recycling?
If it's no Scottish...