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Numbers Fall Just Short of Viability for County Parkout

Trash and recycling services in Great Falls and McLean continued under new management July 5 after Fairfax County discontinued the traditional “parkouts” at the end of the fiscal year.

Private citizens in both communities organized separate nonprofit services to pick up trash and recycling at Great Falls Elementary School and Cooper Middle School in McLean.

In Great Falls, Garrett Preis and Mark Palameras, with help from Calvin Follin, Don McCoy, Charles DiBona and the Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA), organized a new service known as Dranesville Trash and Recycling.

In McLean, the service is known as Cooper Trash Parkout Inc. It was initiated by John Theon with help from Dennis Lucey and legal advice from Pamela Danner.

Fairfax County’s last day at both parkouts was June 28.

County workers at Great Falls Elementary School said they will miss the friends they made, as well as time-and-a-half overtime pay they earned for working on Saturday morning.

“Any time you take it out of our pockets, it hurts us,” said Roland Carter. “I’ve got kids to feed, and a son in college. But I’ll survive,” he said.

Carter and Ralph Clark, another driver, said they’ve made many friends in Great Falls. “They hate to see us go,” said Clark.

Randy Hancock, assistant director for solid waste collection and recycling, attended the Great Falls site on Saturday.

“We needed 820 full-year permit holders” to break even, Hancock said. “We never really got past 800.”

Hancock said 780 full-time, year-round permits had been sold, and another 23 part-time permits. “We ended up with 803,” he said.

“Out of that, 542 identified Great Falls as their location of preference; 261 identified McLean.”

That was a monetary shortfall of about $9,600 for the year, according to Hancock.

The GFCA is helping obtain sign-ups for those who want to continue the service. About 475 people had signed up by July 7.

The Web site is www.gfcitizens.com.