The City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, Arlington County, and Prince William County have announced a new strategic partnership to improve glass recovery and recycling. These jurisdictions have committed to collecting glass via purple glass-only drop-off containers. The glass will then be transported to a Fairfax County processing plant, where it will be recycled into a variety of products.
In Northern Virginia, glass collected in curbside recycling bins is sent to recycling facilities, where it eventually ends up in landfills. During transportation to the facility, glass is broken and becomes mixed with recycling residue (such as small bits of plastic and paper) during the sorting process. This recycling contamination, along with rising recycling costs and lack of a market for single-stream processed glass, has made glass unrecoverable across the area.
The new glass-only drop-off containers address this issue by diverting glass recyclables to a specialized plant for responsible recycling.
In Alexandria, glass-only purple drop-off bins have been placed at the city’s four recycling drop-off centers, which are open 24 hours a day. The city continues to accept glass as part of its curbside collection.
In Fairfax County, residents and businesses are encouraged to bring glass to purple drop-off centers at the I-66 transfer station and I-95 landfill complex. Arlington County’s two Recycling Drop-off Centers, located at Quincy Park and the Trades Center, now feature glass-only containers for residents and small business owners operating in Arlington.