"We need everyone to help us reduce waste and to become a Zero Waste community, which is vital to our environmental efforts and keeping our streams and roadways clean," said Supervisor Dan Storck (D-Mount Vernon) in his November 2022 newsletter.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website, the recycling rate in America has increased from less than 7% since 1960 to a current rate of 32%. Recycling and reuse activities account for 681,000 jobs and $37.8 billion in wages, cited on the Fairfax County website.
Recycling started out as an option in the early days and was implemented into the Fairfax County Code Chapter 109.1 which requires residents to separate recyclables from trash for placement at the curb for collection. Both waste and recyclables are required by Chapter 109.1 to be collected weekly with residential trash collection. Sometimes that is through the county or a private trash collection service.
The county has an electronic notification system called “Fairfax Recycles” to inform subscribers of Fairfax County recycling events and news items from the Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program. Fairfax Recycles has an e-newsletter to highlight the recycling program. In the Fall 2022 edition, there is information about pumpkin disposal after Halloween, A collector spotlight story, highlights Sandra Miranda, a Trash Away route supervisor who urges everyone to take part in trash collecting and recycling.
On Nov. 1 at the Board of Supervisors regular meeting, the Board recognized Nov. 15 as Fairfax Recycles Day and encouraged residents to improve the recycling stream and Recycle Right. Supervisor Pat Herrity nominated Caroline Sieber for Lady Fairfax for her recycling efforts. She's a Centreville High School student who dedicated hundreds of hours to service the environment with the LRR Glass Recycling Network, which she formed with her sister in 2021 while schools were closed due to the pandemic. They were motivated to help promote glass recycling when curbside recycling no longer included glass.
“Each year, I ask the Board of Supervisors to recognize Nov. 15 as Recycles Day in the County to encourage our residents to recycle,” Herrity said. “County staff and organizations like the Glass Recycling Network do amazing work in educating our residents on recycling efforts, especially with the popular Purple Bin Program.” Herrity announced the opening of two new purple bin glass collection sites, one at Saratoga Park & Ride.
America Recycles Day holds a photo contest to promote recycling also. Last year's winner in the "Overall Message," category was Pinidi Kahandawa Mudiyanselage; Grade 6, followed by McClain Caswell, 4th Grader in the "Fun Message," and Kathleen McLane in the "Graphic Art," category.