More Trash from At-Home Workers Straining City’s Garbage Infrastructure

The city is pleading for residents to minimize their trash after piles have steadily grown higher as people are staying at home during the pandemic.

Residential trash tonnage has increased by 40% over the last month, according to a press release.

“Refuse and recycling collection are vital to the region’s health and safety, and localities are committed to providing this essential service,” the city said in a press release. “Every morning, collection crews report to work while facing the same life challenges as the rest of the community.”

The issue also came up in a virtual town hall with Mayor Justin Wilson last week. Wilson advised that residents should try to cut back on the trash they produce and, for yard waste being produced by more Alexandrians gardening at home, that should be composted in back yards if available.

The city asked that local residents take the following precautions to help keep the garbage disposal teams safe:

  • Dispose of used wipes, tissues and paper towels in trash bags that are tied shut.
  • Refrain from generating large amounts of waste–wait to dispose of the bulk materials in your basement, attic or garage until normal operations resume.
  • Flatten cardboard boxes to create more room in recycling carts.
  • For customers with City-issued trash carts, bags and bulk material placed outside the carts will be left uncollected. This change will take effect Monday, April 13.
  • For customers who do not have City-issued trash carts, all trash must be contained within sealed or securely tied plastic bags (loose and bulk material will be left uncollected).
  • Yard waste pickup in Alexandria remains suspended until further notice; consider backyard composting or grasscycling lawn clippings.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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