Update Jan. 19, 2022, 6 p.m.: Weather- and safety-permitting, recycling/trash/organics curbside collection takes place Jan. 20 with regular Thursday routes. Watch this page (including social media at right) for updates.
Excess trash can be placed curbside in plastic bags and personal containers with lids. Extra recycling can be placed in cardboard boxes and paper bags. Extra organics can be placed in personal containers with secure lids that hold 20 to 32 gallons and are clearly labeled "food scraps."
Christmas trees are collected as part of regular yard waste.
Arlington County provides weekly curbside trash and recycling collection services to all single-family homes, duplexes and some town houses.
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Five drop-off sites help the County actually make money from glass jars and bottles while ensuring the market values of paper, cardboard, metal cans and plastic containers in the blue single-stream curbside recycling cart.
Disposing of Batteries
Rechargeable batteries and small "button" types, used in watches and other devices, need special disposal, while alkalines can go in the trash.
If your collection is missed, report it online using our missed pickup form or by calling 703-228-5000.
- Set your cart out by 6 a.m. on your collection day (and no earlier than 5 p.m. the day before).
- Secure your carts to keep contents from spilling onto the street.
- Remove your carts from the curb within 24 hours of collection.
Find out how Arlington's trash actually creates energy.
Backdoor pickups can be arranged for residents who are unable to take their trash and/or recyclables to the curb. Apply for backdoor collection online or call 703-228-5000. Certain restrictions apply.
Missed collections must be reported no later than 7 p.m. the first business day following your trash day. For example, if your trash day is Monday, missed collections must be reported no later than Tuesday at 7 p.m. Missed collections reported within this time frame will be collected by the end of the next business day following the day reported.
You may report a missed collection online using our reporting tool (“Residential Curbside Collections”>”Missed Service – Missed Collection”) or by calling 703-228-5000. Please note that missed collections reported after 5 p.m. the following business day will be collected on your next scheduled trash day.
Place all recyclable materials in the blue recycling cart. Unacceptable materials such as cardboard boxes containing packing peanuts, Styrofoam or trash will be tagged and left at the curb.
Recyclable materials placed outside of the cart should be placed in household containers, or cardboard boxes. Recyclable materials placed in plastic bags outside of the cart will be treated as trash. Remember to always empty and rinse all containers. Residential home properties re required to recycle the following materials:
- Aluminum cans
- Cardboard (no size restrictions)
- Metal cans
- Metal household items (large household appliances, bicycles, cabinets, doors, grills, iron furniture, etc.)
- Mixed paper (cardboard, magazines, newspapers, office paper, etc.)
Look Up Your Item & How To Prepare
Some items, while recyclable, are not accepted in your blue recycling cart. These items include:
- Wire Hangers – Reuse or take back a local dry cleaner.
- Shredded Paper – Reuse as kindling if possible. The Solid Waste Bureau also provides monthly shredding for residents and accepts shredded paper at the event. Because shredded paper pieces are too small for the blue recycling cart, bag them and place in the black trash cart for home disposal.
- Plastic Bags – Plastic bags cause damage to recycling facility machines. Try to reuse your plastic bags. Then recycle them in the bin at the grocery store. Plastic bubble wrap/cushioning can also be deposited at the supermarket.
- Polystyrene Materials – Packing blocks and peanuts, food containers, construction materials and similarly produced items should be placed in the trash.
- Glass bottles and jars – As of August 2019.
What’s Accepted as Trash?
It’s important to recycle and compost as much as possible, but some items go in the trash, including broken household goods.
Bag household trash before placing it in the trash cart. Trash may be left if improperly prepared for collection. Other trash items must be bagged, bundled or containerized for collection.
Household items that are too bulky to be bagged, bundled or put in the trash cart (e.g., large furniture like sofas, mattresses, box springs, futons or home construction debris) no longer require a pickup request. These items can be placed at the curb for regular trash collection, unless they can be dismantled with the metal pieces separated, which can then be recycled.
You must arrange for the disposal of items weighing more than 500 pounds through a private hauler at your own expense.
For large and/or bulk household items such as debris from flooding, residents must follow these guidelines:
- County carts must weigh less than 200 pounds. Personal containers and plastic bags must weigh less than 50 pounds.
- Construction materials, like drywall, must measure under 4×4 feet or placed in a plastic bag and weigh less than 50 pounds.
- Household items that are too bulky to be bagged, bundled or put in the trash cart (e.g., large furniture like sofas, mattresses, box springs, futons or home construction debris) do not require a pickup request. These items can be placed at the curb for regular trash collection, unless they can be dismantled with the metal pieces separated, which can then be recycled.
- Furniture must fit into the back of a trash truck.
- For household hazardous materials, electronics and bulk metal, residents can schedule a curbside special collection by calling the DES Customer Contact Center at 703-228-5000.
Trash should be properly prepared for pickup on the designated trash collection days.