Prince William County Government: Paper bags will soon be required for yard waste

Monday 23 August 2021

As of October 1, the Prince William Landfill Complex at 14811 Dumfries Road and the Balls Ford Road Composting Facility at 13000 Balls Ford Road will no longer accept yard waste in plastic bags.

“Residents can still bring yard waste to the facility, but they can’t throw it in plastic bags,” Prince William County Solid Waste Division spokeswoman Deborah Campbell said. “They will have to empty the plastic bags in the garden bins and throw away or reuse the bags.”

Instead of plastic bags, people can use paper garden waste bags which are readily available at most big box stores, home improvement stores, hardware stores, and some grocery stores. The paper bags break down with the yard waste that the composting facility uses to make compost. Paper bags prevent the facility from separating plastic from yard waste and improve the quality of the compost. “They do their best at the composting facility to try to filter the plastic, but as you can imagine the plastic breaks into small pieces. You can’t get all that plastic out of the end product,” he said. Campbell said.

People can also collect their yard waste in personal containers and dispose of it in yard waste bins at the landfill or composting facility. Waste haulers will collect yard waste in paper yard waste bags or personal containers labeled “yard waste”. Bags and containers should not weigh more than 50 pounds, unless the waste hauler uses mechanical equipment to lift the containers, Campbell said.

The composting facility processes around 6,700 tonnes of garden waste and food each month, or about 80,000 tonnes per year, said Rich Riedel, marketing director of Freestate Farms, the contractor who oversees the facility’s operations. composting for the county. The new yard waste management program is expected to provide up to 15 years of additional life to landfills.

Paper bags are also good for the environment. “Single-use disposable plastics pose a serious and growing threat to fish and wildlife, as well as to the health of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Riedel. “While we take various steps in our facility to dispose of non-compostable items, like plastic bags, the best way to prevent non-compostable items from polluting our community is to not use them in the first place. This helps protect all of the places we use compost – our personal plant and vegetable gardens, local farms and bioretention facilities – landscapes specially designed to reduce water pollution and protect soil quality. Chesapeake Bay Water. “

The new yard waste collection program will run from March to December each year. It also includes the curbside collection of Christmas trees the first two full weeks of January. Diversion of garden waste from the landfill to the composting facility is expected to provide up to 15 years of additional life to the landfill.

Ethel J. Montes

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