City to test use of small garbage containers

The city of Alexandria’s Solid Waste Division is initiating a pilot program to test the feasibility of a smaller garbage container for residents who receive collection services from the city. Staff is recruiting 100 residents to try the smaller containers for a year.

According to a city press release, there is good evidence that households with small trashcans and large recycling containers throw away less trash and are careful to recycle more. Some people even avoid buying things with excess packaging because they don’t want to fill up their trashcan.

The city has a goal of recycling 60% of its waste by 2020, and staff believes that the use of smaller containers will help the city meet that goal.
Residents who are selected for the pilot program will exchange their large, city-issued garbage container for a smaller, 32-gallon container and a logbook. Participants will use their new container for a year, marking in an electronic logbook each week if all of their garbage fits in the container. At the end of the year, they will fill out a brief survey.

In addition, there will be quarterly social events for participants such as an ice cream social in the summer, a pumpkin giveaway in the fall, and a recognition/award ceremony at Alexandria Earth Day in 2015.

To sign up, call the city’s Recycling Office at 703-746-4133 or email michael.clem@alexandriava.gov. More information is available at: alexandriava.gov/Recycle.

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