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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Resource Recovery
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Page updated Mar 27, 2015 2:09 PM

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Refuse Collection

Refuse Collection main imageThe City of Alexandria collects trash from its residential customers once a week on a designated collection day, Monday through Thursday. Residential customers are charged a Solid Waste User Fee on the residential tax bill on a bi-yearly basis.

General Curbside Refuse Collection

The City generally provides one 64-gallon refuse can free to households, except in Old Town, who receive City trash collection. Refuse cans are City property and must remain at your residence if you move. Another refuse can may be purchased if needed, but remain the property of the City of Alexandria.

Collection in Old Town  

If you live in Old Town Alexandria or in a town home community with limited access, your location may preclude the use of the 64-gallon refuse cans. Please use approved refuse containers to store bagged trash outdoors.

Set Out Times  

Set out refuse and recycling containers no earlier than 5 pm the day prior to collection, and no later than 6 am on collection day:

  • Holiday "Slide": If a City recognized holiday is observed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, refuse and recycling collection 'slides' to one day later that week (except for Thanksgiving when refuse and recycling crews provide a Thursday collection on schedule). Click here for the Holiday Collection Calendar.  
  • Inclement Weather: If there is a delay for inclement weather, residents will be notified through the City Website and eNews.

Collection Day  

Please refer to the online map to determine your collection day.

Set Out Placement  

In most single family neighborhoods, City crews collect household refuse at the curb. In most Old Town neighborhoods, collection takes place in alleys. All recycling is collected at the curb, If you are unsure where to place your refuse, please call the Resource Recovery Division at 703-746-4410.

Backdoor Services  

For elderly and handicapped residents, collection crews will remove refuse from containers at the door. Residents can request this service by mailing the completed the Backdoor Request Form to:

Resource Recovery Division
RE: Backdoor Service Request
2900B Business Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22314

How to Prepare Materials

General Items: Please consider donation before disposal, when possible

  • Always bag trash before placing it in the refuse can.
  • For the safety of our crews, refuse cans, bags and large items cannot weigh more than 75 pounds each*.
  • Set your refuse can close to the curb but away from your recycling bin, tree limbs, parked cars, and mailboxes.
  • Please fill the refuse can before placing extra bags alongside the container. Up to six (6) additional bags are allowed.

Special Items: Batteries, Brush, Bulky Items, Glass/Mirrors, Hazardous Waste, Helium Tanks, Knives, Metal Items, Needles/Syringes, Paint, Prescription Drugs, Propane Tanks, Rugs, Smoke Alarms, TV's/Computers, Welding and other pressurized tanks and Yard Waste.

Ineligible Items: Ammunition/Explosives, Construction/Building Materials, Radioactive/Biological Materials, Rocks/Dirt/Sand, Stumps, and Thermometers/Thermostats.  


Brush Items: Brush is collected separately from refuse.  See the yard waste page for preparation instructions.

Bulky Items: Such as couches, tables, furniture, etc. can be donated, or set out with your regular trash. *Please see weight limitations.  

Glass or Mirrors: Must be wrapped with several layers of newspaper or cardboard, taped at the edges and labeled as "Glass" and then placed in the refuse. Broken glass should be disposed of in a hard plastic container and then placed in the refuse.

Hazardous Waste: Residents are encouraged to bring their household hazardous waste to the City's household hazardous waste collection site.

Helium Tanks:  

Knives: Should be placed between two pieces of cardboard, taped together and then placed in the refuse.

Metal Items: The City collects metal items by special request. Call 703-746-4410. Acceptable items include metal fencing, grills, exercise equipment, and lawn mowers (drain gasoline and oil). Residents are charged a $20 fee per item to collect the following (a bill will be sent to you in the mail):

  • Stoves
  • Refrigerators
  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Hot water heaters
  • Freezers
  • Dish Washers

*Residents may bring recyclable metal items to Covanta free, once a week. Please see more information below.  

Needles/Syringes*: Should be disposed of in a hard plastic container, such as a detergent bottle, capped securely, and labeled as "Sharps, then placed in the refuse." Needles and Syringes should never go into the recycling bin.

*What about medical waste generated by medical care workers in your home? Medical waste produced by health care workers (physicians, nurses, home health aides, etc.) as a result of providing medical care in the home is not home generated medical waste. It is Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) and must be disposed of by a licensed RMW disposal company. The responsibility for the proper and safe disposal of regulated medical waste rests with the health care provider providing services in the home.

Paint: must be dry in order to be eligible for refuse collection (add kitty litter or sawdust to the paint to speed up the drying process). Paint in liquid form can either be saved for touch ups or brought to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Site.

Prescriptions Drugs: Never flush down a toilet or place in the sink! Return to the pharmacy or follow these instructions:

  1. Keep the medicines in their original container. This will help identify the contents if they are accidentally ingested.
  2. Cross out your name and prescription number for safety.
  3. For pills: add some salt water to start dissolving them. For liquids: add something inedible like cat litter, dirt or ash.
  4. Seal the container and secure with duct or packing tape.
  5. Place the container in the trash as close to pickup time as possible. Do not place in the recycle bin.

Propane Tanks:  

  • Propane Tanks 20 gallons or more - Return to your supplier
  • Propane Tanks 5 gallon - follow these preparation directions for disposal in the trash.
  • The City does not accept helium tanks in curbside or drop-off recycling or at the household hazardous waste collection site.  

Rugs: Must be no longer than 6 feet in length, rolled up and secured closed. Set out on regular trash collection day.

Smoke Alarms: May throw away in trash or send back to manufacturer.

Televisions/Computers: Unusable televisions and computers, as well as, other unusable electronics can be brought to the City's Electronics Recycling drop-off collection site or can be set out with your normal trash. *Please see weight limitations.  

Welding Cylinders/Tanks: Welding cylinder tanks containing oxygen, acetylene or helium should be returned to the gas/welding supplier. The City does not accept these tanks at the curb, drop-off recycling locations are at the household hazardous waste site.  

Yard Waste:  

  • On-site composting -- Leaves and grass clippings can be grass-cycled or composted in your backyard.
  •  Yard waste such as grass, sticks, brush, dead plants, and leaves are collected separately from trash.  See the yard waste page for preparation instructions. 

Ineligible Materials: Where to Take Them

The following items are NOT ACCEPTABLE for curbside collection:

Ammunition/Explosives: Residents call the Police Department's non-emergency number for disposal; 703-838-4444.

Construction/Building Materials: Includes Asphalt, Brick, Cement, Ceramic, Cinder Block, Concrete, Drywall, Marble, Porcelain, and Slate.To recycle the materials, use WMCOG Builder's recycling guide for local recycling facilities for a specific material. These materials can also be brought to local solid waste disposal facilities.

Radioactive/Biological Materials: Contact private disposal company, e.g.: Clean Harbors, 540-977-3181; Clean Venture, Inc., 757-543-0185 or Potomac Environmental, 804-288-5043.

Rocks, Dirt, & Sand: To recycle the materials, use WMCOG Builder's recycling guide for local recycling facilities for a specific material. These materials can also be brought to local solid waste disposal facilities.

Stumps: These materials can also be brought to local solid waste disposal facilities (several are listed below).

Thermometers and Thermostats: Containing mercury, bring to the household hazardous waste collection site.

Local Solid Waste Disposal Facilities

Please call the local disposal facilities to learn more about acceptable materials, how to prepare materials, and the cost of disposal.  

Covanta Scale House DirectionsCovanta Waste-to-Energy Facility*
5301 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA
Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Materials NOT accepted as Trash: Stumps, rocks, dirt, sand, pressurized cylinders/tanks, metal items*, construction and building debris, hazardous waste, ammunition/explosives, regulated medical waste and radioactive/geological materials.

Refrigerators and Dehumidifiers No Longer Accepted for Disposal at Covanta Waste to Energy Facility  

Appliances that contain a refrigerant are no longer accepted for disposal as scrap metal at the Covanta Waste to Energy facility, located on Eisenhower Ave. If you receive disposal services from the City, please call the Resource Recovery Division at 703.746.4410 to make an appointment for curbside collection pick up. Residents who do not receive City refuse collection services should visit for disposal instructions.  

*Alexandria residents can drop off small amounts of trash and debris, as well as, metal items for recycling once a week, (limit 500 pounds) free-of-charge at Covanta. Upon arrival, check in at the scale house for instructions. A valid City sticker on your car is required.  



Alexandria Waste Recovery Facility
625 Burnside Place, Alexandria, VA

Lorton Landfill
10001 Furnace Road, Lorton, VA

Potomac Landfill
3730 Greentree Lane, Dumfries, VA

Spring Clean Up Program

For residents who receive residential refuse collection services, don't forget to clear out household clutter by placing unwanted bulky trash and metal items at the curb this spring. The City is divided into four collection areas and each area is assigned a unique Saturday for Spring Clean Up throughout April and May. Remember, metals should be separated from other collection items left at the curb, because City refuse crews will be making a special collection for these metal materials. Also, if your street is a boundary line, consider the middle of the road the divider. Your collection area will be designated by the date of the area closest to your side of the street. Eligible residents have been mailed a postcard showing dates,collection zones, and preparation instructions.  

To locate your Spring Clean Up Area and collection date please see the below map or call the Resource Recovery Division Office at 703.746.4410.

2015 Spring Clean Up Map with Dates

Spring Clean Up is an opportunity for residents to set out unusable items to be collected on specific dates, as designated on the map. Items are disposed of at the Covanta Energy from Waste facility and other local landfills. Please consider donation before setting out items for the Spring Clean Up program.  

Eligible Participants  

City Residential Curbside Resource Recovery Customers only.

Ineligible Materials: 

Material Preparation Information: 

  • Please consider donating items before placing them out for Spring Clean Up or Regular collection.  
  • Check the map below to determine your assigned collection area and date of collection.
  • Place your materials at the curb (no alley collections) no later than 6 a.m. on the day of collection and no earlier than 5 p.m. the day before collection.*
  • Separate all metal, electronics, appliances, furniture, brush and other miscellaneous items for easy collection. Large and small metal items and electronics will be recycled   
  • Correctly prepare sharp items for collection.

*NOTE: Please ensure all materials are set out at the correct time. Crews will not make second trips into areas after the first pass, these materials, which are eligible, will be collected with regualer weekly refuse collection.

*If your street is a boundary line, consider the middle of the road the divider, and your area will be the area closest to your side of the street.

2900-B Business Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: 703.751.2569

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.