Fairfax County, Virginia Adopts New Bin Regulations

Last week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in Virginia adopted new zoning laws to regulate the use of donation bins. Planet Aid was invited by the County to participate in the process and played a significant role in developing the new regulations.

The County had been dealing with other operators' donation bins, which were often placed without permission and lacked phone numbers or other contact and identity information.  Because of these issues, the County had considered banning all bins last year.

Planet Aid was first contacted by Heath Eddy, Senior Assistant to the Zoning Administrator in December 2014.  Mr. Eddy reached out to Planet Aid after observing how well its yellow bins were maintained and clearly marked with a phone number, address, and website. 

The County was also impressed that Planet Aid used all of its own equipment and drivers, unlike other bin operators that hire outside contractors to do the work. Planet Aid was also obviously committed to making progress and had developed a white paper, Five Things Governments Must Know About Private Clothing Donation Bins, to help inform and guide the process.

"It was refreshing to see a county caring so much about recycling and understanding the important contribution that responsible bin operators make to saving resources and reducing municipal waste stream loads. They know we are helping the community and that was important." 

—Frank Fowler, Planet Aid Operations Manager


"The Fairfax regulations are likely to be the beginning of a new trend. Fairfax County is the largest county in Virginia, so I think we can expect that other counties will want to follow their lead in implementing similar regulations."  

—Abdi Erazouki, Planet Aid Community Relationship Manager

 It is true that effective bin regulations are good for cities and bin operators, because it provides reliable, convenient recycling options for residents and prevents bins from being mismanaged or placed without property owners' permission. By implementing the new rules, Fairfax County has taken an important step to resolve problems without eliminating the benefits of the donation bins.

Planet Aid is happy to work with other city, county, or state governments to develop their own bin regulations, and stands by its commitment to responsible ownership and operation. Contact us at info@planetaid.org or call your local Planet Aid office