Recycle container in an office.Recycling Requirements

All commercial and multifamily properties are required to recycle the following materials:

  • Aluminum cans
  • Cardboard
  • Glass (bottles and jars)
  • Metal cans
  • Metal household items (large household appliances, bicycles, cabinets, doors, grills, iron furniture, etc.)
  • Mixed paper (cardboard, magazines, newspapers, office paper, etc.)
  • Plastics

We also suggest recycling the following materials through a private hauler:

  • Antifreeze
  • Brush, leaves and grass
  • Clean wood/pallets
  • Cloth
  • Kitchen grease
  • Scrap metal
  • Steel/tin cans
  • Used motor oil

Recycling Plan and Reporting Requirements

Commercial and multifamily properties are required by County Code to:

  • Establish and maintain a recycling program for residents to recycle the required materials. Recycling collection must be separate from trash collection. Properties are encouraged to include additional recyclable materials.
  • Property owners/managers are also responsible for educating their residents, tenants and employees about the property’s recycling program on occupancy and annually thereafter.
  • File a commercial recycling plan form on receiving a Certificate of Occupancy (within 30 days).

Assist-Visit Fee

All commercial and multifamily properties are now required to pay an annual $66 commercial recycling fee. The fee will provide an assist-visit from an inspector to every property. An inspector will evaluate your property’s recycling program and provide technical assistance to improve its solid waste management system, increase recycling participation and evaluate cost effectiveness.

Properties found in violation are subject to civil penalties of up to $300 per day. If your property isn’t recycling the required materials, call 703-228-6570 and ask for the Recycling Compliance Office. It will be able to supply you with more information to help you update your recycling program.

Payments Due
Properties will receive a letter and invoice requesting payment. Please return the enclosed invoice with a check payable to Arlington County Treasurer:

Solid Waste Bureau
4300 29th St. S.
Arlington, VA 22206

If you would prefer to pay by credit card or pay in person, payments are accepted at the Arlington County Treasurer’s window on the second floor of Courthouse Plaza. For more information, call 703-228-4000.

Small Businesses

Small businesses should consider sharing expenses of trash and recycling collection with other nearby businesses. We also operate two recycling drop-off centers, including a scrap metal drop-off, that are available to small businesses.

Drop-Off Guidelines

  • Recycle only the materials specifically listed and place them in the appropriate bins. Placing other materials in the bins may make the entire load unmarketable, and might even cause the loss of a buyer for future loads.
  • Make sure all containers are rinsed clean.
  • Keep the recycling center litter-free.
  • Please report any problems encountered while using the drop-off centers to 703-228-6570.

Compactor Exemption

Commercial and multifamily properties with a compactor now can apply for an exemption from the weekly compactor collection requirement. Read the guidelines to compactor exemption to determine if you’re eligible for the exemption and to apply. After you apply, an inspector will visit your site, inspect the trash compactor and either provide you with an annual exemption or let you know what further action is required to obtain the exemption if you don’t qualify at that time.

Choosing a Hauler

Commercial and multifamily property owners/managers should work with a private recycling hauler to set up a recycling program. Often owners will use the same hauler for their trash and recycling services. Remember — you are the customer. It’s your right to shop around for the best price on hauling services. View a current list of Arlington haulers or get a checklist to start working with your hauler.