Who collects our trash and recycling, and where does it go?

Posted: January 25, 2018 at 10:56 am, Last Updated: May 15, 2020 at 10:46 am

Dedicated employees in Mason’s Housekeeping and Facilities departments collect trash and recycling throughout the Fairfax campus. Facilities staff members haul trash and recycling to Mason’s recycling yard to sort contaminated materials before it is transported off-campus.

Note: Sorting is a daily task our dedicated Facilities staff complete to capture recyclables inappropriately disposed of in the trash. Additionally, Facilities staff remove trash inappropriately disposed of in the recycling to decrease the overall contamination rate of Mason’s recycling for off-campus collection. This activity is extremely important, but it is one that can be greatly reduced (even eliminated) if individuals carefully dispose of items by using the correct bins, rinsing comingled recycling items before disposal, and ensuring paper is clean and dry. Decreasing contamination is essential; if a recycling truck’s load has a contamination rate higher than 1% then the entire truck may be rejected by the hauler and sent to the landfill!

On the Fairfax campus, Fairfax County collects trash and recycling and hauls it to the I-66 Transfer station located on West Ox Road. The trash is then taken to Covanta Fairfax, a waste-to-energy incinerator in Lorton, VA, while the recycling is hauled away to the Northeast Transfer Station in Washington, DC by Waste Management.

On the SciTech and Arlington campuses, Waste Management collects trash and recycling. Food waste from dining halls on the Fairfax campus is collected by Veteran Compost and taken to their facility in Clifton.

Write to Benjamin Auger at bauger@gmu.edu