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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Resource Recovery
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Page updated Oct 15, 2014 5:20 PM

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Recycling on the Go

What's New

  • The Recycling Program with Eco-City pilots a new recycling program in Market Square. The new recycling containers accept metal, glass and plastic beverage containers and newspapers.

"Greening" Your Special Event

Block parties, cookouts, birthday celebrations, and civic association events are all ideal opportunities to help the environment by reducing the amount of waste that is generated and capture recyclable materials. The City of Alexandria Recycling Program wants to help you help the environment!

Zero Waste Events

What is Zero Waste?

Zero Waste is a philosophy and a design principle for the 21st Century. It includes 'recycling' but goes beyond recycling by taking a 'whole system' approach to the vast flow of resources and waste through human society.

Zero Waste maximizes recycling, minimizes waste, reduces consumption and ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace.

You can green your special event by applying the zero waste concept. The following websites can provide you with more information on having a zero waste event:

Reducing the Amount of Trash at Your Event

The amount of trash produced at any event can easily be reduced by the following tips:

  • Buy items in bulk. Don’t use individual serving packs (i.e. sugar, pepper, salt packets).
  • Reuse decorations and props.
  • Use cloth napkins, if possible.
  • Avoid non-recyclable containers 
  • Use resusable/compostable/biodegradable plates, containers, utensils, etc.
  • Promote recycling at medium/large events with Clearstream Recycling containers available for loan through the City's Resource Recovery Office.
    • Call the City's Customer Service office at 703.746.HELP (4357) for more information.

For more resources on reducing the amount of trash at your event, please visit:

Recycling at Your Event

Recycling is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to reduce the amount of trash at your event. Recycling can be set up in four easy steps.

  1. Decide to have recycling at your event and establish a coordinator, especially for larger events.
  2. Plan and set-up a collection system.
    • What kind of trash and recycling containers will you use?
    • How many trash and recycling containers will you use? The rule of thumb is one recycling container for every trash can.
    • Where will the trash and recycling containers be located? Keep the trash and recycling containers next to one another in highly visible and easily accessible locations.
    • Who will be responsible for emptying the trash and recycling containers?
    • Who will dispose of the trash and recycling at the end of the event? Hauler, individual, etc. For small events, the City’s recycling drop-off locations are available.
  3. Promote and provide basic recycling education.
    • Announce at the beginning and throughout the event that recycling is available.
    • Provide signs that state what is recyclable.
    • Ensure that the trash and recycling containers are appropriately labeled.
  4. Monitor the trash and recycling containers for any contamination (i.e. trash in the recycling container and vice versa). Have volunteers remind event goers about what is and is not recyclable and where recyclables go, especially for large events.

Need Recycling Containers for your Special Event?

The City of Alexandria Recycling Program has 47 ClearStream recycling containers that can be loaned out for events in the City of Alexandria. Please review the documents below for more information and requirements.

For more information about obtaining the ClearStream recycling containers please call or email the Recycling Coordinator, 703-746-4410 *Please Note the New Number*.

More Information

For more information on national and state recycling on the go initiatives visit:


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

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