News Flash

City of Falls Church Updates

Posted on: January 30, 2020

Coming Soon: Stop Recycling Glass in Your Curbside Bin; Take it to the Purple Can!

Purple Can

Quick Details

  • Glass will no longer be accepted in curbside recycling as of February 19, 2020
  • Recycle glass in the Purple Can at the Recycling Center (217 Gordon Road)
  • Make sure glass is clean; labels and lids are okay

Pilot Program: The Purple Can Club

The City is proud to announce the pilot program of Glass Only “Purple Can Club” Recycling, joining the majority of Northern Virginia jurisdictions. Starting February 19, 2020, the City will no longer accept glass in curbside recycling collection. (If you live in an apartment or condominium, please ask your management group for updates.) Residents have three options to dispose of glass:

    Bring clean glass containers to our Recycling Center at 217 Gordon Road, and put them in the Purple Can. You can also use Purple Cans in Fairfax and Arlington Counties; check for a map. Labels and lids are okay, but not required.
  2. REUSE
    Reuse jars and bottles for storage, vases, drinking glasses, planters, or for do-it-yourself projects and crafts.
  3. TRASH
    Glass can go in the trash, missing a recycling opportunity.

NOTE: After February 19, please do not put glass in your curbside recycling bin. Glass mixed with other recycling materials will contaminate the batch and cause all the materials to be thrown away. 

Why the City is Making the Change

First, changes in the recycling market mean that glass mixed with other materials is no longer acceptable. Second, we have ways to recycle separated glass that were not available to us before.

Glass creates problems in single-stream recycling. Glass breaks during collection and transport, and the broken pieces damage the sorting machinery and contaminate valuable items such as cardboard and metals. Market standards for recyclable materials are stricter than in the past, and these contaminated materials are thrown in the trash.

Glass collected in the Purple Cans is handled differently. Glass from the City will be processed either by Fairfax County, which has equipment to make sand and gravel from glass, or transported to North Carolina for recycling. The energy saved by using recycled glass in manufacturing offsets the transportation emissions.

Please join the City and the region as we work towards reducing our environmental impact. If you have any questions, please visit, email, or call 703-248-5160 (TTY 711).


Glass Recycling Information
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