Vienna city councilor worries about waste and recycling due to shipping

Collection Truck (via Fairfax County)

Same day deliveries have become increasingly popularthanks to companies like Amazon and Uber Eats, but that convenience could come at a cost to local governments.

The operating budget of the city of Vienna’s sewerage division – which includes collection agents, landfill fees for waste and recycling and other costs – has remained roughly the same over the course of the year. last fiscal years: $1.850 million in 2019, $1.925 million in 2020 and $1.871 million in 2021 .

However, Vienna City Council representative Steve Potter told the Virginia Mercury last month that increased shipping has resulted in additional costs to governments due to the amount of non-recyclable packaging as well as the need for staff and facilities to recycle cartons and other materials.

Of the. Mark Keam, whose district includes the city of Vienna, and other state lawmakers tried to intervene with bills it would have required companies to pay an environmental fee based on packaging, but the proposals did not make it to a House subcommittee.

Potter did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services shared a similar sentiment.

“It is intuitive that the increase in home delivery services over the past few years has had an impact on waste generation and composition,” department spokeswoman Sharon North said in a statement.

Even if people want to recycle, there are still setbacks. Most plastic packaging that customers receive items in is not recyclable in the area, according to Fairfax County.

As the pandemic has moved people away from workspaces, reducing commercial use, the future Annual Report of the state could provide clearer insight into the waste and recycling habits of residents and businesses.