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Fairfax County resident chronicles trash, mattress dumping on TikTok

Garbage along Electronic Drive on Feb. 21 in Springfield (photo by David Taube)

One Springfield resident so fed up with people dumping trash along streets has taken her concerns to not only public officials but TikTok.

Nicole Miller said she reached out to Fairfax County for problem areas after seeing bags of trash in one area and another spot with a TV and chair there. While the Virginia Department of Transportation has cleaned up areas, Miller suggests it’s a recurring issue.

Photos shared on social media by Miller and other residents show the matter goes beyond plastic bags and litter often seen along highways. One person posted photos of a mattress and box springs tossed out in Herndon’s Chandon Park where there’s a “no dumping” sign.

Miller has posted TikTok videos throughout 2021 and 2022 about the problems she’s seen.

“This has been happening for almost a year,” she told FFXnow by email.

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Virginia law prohibits dumping of trash along roads, making it an arrestable offense that can involve up to a year in jail and a $500-$2,500 fine. Perhaps fittingly, a court can order a defendant to perform 10 or more hours of community service in cleaning up litter.

While the county maintains resources about littering and Miller reached out to the local government for help, she was referred to VDOT.

“We do receive complaints via phone and Trashmail for illegally dumped debris,” Fairfax County spokesperson Sharon North said in a statement. “However, we are unable to resolve complaints when they are left roadside as VDOT maintains the public roads or VDOT maintained roads, and coordinates clean-up. When these complaints are received, they are referred to VDOT.”

Customers can report complaints for debris left roadside to VDOT by calling 800-367-7623 or filing the matter at my.vdot.virginia.gov, where there’s an online form.

However, Miller says that it can sometimes take weeks of begging VDOT to get issues addressed.

When asked about Miller’s concerns, VDOT explained the process for filing a complaint but did not answer questions about its customer service and response times.

At one location on Electronic Drive in Springfield, Miller says the spot keeps growing. “They clean it,” she wrote of VDOT, adding that “someone else dumps it.”

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