Another Halloween has come and gone, but the jack-o’-lantern that may be sitting on your stoop isn’t going to get rid of itself.
Instead of trashing the carved-up squash, the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services is encouraging residents to compost with its annual “PumpkinPalooza” services.
“Repurposing them in this manner is more environmentally friendly than throwing them away,” DPWES said in a press release announcing the event.
The county is accepting pumpkins for composting through Nov. 17 at its I-95 Landfill Complex (9850 Furnace Road) in Lorton and the I-66 Transfer Station (4618 West Ox Road) near Fair Lakes.
Pumpkins can be dropped off at both facilities between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
“All pumpkins and squash must be free of all decorations, such as paint, glitter and candle wax,” DPWES said. “Those items cannot be composted.”
The county officially introduced its compost outpost for food scraps at the I-66 disposal facility in April after a two-year pilot to demonstrate its effectiveness.
The Fairfax County Park Authority has also added composting drop-offs at all of its farmers markets, though the Wakefield and Kingstowne markets have already ended their seasons. The park authority collected nearly 37 tons of compost last year, when the service launched at five markets before expanding to all sites for 2023.
The arrival of one of the largest indoor ski facilities in the world to Fairfax County is still up in the air.
“Market changes” pushed that goal back, according to Alpine-X Chief Financial Officer Jim Calder.
“We’re hoping to have a better sense of timing in the next three months,” Calder said.
“The current markets/inflationary construction costs have impacted our timeline,” a spokesperson for the company told FFXnow. “However, our goal is to transition to rapid development as soon as these factors improve.”
Alpine-X filed a proposal in 2018 to build the 450,000-square-foot snow sports facility with a 1,700-foot ski slope.
Other features of the proposed snow sports complex might include multiple ski slopes, a water park, gravity ropes course, areas for skiing and snowboarding, restaurants, a gondola, a luxury hotel and a gravity-powered mountain coaster, according to the submitted proposal.
In December 2021, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to extend the negotiation period between the county and the company until Dec. 31, 2023.
After years of effort, solar panels are finally coming to the I-95 Landfill Complex in Lorton.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion on Sept. 13 to lease about 40 acres of the county-owned closed landfill within the complex to Sun Tribe Solar to install, operate, and maintain an array of ground-mounted solar panels.
Sun Tribe Solar, in turn, will let the county purchase renewable energy generated at the site with little upfront or operational costs, which staff say will help the county reduce its greenhouse emissions.
With the company quoting a rate of about 11 cents per kilowatt hour with no escalation over the life of the agreement, the county expects to save money immediately — about $51,000 in the first year of operation and over $1 million cumulatively by year eight.
Thought to be the first such project in the Commonwealth, the panels are expected to be installed and go online by the end of 2024, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) Deputy Director Eric Forbes said at the meeting.
As a number of supervisors noted, though, it was a long time coming, with a number of challenges along the way.
Despite solid local support, the county needed approval from the Virginia General Assembly for solar panels to be installed on its land. The county was exploring the project at least as early as 2017, but every time it was taken to the state legislature, their request was denied.
The needed permission came at last from the 2020 Solar Freedom Act, which included a specific clause providing Fairfax County the go-ahead for the landfill project.
“I really wish this had happened a long time ago when I was chair of the environment committee because that’s when we first started having this discussion,” Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross said. “[A closed landfill] is perfect for solar. If it had not been for that pesky Virginia General Assembly not allowing it unless there was a change in the legislation, we would have done this a long time ago and would have been way ahead of the game.”
Gross wasn’t the only one to express frustration at the state holding up a project that the county says will increase its use of renewable energy while also saving money. Read More