Fairfax County kicked off its recycling program last week, requesting county residents who have their trash picked up by the county to set aside newspapers for separate collections.

About 36,000 of the county's 254,000 households are being asked to set aside newspapers, which will be picked up every two weeks.

Those houses, located mostly inside the Beltway, are in areas where the county picks up trash and garbage. Most county households use private trash and garbage collection agencies and will not be required to sort out newspapers.

Also last week, the county began requiring private trash collectors to separate out large appliances at the I-95 landfill. Those "white goods," as they are called, will not be placed in the landfill but will be sold to a scrap dealer.

"The public response has been overwhelming and we've been pleased with the overall results," said Andrew Quigley of the county's division of solid waste.

Quigley said that the county did not know the number of households participating but that the results were expected soon.

Beginning in the fall, the county will set up 11 recycling centers where residents who have their "The public response has been overwhelming . . . . "

-- Andrew Quigley

trash picked up by private collectors will be able to drop off newspapers, glass and beverage cans.

It is estimated that 5,000 tons of newspapers will be collected in fiscal 1988, according to county figures.

Within a year, the county government is to begin an office paper recycling program.

County officials hope to recycle 3 percent of the county's trash, extending by a few years the life of the landfill.