The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, partly reversing a decision made just six weeks ago, voted Monday to allow some weekend trash collection sites, called parkouts, to remain open an additional 10 weeks, hoping in the interim to find a cheaper way to collect the trash.
The decision to close the parkouts prompted an outcry from residents, some of whom complained that private trash haulers refused to provide service to their rural neighborhoods.
Others complained that keeping parkouts in two of the richest areas of the county, where homeowners presumably would be better able to afford private trash collection, amounted to the poor subsidizing trash pickup for the rich.
The supervisors, concerned that some residents who use the Oakton, Burke and Clifton parkouts might not be able to arrange for alternative collection after the scheduled July 1 closings, voted to keep those sites open until at least mid-September.
In the meantime, the supervisors said they hope the county staff can devise a cheaper way to provide the service -- possibly with users paying fees or by having private companies operate the parkouts -- or that residents can find a private hauler to pick up their trash. The parkouts are areas where residents whose trash is not picked up by the county or private haulers can take their trash for free.
The board, in a cost-cutting measure adopted during the April 23 mark-up of next year's budget, voted to abolish 10 of the county's 12 parkouts, leaving service only at the McLean and Great Falls sites, the county's two most popular.
According to a staff report, about 3,500 residents use the McLean and Great Falls parkouts at an annual cost of roughly $461,000, while 3,400 people use the other 10 at a cost of about $547,000.
Keeping the Oakton, Burke and Clifton sites open an additional 10 weeks will cost about $63,000.