Arlington County Department of Environmental Services (DES) provides essential transportation services; maintains public infrastructure and facilities including water mains, sewers, streets and equipment; handles residential trash, recycling and yard waste; and works to be an excellent steward of the environment. The County’s largest department, with some 800 people on staff, DES has won multiple honors in Virginia and nationally carrying out the mission to make Arlington a vibrant, accessible and sustainable community.
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(Closed at 12:00 p.m. every third Thursday of the month)
For questions about trash/recycling, infrastructure and other non-permitting functions of DES, call the Customer Contact Center.
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(Also see DES contacts listed by area of responsibility.)
Trash & Recycling
Arlington provides weekly curbside Trash & Recycling collection to all single-family homes, all duplexes and some townhouses. The County also requires multi-family and commercial properties to have a Trash and Recycling Plan and provide a recycling system.
Water & Utilities
This Bureau ensures that Arlington residents have safe water for drinking, bathing and other activities. Water & Utilities also repairs water mains and maintains the County’s sanitary and storm sewers.
Projects & Planning
Arlington’s residential and commercial areas, open spaces, infrastructure and transportation exist because of careful planning going back to the 1920s. Any new project involves planning informed by research, staff expertise and community input. Planning ensures that the essential principles of Smart Growth and Urban Design continue to guide the development of Arlington County.
Duties of the Transportation Bureau including running the ART bus service, helping residents plan their commutes and encouraging biking and walking.
Building & Permits
DES ensures safety and stewardship at different stages of the building process, including reviewing Civil Engineering Plans, issuing permits for Land Disturbing Activity (LDA)/Stormwater and establishing water service for new buildings.
As a community, Arlington is a national leader in environmental stewardship. The County is concerned about energy usage at the community level (Community Energy Plan) and the individual or household level (Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy, or AIRE). Arlington also protects its waterways, urban forests and parkland, and offers opportunities for residents to learn about the area’s natural resources.
GIS Mapping Center
This Bureau produces and maintains the maps found in the County’s Map Gallery.