Clean Streams Initiative

Through the Clean Streams Initiative, Clean Fairfax is working with the local environmental community to quantify litter pollution, clean Fairfax streams, and hopefully come up with creative and sustainable ways to reduce the amount of litter in Fairfax’s streams through outreach and education to the public.

  • Little Hunting Creek: The Community Preservation and Development Corporation, young people from the community, and residents from Creekside Village work with us to monitor and clean up the trash coming from local apartments, which are classified as High Density Residential Area.
  • Pohick Creek: The Mason Neck Lions and residents of Pohick Square Apartments monitor and clean up the trash from a set of apartments, which are classified as a Medium Density Residential Area.
  • Quander Brook: Friends of Quander Brook count litter and then clean it up behind the Kings Crossing Shopping Center, our commercial site.
  • Little Rocky Run: Friends of Little Rocky Run collaborate with Clean Fairfax to monitor and clean up trash coming from single-family homes at our Low Density Residential site.
  • Holmes Run: Friends of Luria Park help monitor the trash from both single-family homes and a nearby school. The Soil and Water Conservation District and local school children keep it clean!

Clean Fairfax also partners with the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services to fulfill a piece of the MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) five-year permit. This permit pertains to untreated water that is runoff into streams due to rainstorms, not from wastewater pipes or treatment plants. For more information about the MS4 permit in Fairfax County, go to

July 2017 Update

Trash by the Numbers — The Clean Streams Initiative spring monitoring and cleanup of streams in Fairfax County yielded a total of 1,403 pieces of litter from our five 100 foot long stream segments. That averages to 2.8 pieces of trash every foot! See specifics below.

These totals are just from the few sites we monitor for the Clean Stream Initiative. Volunteers have picked up thousands of pieces of litter countywide, including numerous tires, shopping carts, appliances, etc.

Next step: Education and Outreach to help reduce the litter flow! Clean Fairfax is available to speak to community groups, schools, HOAs, etc. about litter and its impact.

Litter Totals by Item:

Note: Numbers represent total number of items found in these five 100 ft. sites during a single visit

FOOD & BEVERAGE                                             TOTAL: 1,186
Plastic Bags (SHOPPING): 108
Plastic Bags (GARBAGE): 1
Plastic Bags (OTHER): 169
Wrappers: 377
Water Bottles (PLASTIC): 91
Other Beverage Bottles (PLASTIC): 66
Glass Beverage Bottles: 91
Beverage Cans: 46
Disposable Cups/Lids/Plates/Cutlery/Straws: 189
Metal Food Cans: 5
Fast Food To-Go Containers/Bags: 32
Juice Boxes: 9
Beverage Boxes/6-Pack Rings: 2
HOUSEHOLD ITEMS                                            TOTAL: 144
Boxes/Cardboard: 10
Packing Materials: 35
Clothing/Fabric/Carpeting: 27
Newspapers/Magazines: 9
Hangers: 1
Balls/ Toys/ Balloons: 19
Fishing: 0
Signs/Flyers: 0
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS:                                  TOTAL: 29
Smoking Products: 18
Paint Cans: 0
Medical Waste: 1
Auto Chemicals and Parts: 8
Bio-Waste: 2
OTHER TRASH ITEMS:                                          TOTAL: 25
Tires: 0
Shopping Carts: 0
Bikes: 1
Furniture: 1
Electronics/Appliances: 5
Construction Debris: 8
Intact Bricks 10