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Torn, Tattered Flags Now Accepted at County Landfill

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — There’s correct way to dispose of a U.S. Flag.

“You can get rid of our flag in a respectful manner…by burning them, unless it’s nylon. If it’s nylon, you can bury it recycle it, said Thomas, 11, of Montclair.

Getting rid of faded, tattered, or torn flags has become the mission Thomas’ Boy Scout Troop, which opened a new U.S. Flag collection center at the Prince William County Landfill.  The drop-off center now accepts old flags which can be placed into a metal bin.

Then, they’re collected every two weeks by members of two Boy Scout troops and disposed of properly.

“I learned in cub scouts that its disrespectful to the country if the flag is not folded property its disrespectful, Joshua, 10.

Folding the flags properly is just one of the things they do at the collection center that sits next to the landfill’s Donation Place.

“When you’re folding it, make sure it doesn’t overlap too much or it will be really puffy,” added Joshua.

Thomas said the flag can also be respectably burned if the blue star field and red and white stripes are cut out and burned separately. It’s best to bury nylon flags, he said.

The troops, elected officials, and landfill administrators gathered June 11 to open the center. It’s a project the Boy Scouts were excited to partner with landfill to complete. The landfill obtained a collection bin from a local library, refurbished it, and the Boy Scouts decorated it.

“I knew this was going to be a success – [the landfill wasn’t] just doing it because they knew people would like it or they thought it would be a good idea…they called me with ideas,” said David Byrne, a scout leader.

The flag collection center will be open every day the landfill is open. Boy Scouts will man the center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month. They’ll collect flags for disposal and be able to answer any questions residents might have about properly disposing of the flag.

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