DPW Dismisses 377 Residential Waste Container Violations

Fines Waived for Citations Issued Feb 19 to May 15

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The Department of Public Works (DPW) has dismissed fines for waste containers in public space that were issued to residents between Feb 18 and May 15, saying in future they will first issue a warning before the Notice of Violation and fine.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) has dismissed all Notice of Violations (NOV) issued for solid waste containers being in public space at the wrong time for those who had not previously received a warning. The dismissal applies to 377 citations issued between February 19 (Presidents’ Day) and May 15. Moving forward, DPW’s Solid Waste and Education Enforcement Program (SWEEP) inspectors will issue warnings for this violation type prior to issuing a citation, which carries a $75 fine.

This only applies to tickets issued for having a trash or recycling bin out in public space earlier than 6:30 p.m. the day before a collection day(s) or that were not returned to the resident’s property by 8 p.m. on collection day.

The dismissal of individual violations will happen automatically; residents do not need to do anything. If payment has already been made for a citation that has since been dismissed, please call the SWEEP office at 202-645-7190. SWEEP will process the refund as quickly as possible but not they are unable to give an exact timeframe on when the funds will be restored.

While this regulation has been enforced steadily by DPW SWEEP inspectors, including 3,310 warnings and 2,580 citations issued in the last fiscal year (FY17), DPW is committed to being responsive to the residents served. After corresponding with a number of residents on this issue, it became clear that expansion of outreach and education to residents about the regulation was required.

Along with converting 377 citations into warnings, DPW has stepped up its public education efforts on this and other requirements related to how residents should properly prepare their trash and recyclables for collection. Among the public outreach efforts, one-hundred and twenty thousand households serviced by DPW were recently mailed a postcard with information on when their bins can and cannot be in public space.  

As a reminder, trash and recycling bins may not be brought out onto public space before 6:30 p.m. on the day prior to collection and must be removed from public space by 8 p.m. on the scheduled collection day. This regulation stems from the Litter Control Administration Act of 1985 and helps keep our city clean by ensuring residents and business owners do their part to maintain the space in and around their property. The regulation also keeps sidewalks, roads, and alleyways passable and safe.

For residents who are physically unable to move their trash and recycling bins, DPW provides hardship collection services. For these residents, our crews collect the containers from their storage locations and return them after they have been emptied. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from this service, an application is available on our website.

For further information, please email DPW at dpw@dc.gov, or call (202) 673-6833.