Questions on How to Dispose of Something in DC? There’s an App for That
It’s not always easy remembering which items are recyclable, which items require scheduling a bulk pick-up, and which items are considered household hazardous waste. To take the guesswork out of waste disposal and recycling, the Department of Public Works (DPW) has created a new web app (https://zerowaste.dc.gov) that allows residents to type in almost any item they can think of, after which they will be provided with information on how that item should be properly disposed of, recycled, reused or composted in the District. If an item isn’t available in the app, residents may suggest new items through the online tool.
For complete information about DC government’s sanitation services, visit http://dpw.dc.gov/page/sanitation-services.
Drop-Off Site: Eastern Market
Capitol Hill residents can now drop-off food waste to be composted at Eastern Market, free of charge, on Saturdays. The food waste will be taken to a local composting facility where it will be turned into compost. For more information, including what items are accepted in the DC’s Food Waste Drop-Off Program, visit https://dpw.dc.gov/foodwastedropoff.
Related: D.C. Now Has A Free Composting Program (DCist.com, Apr. 26, 2017)
Community Compost Cooperative Network
The Department of Parks and Recreations has a Community Compost Cooperative Network where residents can receive an hour long training and participate in the community compost program. There are three compost cooperatives on/near the Hill. You can find the one closest to you by clicking on the interactive map at: https://dpr.dc.gov/service/community-compost-cooperative-network.
TRASH & RECYCLING
The DC Department of Public Works collects trash and recycling from single-family homes and apartment buildings with three or fewer living units. Apartment buildings with four or more units, mixed-use residential/commercial buildings and commercial properties must contract for their own trash/recycling collection services.
DPW trash collections for Capitol Hill (and all of Ward 6) are twice a week, and recycling collections are once a week. To find out your regular collection days, click here.
Holidays: Note that when a holiday falls on a trash collection day, collections will “slide” to the next day for the rest of the week after the holiday through Saturday. If the holiday occurs on a Monday, Monday and Thursday collections will be made Tuesday and Friday, and Tuesday and Friday collections will be made Wednesday and Saturday.
Missed collections: Call 311 or use the 311 mobile app or DC311 Portal (https://311.dc.gov).
How DPW would like you to help:
- Place trash and recycling containers out for collection after 6:30 pm the night before collection or before 6 am on collection day.
- Between collections, store trash and recycling containers on your property rather than in the alley or on the sidewalk. Otherwise, you may receive a solid waste ticket. (Residents are required to remove trash and recycling containers from public space by 8 pm on your collection day.)
- Paint your address on your trash and recycling containers and record the number that appears on these containers to help prevent theft or loss.
Other useful links:
- Trash/Recycling Container Purchase and Repair
- Residential Recycling Collection (Information about what to recycle, the DPW recycling facility, and related services)
- Commercial Recycling
- Public Space Recycling
- Recycling – School Program
- Recycling Resources for Kids and Teachers
DPW will collect large, bulky items by appointment from residential households that receive DPW trash collection service, up to seven items per appointment. For limits on what kind of items they will (and won’t) accept, visit http://dc.gov/service/bulk-trash-collection. To arrange for a pick-up, call 311 or use the 311 mobile app or DC311 Portal (https://311.dc.gov).
You can also take bulk items to the Ft. Totten Transfer Station (4900 John F. McCormack Drive, NE).
The Paint Stewardship Act of 2014 requires paint manufacturers to collect and reuse, recycle, or safely dispose of leftover paint. PaintCare, Inc., the nonprofit organization created to meet these stewardship obligations, has drop-off sites in DC where you can take smaller amounts of paint all year long. To find a year-round PaintCare drop-off site near you, visit their drop-off locator tool at or call (855) 724-6809. Special paint drop-off events are also held periodically and announced on PaintCare’s website.
Paint in good condition will be made available to the public for reuse. Learn more at https://doee.dc.gov/paint and https://www.paintcare.org/paintcare-states/district-of-columbia.
DPW will collect up to five bags (per week) of yard waste from residences that receive DPW trash and recycling collection services. DPW’s collection priority is trash; therefore, yard waste will be collected as space in the truck permits. For more information, visit http://dc.gov/service/yard-waste-collection. Biodegradable yard waste bags are available at local hardware and grocery stores.
Community Compost Cooperative Network
The Department of Parks and Recreations has a Community Compost Cooperative Network where residents can receive an hour long training and participate in the community compost program. For more information, visit https://dpr.dc.gov/service/community-compost-cooperative-network.
SPECIAL LEAF AND HOLIDAY TREE COLLECTIONS
The fall leaf collection program runs from the first week of November through the second week of January. DPW will collect leaves at least twice from each residential neighborhood (per an announced schedule) by “vacuuming” loose leaves that residents rake into their treebox(es). Rake leaves into the treebox space the weekend before your street’s collection weeks – don’t rake them into the street or block gutters or storm drains. And leaves only! DPW says tree limbs, bricks, dirt, rocks, etc., will damage the equipment and delay collections. To find the leaf collection schedule and status for your street, visit http://leaf.dcgis.dc.gov.
Holiday trees and greenery will be collected from the curb in front of your home through January 27, 2017 and will be composted. Trees and greenery collected after January 27 will be collected with the trash as space permits in the truck. Remove ornaments, tinsel and other decorations and put the tree(s) and greenery where your trash and recycling are collected.
For more information: http://dpw.dc.gov/service/leaf-and-holiday-tree-collection
HAZARDOUS WASTE, DOCUMENT SHREDDING, AND UNWANTED ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT
Take all household hazardous waste, unwanted electronic equipment, and personal documents for shredding to the Ft. Totten Transfer Station (4900 John F. McCormack Drive, NE).
For more information, including what items they will (and won’t) accept, visit http://dpw.dc.gov/service/household-hazardous-waste-e-cycling-document-shredding.