Posted tagged ‘dc311’

Reminder — Call 311 for Bulk Trash Collection

June 14, 2012

I’ve been receiving a number of requests from residents to assist them with getting bulk trash out of their alleys lately.  This usually includes old mattresses, but can include anything that doesn’t fit in the trash can put out for regular trash collection.

The easy answer to this problem is the Citywide call center at 311. By dialing 311 you can report illegal dumping if you notice some in your alley. You can also dial 311 to schedule a bulk trash collection. I suspect that some of the problems I’ve been alerted to are nothing more than residents putting bulk trash out for their regular trash pick up and not realizing that they need to make a special call … so … I am including the information from DPW’s Website on the issue below.

DPW collects large, bulky items by appointment from residential households that receive DPW trash collection service. These households include single-family homes and residential buildings with three or fewer living units. Call the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center at 311 to make an appointment, which is usually available within seven to 10 days of your call. Up to seven items may be collected at one time. Customers with more than seven items may request additional appointments.

Bulk items are picked up at the same place you set out your regular trash.

Acceptable Bulk Items

  • Air conditioners (drain water and fluids)
  • Hot water heaters
  • Household furniture
  • Large toys (kiddie pools, playhouses, disassembled swing sets)
  • Major appliances, e.g., refrigerators (doors removed)
  • Mattresses and bed frames (MUST be wrapped in plastic)
  • Rugs (MUST be rolled and tied)

Unacceptable Bulk Items

  • Books
  • Bricks
  • Ceiling tile
  • Construction Materials
  • Demolition materials
  • Dirt
  • Drywall
  • Hazardous and/or liquid waste
  • Household trash or garbage
  • Small tree limbs (should be tied and placed with regular trash)
  • Tree stumps
  • Tires

Residents also may drop off a small number of bulk items at the Ft. Totten Transfer Station at 4900 John F. McCormack Road, NE, weekdays from 1 pm to 5 pm and Saturdays from 8 am to 3 pm. The transfer station is closed on holidays. Up to four tires may be brought to Ft. Totten only for disposal. Apartment buildings with four or more units, condominiums, co-ops and other commercial properties must have their bulk items removed by a private, licensed hauler. Find a list of registered recycling haulers in the Commercial Recycling Guide.

Renovation material as bricks, concrete, construction and demolition materials, and dirt are not accepted at Ft. Totten. Please visit for a list of construction and demolition companies who may haul these items.

How You Can Help

  • Call 311 to set up an appointment before putting your bulk items out for collection.
  • Put your bulk items out no earlier than 6:30 pm the day before and no later than 6 am on the day they are to be collected. Place them where your trash and recycling are collected. You could receive a sanitation violation ticket if these items are in the public space at any time other than your collection appointment.
  • Remember, no more than seven items will be collected per appointment.


Does The City’s 311 Service Actually Work? Short Answer — Sometimes

September 12, 2011

Currently, dc311 is operating at a 31% success rate for graffiti removal requests

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get really fed up with the dc311 service that is supposed to make the lives of District residents easier, not harder. In theory, any resident is supposed to be able to call 311 or go to the City’s online version in order to report the need for city services — everything from graffiti removal to tree trimming, trash collection, and rat abatement.

While I used to call 311, I’ve recently started to use the online service. I thought this would be easier and faster but it seems the only thing that is easier is my ability to track District dysfunction.

My recent case in point was a series of graffiti removal requests I reported on August 28, 2011. All in all I reported 13 street lights with tagging that needed to be removed (or based on the City’s response, painted over). The graffiti was on Georgia Avenue, Park Place, Warder Street, and New Hampshire Avenue. Three days later, I received emails for all 13 requests stating that the service requests were resolved. If this were true, it would be great. But hold on … I’ve learned not to trust these emails based on earlier experiences.

With print outs of all resolved emails in hand, I visited all 13 locations on September 10th to confirm that the work has been completed. I’m sorry to report that only 4 of the 13 graffiti removal requests had actually been accomplished (or 31%). This is abysmal. It is either reflective of pure laziness on the part of the City, or outright fraud. What this does is completely skew the City’s metrics when it comes to analyzing how well they are doing. What this does is make the District statistics look like work crews are doing a bang up job! According to the 311 system, the city was able to handle 13 graffiti requests in three days … but they didn’t.

What is even crazier is that some of the graffiti that was removed was only steps from the next request. So, a City employee and vehicle were at the site — with paint — and addressed one problem while ignoring the other requests that were right there in front of them. Having to send someone out again unnecessarily costs the City money it either doesn’t have or that is needed elsewhere.

As for me, I have once again reported the missed requests and cited the original tracking number. Let’s see if they can do this correctly this time.


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