Posted tagged ‘trash’

Efforts Underway to Clean Up 3660 Block of Georgia Avenue

July 15, 2016
Photo of Metro ventilation grate full of trash, sent in by a reader.

Photo of Metro ventilation grate full of trash, sent in by a reader.

Lately, the east side of Georgia Avenue between Rock Creek Church Road and Quebec Place has been particularly bad with discarded trash. In particular, the two ventilation grates for the nearby Georgia Avenue metro station have been used as de facto trash collection bins as shown in the photo taken on July 11th and shared by a reader.

Several neighbors have reached out to me, DPW, and Councilmember Nadeau seeking a solution to this problem. In addition to a Green Team which would come later in the year, one suggestion has been to have a new litter can added to the block so that people have some place to put their cups, bags, and other debris. There used to be a litter can on this block which was removed sometime between October 2011 and May 2012. As the ventilation grates are being used as litter cans, and as Georgia Avenue is a heavily used commercial corridor, it makes sense that the litter can should be returned.

Requests have already been made to the Department of Public Works for a new can and we hope to see it installed soon.

3663 Georgia(Efforts are underway to have a litter can installed on Georgia Avenue south of Rock Creek Church Road)

Litter Cans Filling Up with Household Trash, Residents Informed Trash Collection May Resume by Thursday

January 27, 2016

IMG_0085(Litter can at Rock Creek Church Road and Ward Street, NW, full of household trash on January 26, 2016.)

The practice of using public litter cans to dispose of household trash has become a serious problem in Park View – and one that has become even more of a problem with the recent blizzard. Residents are requested to refrain from placing household trash in open litter cans and to hold on to trash until service begins later this week and next. In addition of household trash in public litter cans being unsightly and illegal, a major concern is its impact on the public health and its contribution to the neighborhood’s rat problems as food in open containers often provides rats with food.

To assist residents with planning and managing their household trash until regular collections resume, below is the announcement from the Department of Public Works (DPW) issued on the 25th.

DPW Announces Altered Trash Schedule
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Due to last week’s blizzard, DPW will suspend trash collection through Wednesday, January 27th.  DPW will attempt collection on Thursday, January 28 and operate on an altered schedule Thursday through the weekend. Normal trash collection is scheduled to resume on Monday, February 1.
DPW will hire private contractors to augment the work of their crews. 
The full trash collection schedule is as follows:
– Monday: Service resumes next week.
– Tuesday: Service resumes next week (Twice a week routes will be addressed this Thursday or Friday).
– Wednesday: Service resumes next week.
– Thursday: Service attempts will be made. 
– Friday: Service attempts will be made. 
– Saturday & Sunday: Possible service attempts on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday routes.
– Monday: Regular service will resume.
For more information, please visit

Seeking and End to Illegal Dumping

January 8, 2016
Litter can with trash bag of household trash.

Litter can with trash bag of household trash, Rock Creek Church Road and Warder, NW.

A frustration I’m sure I share with many residents is the amount of illegal dumping that occurs in the neighborhood. Much of this centers around our littler cans which are not intended to be collection points for household and other bulk trash items. Over the years, I’ve observed that the litter cans on New Hampshire Avenue are heavily used for household trash, as are the litter cans at Warder and Rock Creek Church Road and other litter cans around the neighborhood.

I’m convinced that part of the problem is the conversion of rowhouses into multi-family dwellings without having a plan in place for trash collection. While this isn’t a true cause and effect relationship, the issue is when a property has four or more dwelling units then it is no longer eligible for city trash collection. Buildings with four or more units are required to hire a private trash company for collection. I suspect that some landlords don’t do this and attempt to get by with city trash pick up, leaving residents to figure out what to do with trash that isn’t collected. Naturally, they turn to the area little cans.

While I hope I am shown to be wrong on this, I’ve decided to officially reach out to DCRA to request that they perform an audit to ensure that our larger buildings have the necessary contracts for trash collection in place.

Illegal dumping(Litter can full of business trash and a dumped mattress at Georgia Avenue and Otis Place, NW)

Mayor Gray’s Plan to Replace Residential Trash Cans Meets DC Council Obstacle

December 16, 2013
Typical trash and recycling cans found in Ward 1.

Typical trash and recycling cans found in Ward 1.

Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that Mayor Gray’s plan to replace the trash and recycling cans in 2014 is in trouble.  The problem, it seems, is that the D.C. Council objects to the money-shifting strategy Gray has proposed to pay for the program that would impact about 75,000 District households. To pay for this, Gray proposed to draw from funds previously budgeted for the District’s retiree health-care fund, and this is something that concerns council Chairman Phil Mendelson. The garbage-can plan transfer involves $9 million.

I certainly hope the council and mayor can find a solution for funding new trash cans. Currently, resident are required to pay a fee for replacement cans. The fee is $62.50 for a Supercan or $45 for a 32-gallon trash can or recycling can. Senior citizens, age 60 and older, are able to pay $30 for a Supercan, or $20 for the 32-gallon trash cans and $20 for the blue recycling cans that are used citywide.  For trash cans that can be repaired, the Department of Public Works will replace for free broken and/or missing wheels, tops and lift bars for 96-gallon Supercans.

While well maintained trash cans may not strike some as an important issue, in the fight to keep alleys clean and rodent free, they are essential. Improperly disposed of trash supplies food to rats and other wild animals which, in turn, contribute to greater health risks to the community.

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.


Green Team Returning to Georgia Avenue

May 22, 2012

The section of Georgia Avenue that has been funded for one of the Ward 1 Green Teams in 2012

Around 8 a.m. yesterday morning, May 21, Councilmember Graham announced that the Ward One Clean Teams would soon be back in the neighborhoods helping to keep Ward One clean by staying on top of trash in some of our heavily traveled corridors. The program will cover 38 blocks in Ward One.

Park View’s section of Georgia Avenue fared well, with 10 blocks — or 26.3% of the blocks in the program — included (the area from Irving to New Hampshire). Columbia Heights also has a sizable section of 14th Street included in the program with 11 blocks (30%) starting at Columbia Road and ending at Spring Road.

The announcement, however, did not go unnoticed by those that think all of Georgia Avenue needs this kind of attention. This was especially true in Ward 4 where, apparently, only the section of Georgia Avenue north of Decatur Street and ending at Eastern Avenue has a Green Team of sorts. The Petworth section has been seeking a Green Team for the last few years now.

Below is the full text of Councilmember Graham’s email:

I am pleased to announce the Ward One Clean Teams will soon be back in full force in many of our neighborhoods – – covering a total 38 blocks throughout the Ward.  I worked hard to get the funding back into place for this important service. I want to thank Mayor Vincent Gray, Chairman Kwame Brown, and Harold Pettigrew, Director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development for their help in re-establishing Clean Teams.

We have missed these services – – and value this work in our neighborhoods.

We are giving people a chance to rebuild their lives with jobs, while fulfilling this useful purpose. Charlie Whittaker successfully competed for this contract, and again has the supervision of this service. His able services are much appreciated.

Please look for Clean Team members in the neighborhoods below starting in the next few weeks. (Adams Morgan has had no lapse in their green team cleanups, due to a different source of funding, part private and part DC gov.)

§  Georgia Avenue—Georgia Avenue, NW from Irving Street, NW to New Hampshire Avenue, NW (Node 1, Pleasant Plains :   Petworth, (10 linear blocks);

§  U Street—U Street, NW from 9th to 14th Streets; and the northside from 14th to 17th Streets, NW (6.5 linear blocks);

§  14th Street MidCity—14th Street, NW from S Street, NW to Florida Avenue, NW (5 linear blocks);

§  14th Street Columbia Heights—14th Street, NW  from Columbia Road, NW  to Spring Road , NW; and Park Road, NW from 14th Street, NW to Hiatt Place, NW (11 linear blocks)

§  11th Street—11th Street, NW from Kenyon to Monroe Streets, NW(3 linear blocks)

§  Mt. Pleasant— Mount Pleasant Street from 16th Street, NW to Park Road, NW (3 linear blocks)


Where are Our Illegal Dumping Areas?

March 26, 2012

The alley area behind the Fisherman of Men Church has been a long-term trouble spot for illegal dumping

Here’s are two questions I’d like to throw out to the community.

  1. Where are our illegal dumping areas?, and,
  2. What can we do to get ahead of this problem?

My guess is that the first thing we need to do is have a comprehensive list of known trouble areas. As an example, I noticed yesterday that yet again two mattresses and a chair had been dumped in the alley behind the Fisherman of Men Church (former York Theater) located at Georgia and Quebec. This is a problem spot that has been going on for years.

I know there must be other hot spots in the area. Perhaps by identifying them and consistently reporting them we can eventually get ahead of this problem. At the least, we should be able to get organized enough to get the illegal trash removed in a timely manner.


Dumpster Dumping, or, Why Did the Dumpster Cross the Road?

February 3, 2012

Street trash is a perpetual issue in Park View, but February 1st was the first time in recent memory where a dumpster was itself the street trash. As you can see below, on Wednesday morning a roll off dumpster on Irving Street (just east of Georgia) was oddly located across the street from its traditional location. Best guess is the orange dumpster was not properly secured in the adjacent alley and rolled away to the other side of the street. Of course, it’s also possible that it made the journey with a little help from friends. In either case, by the end of the day it had been returned to its normal position in the alley.

Abandoned dumpster on 600 block Irving St, NW


Help Keep Catch Basins Clear of Debris

January 10, 2012

Clogged catch basin at 6th and Newton Place, NW

Did you know you can help DC Water keep streets from flooding and keep trash out of our waterways?

According to them … “the District has more than 25,000 storm drains that direct stormwater off roads and into sewers. A catch basin is the part of the storm drain that catches litter before it can enter the system. DC Water cleans and maintains catch basins regularly, removing 23 tons of debris every day.”

In order to help DC Water with their regular cleaning … which ultimately helps prevent flooding in the neighborhood … residents can report clogged catch basins for service. This can be done by either calling (202) 612-3400 or sending a tweet to @dcwater. Be sure to identify the location as specifically as possible.

I’ve recently reported two clogged catch basins via Twitter and look forward to seeing how well it works.


Street Trash a Hugh Neighborhood Issue

April 5, 2011

610 Newton Place, NW, has been owned by the New Commandment Baptist Church since 2008. The church is located at 625 Park Road. Future plans for the property is not known at this time

While there has been a general outcry against the amount of tagging/graffiti that has cropped up along Georgia Avenue in recent weeks, something that is equally troublesome is trash and litter strewn along our streets.

I’ve long been mystified by the amount of clamshell food containers, empty liquor bottles, and general trash that can be found on our neighborhood’s streets. Often times you can find a crack bag or empty condom wrapper in the parkway in front of an otherwise well maintained row of homes. Sharing my frustration, residents in southern Park View largely along the Irving Street corridor have formed the Park View Beautification Crew and are now documenting their efforts on their own blog. Their community involvement and activism is something many of us should aspire to.

One resident's attempt to arrest public urination at their property

One street that has been a perpetual problem is the 600 block of Newton. The large, vacant apartment buildings on the south side of the block only serve to exacerbate the problem. Across the street from these apartments one resident has posted a sign (right) in an attempt to stop public urination on their property.

If ever there was a block in need of a Ward-1 Fix It crew, this would be it. Yet, I have little faith that cleaning up this area would last beyond a few days. Below are a few more images of the area around the empty apartment building.

The front yard of 610 Newton Place as seen on April 2, 2011

Looking west on the 600 b/o Newton Place toward the Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center/Georgia Avenue


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