Mayor's Office of the Clean City

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Clean City

Here is how you can help to keep DC clean:

For all ages

  • Do not overfill waste containers, as it will result in litter on the streets. (21 DCMR §708.7, with fines ranging from $35 to $1,000.)
  • Remove flyers or take-out menus from your car or front door before they are blown into the neighborhood as litter. Be sure to throw them in the trash when you are finished.
  • Set a good example by not littering and remind others not to litter.
  • Do not put trash, debris, motor oil, or any other materials into storm drains. Nothing but water should go into storm drains.
  • Create less trash by using reusable food and drink containers when possible.

Just for kids

  • Be sure your trash goes in the trash can, not just near it.
  • Pick up after yourself at a picnic or a fast-food restaurant.
  • Do your part to help pick up trash around your home and school.
  • Never throw anything from a car, truck, or bus.
  • Always set an example by not littering, no matter where you are
  • Encourage your school to conduct ongoing litter and recycling programs.

Households and businesses

Note: Where District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR) are noted below, fines range from $35 - $1,000.

  • Pick up litter and trash daily and recycle the cans and bottles. (21 DCMR §702.1)
  • Sweep sidewalks, curbsides, and alleys weekly. (21 DCMR §702.1)
  • Improve the appearance of your home and property by removing any nuisance weeds or overgrowth. (24 DCMR §2001.3)
  • Keep trash containers closed and secure at all times. (24 DCMR §708.9)
  • Report clogged or collapsed storm water drains to DC WASA at (202) 612-3400, or visit DC WASA.
  • Conduct a community cleanup. Request loaner tools and bags from the DPW Helping Hand Program at (202) 727-1000. Contact the Office of the Clean City to let us know about your efforts.
  • Always put your trash in a proper container. If one is not available, hold on to your garbage until you find a trash can.
  • Report street and alley light outages to the Light Complaint Center at (202) 269-0855.
  • Remove illegal signs and posters from trees, utility poles, and streetlights.
  • Keep the tree boxes clean and free of trash, litter, and weeds. (21 DCMR §702.1)
  • Before disposing of unwanted clothing, furniture, or appliances, please check with the local Goodwill Stores about donating these items. By donating these items, it will help needy families and at the same time save needed space in area landfills.
  • Create less trash by using reusable food and drink containers when possible.


  • Place some type of litterbag in your vehicle to collect your litter until you can find a trash can. Please do not throw litter out of your car onto the ground. Did you know one paper bag thrown out on our roadways takes one month or longer to decompose?
  • Remove flyers or take-out menus from your car before they are blown into the neighborhood as litter. Be sure to throw it in the trash when you are finished.

Truck Drivers

  • Trucks ranging from private pick-ups to large commercial vehicles create significant litter problems when they are not properly covered. Please take a minute on every trip to check your vehicle for loose materials. If there is a potential for materials to blow off the back of your truck, then you need to properly tarp the back of your truck. Not only is it the responsible thing to do, it's a requirement under District of Columbia law. If you're caught, you'll be fined. (DC Municipal Regulation Title 24, 1007)


  • Many smokers do not believe that throwing cigarette butts on the ground has a negative environmental impact, nor do they consider it littering. Not only does cigarette litter look terrible on our streets, littered cigarette filters contain toxic chemicals that leak into the air and water and they can take decades to decompose. Keep the cigarette butts in your ashtrays and please dispose of them properly.

City Services

For more information about other city services visit the Service Request Center or call (202) 727-1000.

  • Street and alley cleaning
  • Sidewalk and street repair
  • Removal of abandoned vehicles
  • Rat control
  • Removal of illegal signs and posters
  • Bulk trash collection for residents
  • Graffiti removal
  • Tree trimming, planting
  • Weed trimming
  • Street sign repair or replacement
  • Removal of illegally dumped items
  • Dead animal removal
  • Dead tree and stump removal
  • Street and alley light repair
  • Recycling information