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Commercial Recycling

The District of Columbia requires recycling in all commercial establishments. These include office buildings, churches, retailers, warehouses, apartment buildings (with four or more units), cooperatives, condominiums, government buildings, bars and restaurants, non-profit organizations, schools, and universities.

Under DC law all commercial properties or establishments located in the District of Columbia must maintain an active commercial recycling program. A commercial recycling program includes separation of recyclables from other solid waste, ensuring an adequate number of containers for separated recyclables and hiring a licensed, registered recycling hauler to regularly pick up recyclables.

What You Need to Know about Commercial Recycling

The types of commercial properties that are required to recycle

By law, all commercial establishments must recycle, including:

  • Office buildings
  • Churches
  • Retailers
  • Warehouses
  • Apartment buildings with four or more units
  • Service companies
  • Cooperatives condominiums
  • Bars and restaurants
  • Museums
  • Associations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Public and private schools
  • Colleges and universities

Items that the District requires commercial properties to recycle

The District regulates recycling bottles, cans and paper in all businesses. Glass, metal, paper, corrugated cardboard and narrow-necked plastic bottles must be separated and containerized independently of other solid waste.

Enforcement actions that can be taken if a commercial property does not recycle

A commercial property can be fined for failing to comply with the recycling regulations. The fines range from $200 for a first offense to $1500 for the third violation of the same regulation within 60 days.

Reporting a commercial property that does not recycle

Call the Recycling Hotline at (202) 645-8245.

Additional Commercial Recycling Resources

Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 737-4404
Contact Fax: 
(202) 671-0642
Contact TTY: 
(202) 673-6833
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:15 am - 4:45 pm
Service Location: 

2000 14th Street, NW

GIS Address: 
2000 14th Street, NW