DPW is in charge of enforcing all sanitation regulations for the District. Education and enforcement are the tools that the Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program (SWEEP) inspectors and investigators use to work with residents and businesses to keep the District clean. SWEEP also supports neighborhood clean-ups through the Helping Hand program and gives young people the opportunity to earn community service credits through the SWEEP Jr. program.
How You Can Help
- Learn more about SWEEP’s education services -- SWEEP provides a variety of educational services including fliers and pamphlets; presentations at various meetings; one- on-one meetings with constituents; warning tickets.
- Find out about SWEEP’s enforcement services -- SWEEP will issue a notice of violation when they observe a violation or if they investigate a complaint and there is a violation. Inspectors have the discretion to issue a warning ticket before issuing a ticket with a fine but this is not required by law. Once a notice of violation is issued, the person receiving the notice of violation must respond according to the instructions provided. Unlike tickets issued by other agencies, abating the conditions is not grounds for dismissal of the ticket.
- Read about the District’s sanitation regulations.
Avoid getting a sanitation ticket by following the sanitation laws and regulations:
- Place trash and recycling containers out for collection no earlier than 6:30 pm the night before collection and no later than 6 am on your collection day. Residents are required to remove trash and recycling containers from public space by 8 pm on your collection day.
- Keep the public space around your property free of litter. Property owners have to ensure that all solid waste, regardless of whether it comes from their property or not, is properly stored at all times in a container that has a tight fitting lid. Property owners are responsible for maintaining the public space around their property in clean condition at all times, regardless of whether or not the property owner put the items in the public space. If you reside at a property that receives collection services from the District and you wish to dispose of bulk items, place a service request first to schedule a bulk pick-up and then place the items out for collection after 6:30 pm the day before the scheduled collection date.
- Keep your neighborhood clean by taking Not in OUR DC! Pledge to Keep the Capital Clean and discover tools to help residents of all ages.
- Discover which the enforcement actions 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.