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Department of Public Works

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Residential Trash Collection

Trash collector next to a truck

The Department of Public Works collects trash from single-family homes and apartment buildings with three or fewer living units. Once-a-week collections occur in Wards 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 and parts of Wards 1 and 2. Twice-a-week collections occur in Wards 2 and 6 and parts of Ward 1. DPW does not collect from mixed-use residential/commercial buildings or residential buildings with four or more units. Apartment buildings with four or more units, mixed-use residential/commercial buildings and commercial properties must contract for their own trash/recycling collection services.

What Goes in the Trash

To learn about what materials belong in the trash bin and NOT in the blue recycling bin, please visit here.

Avoiding a Sanitation Ticket

  • 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.

How To Handle Medicine

  • Medicine (DO NOT FLUSH OR POUR! Take to drug take-back-site (check National Drug Take-Back Day  for next date). OR Mix with dirt, cat litter or used coffee grounds, then put in trash. Recycle empty bottle after marking out personal information or removing the identification label from bottle.)

Preventing Theft of Trash and Recycling Containers

  • Paint your address (including street name and number) on at least two sides of your containers using a bold, bright color that attracts attention and distinguishes your containers from your neighbors' containers. 


Where Your Materials Go


DPW manages the disposal of the District’s solid waste materials in an environmentally-sensitive way. The majority of trash, yard waste, and associated materials collected residentially or commercially at the agency’s transfer stations, are disposed at Fairfax County’s Energy Resource Recovery Facility in Lorton. Recycling materials are taken to a near-by Maryland facility where they are sorted and processed to be reused as raw materials.

Request the following services by calling 311 or using

Litter Can - Collection

Report a public space litter can that is full or overflowing and needs to be emptied.

Trash Collection - Missed

Report missed regular trash collection. If  scheduled trash collection falls on a holiday, the collection will “slide” to the next day.  Click on the holiday “slide” guide at the top of the page for 2015 holiday collection days.

Yard Waste

Request the collection of yard waste.  DPW collects up to five bags (per week) of yard waste from residences that receive DPW trash and recycling collection services.  DPW’s collection priority is trash; therefore, yard waste will be collected as space in the truck permits.

How You Can Help

  • Visit for your trash/recycling day(s).
  • Place trash and recycling containers out for collection after 6:30 pm the night before collection or before 6 am on collection day. Residents are required to remove trash and recycling containers from public space by 8 pm on your collection day.
  • Between collections, store trash and recycling containers on your property rather than in the alley or on the sidewalk. Otherwise, you may receive a solid waste ticket.
  • Paint your address on your trash and recycling containers and record the number that appears on these containers to help prevent theft or loss.

Just the Facts

  • The Department of Public Works removes approximately 99,000 tons of trash and about 34,000 tons of recyclables from 105,000 single-family homes and small residential buildings (with no more than three living units) each year.
  • DPW collects trash separately from recycling. The trucks used for both services look the same, but the contents are not comingled.
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