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Spring Operations




Posted Residential Street Sweeping

The Department of Public Works (DPW) will begin posted residential street sweeping on Wednesday, March 1. The program will run through October 30, and motorists are asked to obey posted signs indicating the schedule of parking restrictions to ensure streets are swept thoroughly.

The residential street sweeping program is an important tool used to keep the District clean.  In previous years, DPW sweepers have collected more than 2,000 tons of litter and pollutants as they traveled more than 31,095 miles across the city. DPW also sweeps neighborhoods where parking is restricted, during sweeping hours.  DPW will sweep neighborhoods where there are no parking restrictions, as well as sections of arterial roadway when curbsides are available. 

To remind motorists of the restrictions, DPW will issue warnings between Wednesday, March 1 and Friday, March 10, to vehicles parked during the sweeping periods. After March 14, violators will be subject to $45 fines and relocation which carries a $100 fee. Generally, parking is prohibited for two hours (9:30 am to 11:30 am or 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm) while sweeping is underway. When parking is allowed on only one side of the street, vehicles can park on one side, and may park on the other side the following day. 

Alley Cleaning 

DPW will begin cleaning residential alleys from April to October by Ward. In between cleanings, residents are asked to pick up litter in the alleys. Call 311 to request an alley cleaning for alleys that are in condition to pose a hazard to public safety or have become inaccessible to emergency vehicles.  Beginning in April Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program inspectors (SWEEP) will assess alley conditions and provide education and enforcement as needed.    

Yard Waste 

Yard waste collection is now year-round however, spring is the peak season.  Residents must call 311 to make an appointment for yard waste collection. Residents can also visit to make an appointment or download and schedule an appointment using the 311 mobile app available at the Google Play and Apple App stores.

DPW only collects yard waste in paper bags, which is unlike previous years when plastic bags were acceptable for collection. DPW will collect up to 20 paper bags of yard waste from residences that receive DPW’s trash and recycling collection services.

Scheduled yard waste collection is an enhancement to the yard waste program. Residents are still able to 1) leave their yard waste in paper bags at the point of trash collection, and 2) drop off their yard waste at the Benning Road Transfer Station, or 3) take a home composting class and learn how to compost at home. Yard waste in plastic bags will be collected as trash. 

Yard waste composting is another step in the plan to help the District reach its zero waste goals. Scheduling for yard waste collection allows DPW to accurately keep track of the city’s waste diversion.

Yard waste scheduled for pick up in plastic bags or found to contain improper materials will be labeled with an Oops! sticker. If a resident has more than 20 paper bags, the additional bags will be labeled with an Oops! sticker as well. Bags with Oops stickers will need to be re-bagged in paper bags, if in plastic, and a new collection request must be scheduled so that the material can be picked up.

What is Yard Waste

DPW collects yard waste from residences that receive DPW’s trash and recycling collection services. Yard waste consists of the following:

  • Leaves
  • Grass Clippings
  • Weeds
  • Bulbs
  • Twigs
  • Pinecones
  • Uprooted Plants
  • Bundled branches and limbs no more than 4 inches in diameter and that are tied in 4-foot lengths*


DPW will not collect yard waste that includes tree limbs and branches greater than 4 inches in diameter or 4 feet in length and stumps, dirt, stones, rocks, broken concrete, and broken pottery flowerpots. Please visit DPW’s What Goes Where Tool to learn how to recycle or dispose of these materials.


Grass Cutting & Mowing

DPW’s Landscaping unit conducts seasonal mowing and cutting on all District roadway median, triangle parks, major corridors/gateways, curbside/roadside grass areas and District-owned rights of way from April through September. Additionally, DPW mows roadside areas along major District thoroughfares, and provides cutbacks to overgrowth throughout the city’s alleyways.

Graffiti Removal 

DPW will clean graffiti from public and private property using paint or non-toxic solutions that are applied then removed with a high-pressure water spray, known as a power wash. The power wash is not suitable for walls with loose or crumbling masonry. Call 311 to request either of these services. A waiver of liability form will be provided, which must be signed by the property owner and returned to DPW before abatement will occur on private property. You can download the Graffiti Removal Waiver.

Helping Hands Neighbor Clean Up

DPW helps community groups that organize Saturday neighborhood clean-up projects through the Helping Hand Program. The program will lend tool kits that include five rakes and brooms, two shovels, and 20 trash bags. A $20 refundable deposit is required for all tool kits loaned under the Helping Hand Program. Free compost will be delivered as well for use in neighborhood beautification projects. 

DPW will send trucks to collect the bagged trash and a SWEEP (Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program) inspector will collect the tool kit. 

To receive an application for a Helping Hand tool kit for your neighborhood clean-up project, please click the following link; When the clean-up date is confirmed by a Helping Hand Coordinator, a control number will be assigned for tracking purposes, the event will be added to the Helping Hand calendar, and the tool kit will be delivered.