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Mayor Bowser Unveils New Litter Prevention Campaign and Kicks Off Graffiti Removal Blitz as Part of Back to Basics DC

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled the new ‘Not in My DC’ litter prevention campaign and kicked off the fourth annual Great Graffiti Wipeout. Mayor Bowser also led a community walk through Ward 5 to promote the campaign, handing out free yard signs to residents.

“Keeping our city looking its best is a core responsibility of government and our Back to Basics DC pledge,” said Mayor Bowser. “We’re taking a multi-pronged approach to clean up existing graffiti and litter and implement preventative strategies. Keeping our city beautiful takes everyone’s help, and we’re offering an array of programs to support residents with neighborhood cleanups.”

The ‘Not in My DC’ campaign will also feature new street signs, advertisements featuring notable District residents, and an enforcement blitz. As part of the Bowser Administration’s strategy keep the District looking its best, the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) graffiti abatement team is set to begin an eight-week graffiti removal blitz through all eight wards. Back to Basics DC celebrates the day-to-day work that keeps Washington, DC moving forward.

“Each day, our crews empty more than 7,000 public litter cans throughout the District,” said DPW Acting Director Chris Geldart. “People may not realize it, but for most of our employees, DC is also their home, and they take tremendous pride in ensuring their city always looks its best.”

Following today’s kickoff in the Kingman Park neighborhood in Ward 5, this year’s Great Graffiti Wipeout schedule will begin in Wards 7 and 8 on Monday. Last year’s Great Graffiti Wipeout resulted in the cleaning of 900 graffiti markings and the removal of upwards of 3,000 stickers and posters.

2019 Great Graffiti Wipeout Schedule
Week # Work Days Ward/s
Week 1 May 20-24 Wards 7 & 8
Weeks 2 & 3 May 28 - June7 Ward 1
Week 4 June 10-14 Ward 2
Week 5 June 17-21 Ward 4
Week 6 June 24-28 Ward 5
Week 7 July 1-5 Ward 6
Week 8 July 8-12 Ward 3

During today’s event, Mayor Bowser recognized 12 community organizations for their ongoing neighborhood cleanup events. The organizations included: Georgia Avenue Thrive, the Lamond Community Action Group, the Fort Lincoln Civic Association, the Carver Family Community Fellowship, EJ Valentine, Shabbycat, The Hustlers Guild, 3-T and Friends Pet Services, Atlas Vet, GKR TrashFree Association, Friends of Kingman Park, and 24th Street Caring Neighbors.

Those interested in organizing a neighborhood cleanup project are encouraged to utilize DPW’s Helping Hand program, which provides free use of rakes, brooms, shovels, trash bags, and compost, along with a special trash pickup for everything cleaned up. Mayor Bowser also encouraged residents to join one of the District’s three “Adopt Your District” programs administered by the Department of Energy and the Environment and the Mayor’s Office of the Clean City.

Along with servicing public litter cans, cleaning up illegal dumping sites, and operating the District’s street sweeping program, DPW is also responsible for sanitation enforcement. Throughout next week, DPW’s Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program (SWEEP) inspectors will be targeting litter and illegal dumping hotspots throughout the District.

DPW cleans 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. Residents should 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.

Along with graffiti removal, Mayor Bowser stressed the importance of graffiti prevention and highlighted the success of the MuralsDC program. MuralsDC, a joint effort between DPW and the DC Commission on the Arts and the Humanities, is designed to provide permanent graffiti abatement to properties that have experienced or are at risk of graffiti vandalism. Since its pilot in 2007, MuralsDC has painted more than 70 murals throughout the District.