New Larger Supercans – Trash and Recycling – Coming in January


From the Mayor’s Office:

“Mayor Vincent C. Gray joined other District leaders today to announce that the Department Public Works (DPW) will begin distributing new Supercans in January 2014 to residents who receive once-a-week trash collection services from DPW. Mayor Gray made the announcement at a press conference attended by Ward 3 Councilmember Mary M. Cheh, Chairperson of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, and Kenyan McDuffie, Chairperson of the Committee on Government Operations. DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr. and District Department of the Environment Director Keith Anderson also participated in the press conference.

“I know there are a lot of people inquiring about when they will get their new Supercans. I also know many people have communicated through that they have outgrown the 32-gallon recycling can and need more capacity,” said Mayor Gray. “I am happy to announce the wait is almost over. Starting in January, the Department of Public Works will begin delivering new Supercans and 64-gallon recycling cans to the 75,000 households that receive once-a-week trash and recycling collection services from DPW.”

Mayor Gray noted that by increasing capacity for residents to recycle, the District takes a significant step toward achieving the Sustainable DC Plan’s target of diverting 80 percent of the waste stream through recycling, composting, and waste conversion.

DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr. said, “Residents of twice-a-week trash collection neighborhoods will get new 32-gallon trash cans and they will receive 48-gallon recycling cans, which are 50 percent larger than the current 32-gallon recycling cans. DPW will begin delivering these new cans in the spring. We expect that all 105,000 households will have their new trash and recycling cans by July.”

More than 10 years have passed since the District’s supply of Supercans was refreshed. Proper containerization of trash is a major defense against rats and other animals.”

32 Comment

  • Awesome. We’re only two people and our recycling can is pretty full most weeks, and we try our best to break down the recyclables.

    • And they need to tell trash and recycling collection crews to stop leaving bottles and other trash in the alleys in the process of doing their jobs… And to put the cans back where they got them, not in the middle of alleys.

  • We live in a basement apartment in a rowhouse. Any ideas on if both apartments will get new cans or will just the house as a whole?

    • Is your basement apartment separately metered, with a Certificate of Occupancy and all? If so, I think there’s a good chance you’d get your own bin. If not, I imagine it would be just one for the whole house.

      • I HATE this! I’m in a basement as well, making 7 people total living in our townhouse. We don’t have a recycling can, and our trash can is overflowing days before trash pick up from the people upstairs. They throw a ton of parties and generate obscene amounts of garbage.

        • I think you could actually buy extra garbage and recycle can from the city and they’ll collect the stuff. Explain the issue and ask your landlord to buy it for you. If he has an illegal basement rental, I’d imagine this is a lot cheaper than getting the basement a C/O.

  • This is great news! Now if they can just assign a task force to address problem trash dumping and also enforce residents to properly contain/dispose of trash, that would be better!

  • Since recycling collection occurs only once a week (whether you’re in a neighborhood that has once-a-week trash pickup or twice-a-week trash pickup), it seems odd that some neighborhoods are going to get 64-gallon recycling bins while others are getting only 48-gallon bins.

    • Agreed! It’s not like the recycling comes any more frequently for twice-a-week households. Dumb. The minuscule recycling bins was one of the first things I noticed when I moved here, I’ve never lived in a place where they are so small! We are often pouring our recycling into the other unit’s bin because ours is overflowing, whereas we almost never fill our trash bins. I don’t think I have never pulled my trash out twice a week for collection; I don’t even pull it out every week!

    • I agree, though as a twice-a-week trash collection resident, I’m not upset. I think our current 32 gal recycling can is too small, and our garbage can is just right. A slightly bigger recycling can is preferable to a huge one which I then would have to store in my backyard.

  • justinbc

    How come twice a week collection residents get a smaller recycle bin? That’s still only picked up once a week….

  • I don’t know why exactly the twice a week neighborhoods get smaller recycling bins than the once a week households, but I’m happy about that either way. Perhaps since the twice a week areas tend to be more dense and urban it’s because we may not have room for a bigger bin? I know I don’t.

    • Don’t the twice-a-week homes currently have bins that are half the size of the once-a-week homes? The math seems straightforward to me. Or do I have it wrong?

      • The _recycling_ pickup is only once a week, even if you live in a neighborhood where the _trash_ pickup is twice a week.
        ShawGuy, that’s a good point re. the denser neighborhoods perhaps having less space for huge bins — I hadn’t thought of that.

        • Is that true though? We get twice-a-week pickup in Capitol Hill, which I don’t think of as a particularly dense neighborhood.

          • In Capitol Hill, only houses that don’t have alley-access get twice-a-week pickup. All houses with alley-access only get once-a-week pickup.

  • What do we do with the old cans? Mine are in perfect shape but some of my neighbors’ cans are missing lids or have holes. Do we put them inside the new Hulk-size supercans?

  • I absolutely hate how residents in once-per-week-pickup areas have to have supercans. We have one bag of trash every week or every other week, and we have to house that monstrosity in our tiny backyard. We spent a few hours on the phone/emailing with DPW employees, but couldn’t get them to let us get a smaller can instead of a supercan.

    • @Ann I totally agree with you. While I’m already in an area that gets the smaller ones, I remember a townhouse I had years ago that was outside of the zone, and often people just did not use them at all because they were much too big and cumbersome to move all the way out to the curb for just one bag of trash. Instead, they just put the bag of trash on the curb, which inevitably got ripped open by hungry creatures and spread all over the sidewalk. I wish they would let you pick which size you wanted / needed for your own family. I would rather get a 32 gallon recycling bin and a 32 gallon trash bin. If I’m putting out more than 64 gallons of refuse every week, I need to re-evaluate my life!

    • I have an email chain of nearly 20 messages of me trying to convince DPW to give me smaller can. They just wouldn’t budge. Part of my block doesn’t have alleys, so they have twice-a-week pickup, so I think I’ll ask one of them if I can get their old small trash can when they get their new one.

  • Since these new cans are nearly the size of supercans, one would wonder why Dc would continue to pay extra money to pick up trash twice a week in 3 wards when they could just give us all supercans. Far be it from me to point out that it would be a pretty easy way to streamline trash services and save tens of millions a year on top.

  • If DPW follows ‘standard’ procedure, they’ll simply dump the new cans on or near your front porch with no prior warning. Our problem? We fill one small recycling can per week and have exactly one bag of non-recyclable garbage in a supercan that is already much much too large. I don’t need new cans and certainly not larger ones.

  • Can we cram the mayor into one of these and send him on his way?

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