Anti-Littering Enforcement Program Now Citywide allowing MPD to issue $75 Notices of Violation to pedestrians observed littering

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr.TinDC

From MPD:

Ed. Note: If anyone happens to witness one of these notices being issued – please send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail

“On Monday, September 1, 2014, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) launched citywide enforcement of the District of Columbia’s anti-littering laws, allowing officers to issue $75 Notices of Violation (NOV) to any pedestrian observed littering. The citywide enforcement comes after warnings were issued during the month of August.

If an officer sees a person dropping waste material of any kind on public space, in waterways, or on someone else’s private property, the person may receive a $75 NOV for littering. Anyone issued the NOV is required to provide their accurate name and address to the officer. Those who refuse or fail to provide their accurate name and address can be arrested and, upon conviction, be fined an additional $100 to $250 by the D.C. Superior Court. Failure to respond to a littering ticket by either paying the fine or appealing the ticket to the Office of Administrative Hearings will result in a doubling of the fine.

MPD officers can also issue $100 traffic tickets to the driver of any vehicle where an officer observes either the driver or any passenger toss trash of any kind onto someone else’s private property or onto any public space, such as streets, alleys, or sidewalks.”

43 Comment

  • Southern Petworth & Columbia Heights needs your help! Thank You!

  • I will patiently wait for MPD to issue fines at the 14th & Irving area…

  • “If an officer sees a person dropping…”

    This would require MPD officers to look up from their patrol car laptops every now and then, yeah?

    Good luck.

  • What are the odds that 99% of these fines go unpaid?

  • Welcome news. I have never lived anywhere else with so much littering, and after 15 years in DC it is still a mystery to me. Two possible theories are myopic selfishness/self-centeredness of DC residents (don’t think about effect on others) or lack of pride/self-esteem/belongingness in the community (don’t care about effect on others). The theories aren’t mutually exclusive, and they obviously don’t apply to everyone…but that litter came from somewhere. And I don’t blame it on DC/VA residents passing through like I do the bad driving.

    • Sadly, this seems spot on. Just general carelessness. I’ve seen people litter right next to a garbage can. I’ve seen people litter before they go inside their own residence. I’ve seen people litter from one hand while holding the hand of their child. The litterers just don’t care. Don’t care that we are lucky enough to have garbage cans. Don’t care about that they are littering in front of their own residence. Don’t care they are leaving a world dirtier for their children. A fine won’t change that sadly.

  • I’ll believe it when I see it. If the city were smart, it would pay unlimited overtime to have 3-5 officers constantly on the beat to issue these citations in Columbia Heights. They’d make the OT funds back in 2 hrs. of every day.

  • A $75 fine is an absolute joke. Such a low amount shows how little weight the city gives to the littering issue. If you want to send a message you make the fine $1000, with required community service. That will send a message.

    This site shows what states are doing:

    • Interesting chart.
      On a tangential note, I am grossed out to think that this was happening so often that Wyoming created this specific penalty:
      “Littering involving the disposal of a container with bodily fluids along a highway right of way is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment up to nine months, fine up to $1,000, or both. In lieu of this sentence, a court may require up to 40 hours of litter cleanup from public roads, parks or other public areas.”

  • +1000 Please come to Columbia Hts!

  • Just a reminder that these are Notices of Violation, and not Infraction. What’s the difference, you may ask? Well, NOVs are civil and the others are criminal. This means that there is little recourse when people don’t pay their littering tickets. With an NOI, we can suspend someone’s license or issue a warrant if they fail to pay. The District knew this when it set this up. Hell, we were “piloting” litter enforcement to show you that this hasn’t been on the books for long.

    Ironically it’s a larger fine to do it from your car ($100 vs $75) than just walking down the street.

  • Not that this is the driving motivator for littering, but if the city installed more cans on street corners in neighborhoods, they’d at least be taking away the first excuse for littering. Few people are going to walk several blocks to toss out a piece of trash.

    Also, would littering include chicken bones? Because, jesus, they’re everywhere in Petworth.

    • If you walk along the stretch of mini-marts, etc. on the 3600 block of Georgia Avenue NW (just south of the Metro), you’ll see that in many cases, people can’t be bothered to walk 10-20 FEET to toss out a piece of trash.

  • The vast majority of people littering in D.C. aren’t homeless.

  • Tell MPD to come hang out by Nats Park after a game… they’ll make a mint fining careless jerks throwing all sorts of shit on the side of the street for my dog to then try and eat for the next week…

  • I think the original poster there was just tr0lling.

  • justinbc

    +1, whether it is or not, it’s certainly perceived by many to be.

  • I would suggest that MPD stakeout NE Columbia Heights. I will have coffee and donuts waiting.

  • Tweet cross streets to the MPD and highlight bad spots! I just tweeted this:

    Anti-Litter 2B enforced DCwide-$75 tix 2 literbugs. @DCPoliceDept: Post an officer @ 8th/Farragut NW 2 make bank!

  • If the city actually did this, it would be a virtual money tree and as others have stated, I would station the first officers at 14th and Irving.

    I’ve lived in and or traveled to some pretty destitute and poor 3rd world places, and yet certain neighborhoods in DC take the prize for the most amount of trash on the sidewalks and streets.

  • I would love to see people being ticketed for littering along Georgia Avenue, and along the litter-filled side streets in Park View, Pleasant Plains, etc.

  • Yes, this.

  • Parking enforcement needs to be in charge of this – litterbugs would get a ticket!

  • Well done, Troll. I actually don’t know which side of the isle you are trolling from; the mark of a pro.

  • it’s a big state without a lot of rest stops.

  • this was supposed to be a reply to the Wyoming bodily fluids comment.

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen

    I just got back from Oregon where the signs on the highways warn of a $6,250 fine for littering. That seems about right.

  • They need to enforce this policy against drivers of motor vehicles. Thats where I see most of the problem coming from.

    • Apparently D.C. used to have NO regulations/laws against littering by pedestrians, only by drivers, so this is a step in the right direction.
      Drivers certainly can do more litter damage in terms of sheer volume, but I think a lot of litter in D.C. comes from people on foot.

  • As someone who joins neighbors on a regular basis to pick up trash in our neighborhood, I welcome this news. I hope that an awareness campaign is part of the strategy.

  • If they want to rake in the cash, come on up to 14th and Colorado.

  • Yes, please! I’ve never seen anything like the littering that occurs in D.C. Drives me nuts.

  • They can step up anywhere on Farragut st. People getting off the 64 or walking back and forth to the New Hampshire Ave shopping center liter all day. I clean trash around my house twice a day. I fill up buckets of trash. It’s ridiculous!!

  • I spent three years in Baghdad, and the area around 14th and Irving is just as dirty…and dangerous at certain points of the night. Sadly, I have invested 680,000 in a condo in CH and fear the area will be a garbage pit in ten years and not the nice neighborhood that so many think it is going to become.

  • The streets leading to any DC school will be rich in litter, most of it packaging for sugary junk food. And we wonder why the city’s number-one expense is Medicaid to cover obesity and diabetes in the Capital.

  • This is a useless project.

    1) They fines police gave out in the pilot aren’t paid – 4 out of 5 tickets were not paid. If there is no consequence for not paying the ticket, then this is a useless “work” by the useless DC Council.

    And… Saturday night was awesome: walking the dog @10pm on FLA Ave & 17th MD car pulls up to park and woman opens car, drops 4 boxes of KFC empties – chicken bones, empty potato and cole slaw containers and 4 soda cups directly on the ground. She was less than a foot from a trash can.

    When I asked her to not litter, her and her companions threatened to kick my ass. Dirty ass bamas.

Comments are closed.