DPW Citation for Trash in Street – valid? How to report others?

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Topic: DPW Citation for Trash in Street – valid? How to report others?

Governement and Politics November 5, 2012 at 10:55 am

DPW Citation for Trash in Street – valid? How to report others?

My single family home in Columbia Heights received a DPW warning for trash in front of our curb (note: we did not leave this trash here, our constantly littering neighbors did).  Now, I actually have no problem with requiring property owners to maintain the public property abutting their private property, but all published DC regulations and notices I can find state that the requirement to maintain 18 inches of street only applies to commercial properties or buildings with 3 or more tenants – houses just need to clean up the area up to the curb (including tree boxes).  http://dpw.dc.gov/DPW/DCRecyclingRegulations/702_Title%2021_Chapter%207.pdf
Am I missing something?  If our inspector was wrong – should we protest, even though it was only a warning (just in case it happens again)?  Finally – as I said, I actually support the requirement to keep the area around your property clean, but I want to be certain that the trash-prone business on 14th St and my negligent neighbors get the same DPW attention.  What’s the best way to report them that will result in DPW inspections (and fines) quickly – just 311?

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Can you protest a warning?
If nothing else, you might try to contact the inspector and tell him/her that it’s your neighbor’s trash, and what do you suggest you do to prevent it from happening again.

Just out of curiosity, how much trash was there?

I would say it was the equivalent of trash for a family of four from eating a fast food joint (i.e., enough that you should know better for sure, but a small enough amount that it surprised me that an inspector singled it out).   I have a picture at home I can upload.  Looked like someone opened their car door and dumped right there instead of the public trash cans 100 meters away, or their homes.

(Can’t seem to get the paragraph breaks to work in the “comment on answer” option…)
That’s annoying (and disgusting).

I wonder what the best way is to address this. On the one hand, I think it’s not a bad thing to ticket/warn people for not maintaining their portion of the sidewalk, tree box, and maybe even the gutter; I get tired of picking up litter from the whole damn block and wondering why other people can’t be bothered to pick up just the litter in front of their own houses.

On the other hand, it seems like there ought to be a grace period, because unless you work from home and are constantly looking out the window, the litter might linger for a few hours or a day until you notice it.

You might also try contacting Jim Graham and seeing if he can get the Green Team to make this one of the areas it covers.

Try using http://bit.ly to shorten the links for the DC govt website, they’re alllllways going to mess up on the forum.
PDF of Title 21, Chapter 7, section 702: http://1.usa.gov/RNl9qq
I think you might be right, that your responsibility ends at the curb, so you might have a good case to fight it directly or by contacting councilmember.
I was also wondering about this the other day as I was sweeping leaves from the road along the curb, and having tons more leaves blown down the street to where I just sweeped: how can they really enforce this sort of thing with the wind constantly blowing the trash all around the place?  You can’t be outside 24/7 on a windy day.

Next time it happens, call 311 to report illegal dumping, making sure to mention that it’s not you (or the people living at the address).

Pick up the trash in front of your house even when it’s not you littering. You will feel better living in a clean, welcoming environment and not a pig sty

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