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D.C. not just talk when it comes to trash

D.C. sanitation officials have been handing out tickets for garbage bags left curbside on collection days, citing rat control efforts. "Our rental house at on 27th Street received two $75 fines for trash bags left at property, on trash days, but not enclosed in a container, citing that bags only are rat bait," said one Georgetowner.

The fine is $75 for the first violation, with fines of up to $500 for repeat offenses. Multi-unit buildings can be fined as much as $1,500. As of Aug. 15, the D.C. sanitation department has new 32-gallon trash cans in stock (standard issue for twice weekly collection). Call 311 or send an e-mail to, or go to the website. Deliveries of new trashcans are made in two to three weeks, and if the resident has one on order, the household reportedly will not incur any fines while waiting for the container. Payment for cans ($45 for either trash or recycling) must be made within 10 days of placing the request, or the order will not be filled. Once you receive the container, put the address on the side and top and record the container’s serial number in your records.

Some residents have used containers other than those supplied by the city, with mixed results. "I know people have had these 'personal' cans taken along with the trash!" said one Villager.

To order a 32-gallon city-issued container: Call 311, go to DPW's website or e-mail