By George Kevin Jordan, Special to the AFRO

Spring cleaning is in the air, and it isn’t just relegated to your home. Mayor Bowser recently announced the kick off of the “Not in My DC” litter prevention campaign.

“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.”

Mayor Bowser launched a litter prevention project called “Not in My DC.” (Courtesy Photo)

The campaign will tackle cleaning up the District on a multitude of levels, for eight weeks across every Ward, run by the Department of Public Works’ graffiti abatement team.

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

The District, after last year’s campaign, was able to clean 900 graffiti markings and remove upwards of 3,000 stickers and posters, according to the mayor’s office.

The schedule is as follows:

2019 Great Graffiti Wipeout Schedule

Week #Work DaysWard/s
Week 1May 20—24Wards 7 & 8
Weeks 2 & 3May 28—June 7Ward 1
Week 4June 10—14Ward 2
Week 5June 17—21Ward 4
Week 6June 24—28Ward 5
Week 7July 1—5Ward 6
Week 8July 8—12Ward 3

During the kickoff, the mayor shouted out 12 community organizations that offer continuous 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.

For citizens who want to start your own clean up project please go to DPW’s Helping Hand program. The DPW will provide free usage of rakes, brooms, shovels, trash bags and compost, along with a special trash pickup for everything cleaned up.

Also the DPW’s Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program or SWEEP staff will hit illegal dumping hotspot throughout the city.

Reporting illegal dumping is easier than ever. If you see debris not in the proper containers call 311 and provide the following information:

  • The location (street, alley, vacant lot, etc. with an address, if possible) of the dumping.
  • Make, model and license tag number of the vehicle used to carry the item(s) to the site.
  • Time and date when the dumping occurred.
  • What kind of materials were dumped.

After investigating the dumping, the SWEEP inspector will make arrangements for clean-up. To report illegal dumping, call 311.

A note to residents:

While DPW cleans graffiti from public and private property, they use paint or non-toxic solutions that are applied then removed with a high-pressure water spray, known as a power wash. This process is not suitable for some homes. 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, according to the DPW.