What to do with storm debris and spoiled food

WASHINGTON – Warm refrigerators across the D.C. area mean a lot of food is spoiling.

Around the area, there’s a lot of storm-debris from fallen trees and branches.

Here’s where and when residents can get rid of their spoiled food and storm debris.

The District

Residents can bring spoiled food to selected schools for collection in the District. D.C. Department of Public Works employees will be at these schools from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 3 for residents who do not want to wait for their regular trash collection.

  • LaSalle – Backus Elementary – 501 Riggs Rd., NE
  • McKinley Tech – 151 T St., NE
  • Key Elementary – 5001 Dana Place, NW
  • Wilson High School – 3950 Chesapeake St., NW
  • Ferebee-Hope Elementary – 3999 8th St., SE
  • Garfield Elementary – 2435 Alabama Ave., SE

Through July 7 only, DPW will remove debris from sidewalk treeboxes in front of residents’ homes. In order to have debris picked up, residents must cut branches into 4-foot lengths and tie them in bundles no more than 2-feet in diameter.

Debris can be placed where the residents’ trash is collected or they may bring them to the Fort Totten Transfer Station at 4900 John F. McCormack Rd. in Northeast weekdays (except July 4) between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., or Saturday, July 7, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

For more information on the pickup, visit the storm debris section of the city’s Department of Public Works page.

The city asks residents to remember in observance of Independence Day, sanitation services will be suspended one day for the holiday.

Montgomery County

There is no specific collection for spoiled food due to the storm. Shady Grove Processing Facility at 16101 Frederick Rd. in Derwood is open for trash disposal. For hours and packaging restrictions, click here for the county’s more detailed information.

The county is observing the Independence Day holiday and plans to suspend trash and recycling pickup on Wednesday.

Prince George’s County

Residents can use the Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill on 11611 White House Road in Upper Marlboro, which is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It is closed on July 4.

There is no specialized pickup of debris or trash in reaction to storm debris or outages.


City crews will be collecting tree debris from the curb and public rights-of-way over the next week.

Until then, residents can drop off spoiled off in a series of city dumpsters located at 5301 Eisenhower Avenue.

The city is temporarily relaxing some of its normal requirements for removal of tree debris on private property. Tree debris can be placed on the curb in pieces for pickup. If a professional tree removal contractor is hired, they are required to remove all debris from the site, the city’s storm site says.


For residents who want to dispose of spoiled food, the city offers these tips:

  • Citizens should bag their spoiled food in plastic bags prior to placing it in the trash. Bagging will reduce odors and help prevent attracting rodents and insects to the trash.
  • Place moth balls or small amounts of ammonia in the bottom of the trash cart, which will help discourage vectors from getting into the trash.

Arlington trash and recycling services will operate on a normal schedule this week with special storm debris collections. Crews will focus on clearing blocked roads and then begin picking up curbside debris.

Check the city’s storm page for a more detailed schedule.

Fairfax County

All refuse collection companies operating in Fairfax County must collect brush placed at their customers’ curbsides as long as the brush is in bundles of less than 4 feet in length and less than 50 pounds and no piece is larger than 6 inches in diameter, according to the county’s storm page.

People who use a private trash collection service should contact them directly for information on schedules and special instructions about pickups.

There will be no change in schedule to the county’s trash pickup this week.

Falls Church

Brush pickup fees are waived through Wednesday, July 11. Place brush at the curb or within the parking lane, and do not obstruct sidewalks or right-of-ways. Large tree limbs need to be cut into segments no longer than 8 feet, while smaller debris can be placed in brown, compostable yard waste bags.

Leave only vegetative matter for pickup. The city says this collection is exclusively for tree limbs and brush downed by Friday’s storm.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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