Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 9. Illegal Dumping Enforcement.


§ 8–901. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Commercial purpose” means for the purpose of a person’s economic gain.

(1A) “Dispose” means to discharge, deposit, dump, or place any solid waste in the District of Columbia.

(2) “District” means the District of Columbia.

(2A) “Hazardous waste” means any waste or combination of wastes of a solid, liquid, contained gaseous, or semisolid form which, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics, as established by the Mayor, may:

(A) Cause, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating, reversible, illness; or

(B) Pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed. Such wastes include, but are not limited to, those which are toxic, carcinogenic, flammable, irritants, strong sensitizers, or which generate pressure through decomposition, heat, or other means, as well as containers and receptacles previously used in the transportation, storage, use or application of the substances described as a hazardous waste.

(3) “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

(3A) “Medical waste” means solid waste from medical research, medical procedures, or pathological, industrial, or medical laboratories. Medical waste includes, but is not limited to, the following types of solid waste:

(A) Cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals, including cultures from medical and pathological laboratories, cultures and stocks of infectious agents from research and industrial laboratories, wastes from the production of biologicals, discarded live and attenuated vaccines, and culture dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures;

(B) Pathological waste, including tissues, organs, and body parts that are removed during surgery or autopsy;

(C) Human blood waste and products of blood, including serum, plasma, and other blood components;

(D) Sharps that have been used in patient care or medical research, or industrial laboratories, including hypodermic needles, syringes, pasteur pipettes, broken glass, and scalpel blades;

(E) Contaminated animal carcasses, body parts, and bedding of animals that were exposed to infectious agents during research, production of biologicals, or testing of pharmaceuticals;

(F) Waste from surgery or autopsy that was in contact with infectious agents, including soiled dressings, sponges, drapes, lavage tubes, drainage sets, underpads, and surgical gloves;

(G) Laboratory waste from medical, pathological, pharmaceutical, or other research, commercial, or industrial laboratories that was in contact with infectious agents, including slides, and cover slips, disposable gloves, laboratory coats, and aprons;

(H) Dialysis waste that was in contact with the blood of patients undergoing hemodialysis, including contaminated disposable equipment and supplies such as tubing, filters, disposable sheets, towels, gloves, aprons, and laboratory coats;

(I) Discarded medical equipment and parts that were in contact with infectious agents;

(J) Biological waste and discarded materials contaminated with blood, excretion, exudates and secretion from human beings or animals who are isolated to protect others from communicable diseases; and

(K) Such other waste material that results from the administration of medical care to a patient by a health care provider and is found by the Mayor to pose a threat to human health or the environment.

(4) “Motor vehicle” means any conveyance propelled by an internal combustion engine, electricity, or steam.

(5) “Person” means any individual, partnership, corporation (including a government corporation), trust, association, firm, joint stock company, organization, commission, the District or federal government, or any other entity.

(6) “Solid waste” means combustible or incombustible refuse. Solid waste includes dirt, sand, sawdust, gravel, clay, loam, stone, rocks, rubble, building rubbish, shavings, trade or household waste, refuse, ashes, manure, vegetable matter, paper, dead animals, garbage or debris of any kind, any other organic or inorganic material or thing, or any other offensive matter.


(May 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-117, § 2, 41 DCR 524; May 9, 1995, D.C. Law 11-12, § 3(a), 42 DCR 1265; Apr. 18, 1996, D.C. Law 11-110, § 15(a), 43 DCR 530; Apr. 29, 1998, D.C. Law 12-90, § 2(a), 45 DCR 1308.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2911.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-105.02, § 47-2829, and § 47-2862.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of chapter 29A, see §§ 2-6 of the Illegal Dumping Enforcement Emergency Act of 1993 (D.C. Act 10-89, August 4, 1993, 40 DCR 6074) and §§ 2-6 of the Illegal Dumping Enforcement Congressional Recess Emergency Act of 1993 (D.C. Act 10-138, November 1, 1993, 40 DCR 7741).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 3 (a) of the Recycling Fee and Illegal Dumping Emergency Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-269, July 7, 1994, 41 DCR 4669).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Recycling Fee and Illegal Dumping Temporary Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Law 10-191, October 1, 1994, law notification 41 DCR 6934).

For temporary (225 day) additions, see §§ 2 to 5 of Illegal Dumping Enforcement Temporary Act of 1993 (D.C. Law 10-62, November 20, 1993, law notification 40 DCR 8455).

Editor's Notes

Mayor authorized to issue regulations: Section 6 of D.C. Law 10-62 provided that the Mayor is authorized to promulgate regulations necessary to implement and enforce this act in accordance with subchapter I of Chapter 15 of Title 1.


§ 8–902. Prohibition and penalties.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to dispose or cause or permit the disposal of solid waste, hazardous waste, or medical waste in or upon any street, lot, park, public place, or any other public or private area, whether or not for a commercial purpose, unless the site is authorized for the disposal of solid waste, hazardous waste or medical waste by the Mayor.

(b)(1) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be liable to arrest.

(2) Any person who disposes of solid waste which is neither hazardous nor medical waste in violation of subsection (a) of this section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for each subsequent offense, or shall be imprisoned for a period not to exceed 90 days, or both. Any person who disposes of solid waste for a commercial purpose shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be subject to a fine for each offense not to exceed $40,000, or shall be imprisoned for a period not to exceed 5 years, or both.

(3) Any person who knowingly disposes of hazardous waste in violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a felony, and subject to a fine for each offense not to exceed $40,000, and a term of imprisonment not to exceed 5 years.

(4) Any person who knowingly disposes of medical waste in violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a felony, and subject to a fine for each offense not to exceed $40,000, and a term of imprisonment not to exceed 5 years.

(c) Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of this chapter, or any rules or regulations issued under the authority of this chapter, provided that a civil fine up to $10,000 may be assessed for each offense. Any person who knowingly disposes of hazardous waste in violation of this chapter shall be liable for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $40,000 for each violation. Adjudication of any civil infraction of this chapter shall be enforced by the Mayor pursuant to § 8-802.

(d) In addition to any other penalties provided in this section, a person’s ownership interest in a motor vehicle used in violating this chapter shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture. All seizures and forfeitures of motor vehicles under this chapter shall be in accordance with § 8-905.

(e) The Mayor is authorized to establish and collect a reasonable fee for the cost of towing and storing seized motor vehicles. A storage fee shall not be charged for the first 24-hour period following the seizure of a motor vehicle. If a person is found not liable for a violation of this chapter, the Mayor shall waive any towing and storage fees assessed under this chapter and refund any penalties paid.

(f) Any person violating subsection (a) of this section, shall also be liable and responsible for paying 3 times the cost and expense incurred by the Mayor for cleaning and clearing the site where the unlawful disposal occurred and for properly disposing of the solid waste. Payment by the violator shall be made within 10 days of demand by the Mayor.

(g) The Mayor may deny, revoke, or not renew, for a period of not less than 30 days, the business license, permit, or motor vehicle registration issued, or to be issued, to any person who has committed a violation of this chapter, provided that the business license, permit, or motor vehicle registration is substantially related to the commission of the offense of unlawful disposal of solid waste in the District. The business license, permit, or motor vehicle registration may not be issued or reissued for a period of not less than 30 days and until all fines, penalties, and fees assessed under this section have been fully satisfied.

(h) The Mayor may impose any sanction provided in Chapter 8 of this title, to the extent that it is not inconsistent with this chapter.


(May 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-117, § 3, 41 DCR 524; May 9, 1995, D.C. Law 11-12, § 3(b), 42 DCR 1265; Feb. 27, 1996, D.C. Law 11-94, § 13, 42 DCR 7172; Apr. 18, 1996, D.C. Law 11-110, § 15(b), 43 DCR 530; Apr. 29, 1998, D.C. Law 12-90, § 2(b), 45 DCR 1308; May 12, 2006, D.C. Law 16-96, § 2, 53 DCR 1661; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 110, 56 DCR 1117.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2912.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1831.03, § 8-904, and § 23-581.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-96, in subsec. (b), substituted “$5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for each subsequent offense,” for “$1,000 for each offense,”; in subsec. (b), substituted “not to exceed $40,000,” for “not to exceed $25,000,”; in subsec. (c), substituted “a civil fine up to $10,000” for “a civil fine up to $5,000”; in subsec. (c), substituted “not to exceed $40,000,” for “not to exceed $25,000,”; in subsec. (g), substituted “or not renew, for a period of not less than 30 days,” for “or not renew”; and in subsec. (g), substituted “or reissued for a period not less than 30 days and” for “or reissued”.

D.C. Law 17-353, in subsec. (g), substituted “for a period of not less than” for “for a period not less than”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 3(b) of the Recycling Fee and Illegal Dumping Emergency Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-269, July 7, 1994, 41 DCR 4669).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 13 of the Solid Waste Facility Permit Emergency Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-384, December 28, 1994, 42 DCR 45).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 3(b) of Recycling Fee and Illegal Dumping Temporary Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Law 10-191, October 1, 1994, law notification 41 DCR 6934).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 13 of Solid Waste Facility Permit Temporary Act of 1994 (D.C. Law 10-251, March 23, 1995, law notification 42 DCR 1650).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 13 of Solid Waste Facility Permit Temporary Act of 1995 (D.C. Law 11-80, February 6, 1996, law notification 43 DCR 776).

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 8-901.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to the Illegal Dumping Enforcement Act of 1994, see Mayor’s Order 96-160, October 31, 1996 ( 43 DCR 6370).


§ 8–903. Enforcement.

The Mayor may establish a special law enforcement unit with police powers to enforce this chapter, Chapter 8 of this title, Chapter 13 of this title, subchapter II of Chapter 1 of this title, and the Water and Sanitation Codes, as compiled in 21 DCMR 700 , et seq.


(May 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-117, § 4, 41 DCR 524.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2913.

Temporary Legislation

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 8-901.


§ 8–904. Bounty.

The Mayor is authorized to offer and pay rewards for information that, in the opinion of the Mayor, leads to the apprehension and charging of any person for violating § 8-902(a) and the collection of a penalty or fine from the person.


(May 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-117, § 5, 41 DCR 524.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2914.


§ 8–905. Forfeitures.

All motor vehicles which are used, or intended to be used, to transport, or in any manner to facilitate a violation of this chapter shall be subject to forfeiture. All seizures and forfeitures of motor vehicles under this section shall follow the standards and procedures set forth in D.C. Law 20-278.


(May 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-117, § 6, 41 DCR 524; June 16, 2015, D.C. Law 20-278, § 303, 62 DCR 1920.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-2915.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-902.

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-278 rewrote the section.

Temporary Legislation

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 8-901.

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-278, referred to in the last sentence, enacted Chapter 3 of Title 41 (§ 41-301 et seq.), made amendments to the criminal offenses in §§ 48-901.02 and 48-905.02, and made conforming amendments to §§ 7-2507.06a, 8-905, 22-902, 22-1705, 22-2723, 32-1343, 48-905.03, and 50-1501.04.


§ 8–906. Rules.

The Mayor is authorized to promulgate regulations necessary to implement and enforce this chapter in accordance with subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


(May 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-117, § 7, 41 DCR 524.)

Cross References

Condominium and cooperative trash collection tax credit, computation of tax, annual adjustment, limitations, see § 47-872.

Condominium and cooperative trash collection tax credit, cooperative housing associations, see § 47-873.

Solid waste facilities, required environmental impact statements, see § 8-109.11.