Metropolitan police to fine litterbugs

The Metropolitan Police Department is piloting an anti-littering program to keep streets tidy in D.C.’s Fourth District.

Pedestrians caught littering on streets or sidewalks in that region will receive warnings during May and will be subject to a ticket and a $75 fine starting June 1. The Fourth District includes D.C.’s upper northwest and northeast quadrants – areas that do not include Foggy Bottom.

MPD Sergeant Raul Menendez Jr. said, currently MPD only penalizes littering from a vehicle citywide, adding that the fine for that offense is $100.

Menendez said the littering fines are being tested in the Fourth District before expanding the program across D.C., because the enforcement procedures being implemented are new, and community members frequently cited littering as a concern in that part of the city. If the program is successful, it will likely spread to the Second District, where the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon Campuses are.

He said MPD and the Office of Administrative Hearings created an entirely new form and adjudication process for the littering fines.

Menendez said the pilot program would last for several months.

“Depending on the extent of any adjustments needed for the process, forms or legislation, we hope to implement training and launch citywide enforcement in mid-to-late fall,” Menendez said.

After the warning period ends, violators of the city’s littering law in the Fourth District will be issued tickets and fines. If an individual refuses or fails to provide the police officer with his or her accurate name and address, he or she will be subject to arrest.

University Police Chief Kevin Hay said breaking a local littering law can also be a violation of GW’s Code of Student Conduct. He said, in most cases, UPD officers confront litterers and request they pick up their garbage.

“In those rare occasions where they fail to comply, then a report is taken, if the person is a student, then they are referred to SJS,” Hay said.

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