Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 7B. Collection and Disposal of Refuse Authorized


§ 8–741. Collection and disposal of refuse authorized as municipal function; purchase or lease of facilities; sale of products; gratuities prohibited; authorization to enter into mutual aid agreements for debris removal.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Debris removal operations” means:

(A) Actions contributing to the removal of debris, including the collection, pick-up, hauling, and storage of debris at a temporary site;

(B) Segregation, reduction, and final disposal of debris;

(C) Providing personnel, equipment, parts, or fuel for equipment for debris removal;

(D) Travel to the site where debris removal is needed; or

(E) Support for any of the foregoing.

(2) “Emergency” shall have the same meaning as provided in section 7302(a)(3) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Protection Act of 2004, approved December 17, 2004 (Pub. L. 108-458; 118 Stat. 3340).

(3) “Public service event” shall have the same meaning as provided in section 7302(a)(9) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Protection Act of 2004, approved December 17, 2004 (Pub. L. 108-458; 118 Stat. 3840).

(4) “Training” shall have the same meaning as provided in section 7302(a)(11) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Protection Act of 2004, approved December 17, 2004 (Pub. L. 108-458; 118 Stat. 3841).

(b) The Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized, if in his opinion such action shall be to the best interests of the District of Columbia, after July 11, 1919, to conduct any or all of the operations involved in the collection and disposal of city refuse of every kind as municipal functions, and for that purpose to purchase or lease the necessary plants, buildings, and land, to purchase or hire horses and horse-drawn vehicles, passenger-carrying and other motor-propelled vehicles, equipment, and machinery, and to employ expert and other personal services, and labor, and to pay traveling, maintenance, incidental, and contingent expenses; provided, that products arising from such operations conducted as authorized herein may be sold and the proceeds arising therefrom shall be paid for each fiscal year into the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the General Fund of the District of Columbia; provided further, that any or all operations herein authorized to be conducted as municipal functions may be put into effect as such upon the expiration of any of the contracts existing July 11, 1919, for the collection and disposal of city refuse or upon the failure of any of the contractors existing July 11, 1919, to properly perform the work covered by their contracts existing July 11, 1919; provided further, that it shall be unlawful for any employee of the District of Columbia engaged in the removal of garbage, ashes, miscellaneous refuse, dead animals, or night soil, or for any employee of a contractor doing such work for the District of Columbia, to accept any gift, except from his employer, in money or any other thing of value for any service performed in connection with the removal of city refuse as hereinbefore described; and it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation, except such employer, to pay or offer to pay, any money or to make any gift to any such employee for such service; that any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction, be fined in a sum of not less than $5 nor more than $40 for each such offense.

(c) The Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized, if in his opinion such action shall be in the best interests of the District of Columbia, to conduct any or all of the operations involved in debris removal operations during a public service event, an emergency, or training, as municipal functions, and to enter into mutual aid agreements with neighboring jurisdictions, the federal government, and any agency of any neighboring jurisdiction or the federal government or a combination of the foregoing, for cooperation in the furnishing of debris removal operations during a public service event, an emergency, training, or for other purposes.


(July 11, 1919, 41 Stat. 39, ch. 6, § 2; Feb. 22, 1921, 41 Stat. 1144, ch. 70, § 7; June 28, 1944, 58 Stat. 533, ch. 300, § 18; Mar. 21, 2009, D.C. Law 17-317, § 2, 56 DCR 209.)

Prior Codifications

1973 Ed., § 6-504.

1981 Ed., § 6-504.

2001 Ed., § 8-704.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-317 rewrote the section, which had read as follows: “The Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized, if in his opinion such action shall be to the best interests of the District of Columbia, after July 11, 1919, to conduct any or all of the operations involved in the collection and disposal of city refuse of every kind as municipal functions, and for that purpose to purchase or lease the necessary plants, buildings, and land, to purchase or hire horses and horse-drawn vehicles, passenger-carrying and other motor-propelled vehicles, equipment, and machinery, and to employ expert and other personal services, and labor, and to pay traveling, maintenance, incidental, and contingent expenses; provided, that products arising from such operations conducted as authorized herein may be sold and the proceeds arising therefrom shall be paid for each fiscal year into the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the General Fund of the District of Columbia; provided further, that any or all operations herein authorized to be conducted as municipal functions may be put into effect as such upon the expiration of any of the contracts existing July 11, 1919, for the collection and disposal of city refuse or upon the failure of any of the contractors existing July 11, 1919, to properly perform the work covered by their contracts existing July 11, 1919; provided further, that it shall be unlawful for any employee of the District of Columbia engaged in the removal of garbage, ashes, miscellaneous refuse, dead animals, or night soil, or for any employee of a contractor doing such work for the District of Columbia, to accept any gift, except from his employer, in money or any other thing of value for any service performed in connection with the removal of city refuse as hereinbefore described; and it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation, except such employer, to pay or offer to pay, any money or to make any gift to any such employee for such service; that any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction, be fined in a sum of not less than $5 nor more than $40 for each such offense.”

Editor's Notes

Restriction on public works appropriation: Public Law 103-334, 108 Stat. 2580, the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1995, provided for Public Works, including rental of one passenger-carrying vehicle for use by the Mayor and three passenger-carrying vehicles for use by the Council of the District of Columbia and purchase of passenger-carrying vehicles for replacement only, $195,002,000: Provided, That this appropriation shall not be available for collecting ashes or miscellaneous refuse from hotels and places of business.

Restriction on public works appropriation: Public Law 104-194, 110 Stat. 2360, the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1997, provided for Public Works, including rental of one passenger-carrying vehicle for use by the Mayor and three passenger-carrying vehicles for use by the Council of the District of Columbia and purchase of passenger-carrying vehicles for replacement only, $247,967,000 and 1,252 full-time equivalent positions (including $234,391,000 and 1,149 full-time equivalent positions from local funds, $3,047,000 and 32 full-time equivalent positions from Federal funds, and $10,529,000 and 71 full-time equivalent positions from other funds): Provided, That this appropriation shall not be available for collecting ashes or miscellaneous refuse from hotels and places of business.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority to the Director of the Department of Public Works to Conduct All Operations Involved in the Collection and Disposal of City Refuse at DPW Facilities, see Mayor’s Order 2006-145, October 20, 2006 ( 53 DCR 9345).

Delegation of Authority pursuant to Section 2 of the Debris Removal Mutual Aid Amendment Act of 2008, see Mayor’s Order 2009-123, July 8, 2009 ( 56 DCR 6875).

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.