Sunday, March 27, 2011

Prepping for a Trip to DC Residential Hazardous Waste Drop-Off – what you can take and what you need to get inside

Sample of goods you can
dispose of at Fort Totten
every 1st Saturday.
Next Saturday, April 2, 2011, is the first Saturday of the month, so it’s a good time to start rounding up goods for a trip to DC’s Fort Totten Transfer Station for their monthly Hazardous Waste Disposal Program.  There’s a fair amount of incorrect information floating out there I thought I’d take a stab a setting the record straight.

Where to go?  The monthly event is held at the Fort Totten Transfer Station, 4900 John F. McCormack Road, NE, between and .  I’ve never had to wait in line to get in more than 10 minutes…but I’ve heard stories of hour long waits.  Best to go early, I reckon.   There’s still information floating around out there that you can also go to the Benning Road Transfer Station..and that you can go every Saturday.  That information is incorrect.  

Who can go?  This gets dicey.  According to the person I spoke with, you need to have two forms of ID with your DC address on them – like a DC Drivers License and a utility bill.  You can only drop off goods at Fort Totten if you live in a residence has DC serviced garbage collection.  That means if you live in an apartment that has a contracted service for waste disposal, you can’t drop off goods at Fort Totten.  "But what if your address is an apartment, but it’s serviced by DC?  How could you prove that?"  I couldn’t get a clear answer.

What about your car?  Apparently, you need to have your car registration with you as well.  I asked, "But what if I don't have a car , and I borrow my friend’s car who lives in Maryland, but I show you my DC IDs.  Can I get in?"  The answer wasn’t clear.

What you can take? Once you get in, you drive to a series of stops depending on what you’re getting rid of. They take all sorts of electronics, paper to be shreded, non latex paint, poisons, pesticides, batteries, etc, etc.  There’s a list of what they will and won’t take as you scroll down on this link.  The website says that they provide free compost to DC residents.  If anyone can report back on this, I'd be grateful!

Other ideas:  When I know I’m heading up to Fort Totten, I send out an email to my neighbors early in the week and offer to take their disposables along as well.  And, why not make an event out of it and explore another part of DC while you’re at it?  Googling “coffee shops near Fort Totten, Washington, DC” gave me a long list of places.  Qualia looked very interesting. 

So, good luck on your Fort Totten outing next weekend!  I hope the stars align, and the ID and car registration gods smile favorably upon you! Send a note about your adventure to

1 comment:

  1. really nice information.. usually people might be considering the dumpster as just a large metal container used to disposal the garbage, but actually it is much more than that.
    Drop Off Recycling