City Desk

DPW Nails City Paper After City Paper Nails DPW


Washington City Paper has been slapped with a $50 fine from the D.C. Department of Public Works for "failure to separate recycling from other solid waste" at 2390 Champlain St. NW, the address of the paper's newsroom.

Normally, City Paper wouldn't report on this as news. Except there are several curious things about the citation (view a PDF of it here). First, the timing: City Paper recently ran a cover story by Christine MacDonald about how D.C.'s private trash haulers often commingle recycling with solid waste during their pickups and how the city has been lax in cracking down on them. The story hit the streets Nov. 5 12. The date of violation on the citation is Nov. 16.

Second: While the "respondent" on the citation is Washington City Paper and the citation was sent (via certified mail) to City Paper's office, City Paper doesn't own the Champlain Street building and the Dumpster in question is not registered to the newspaper, according to Amy Austin, the publisher. She says it's registered to Stout and Teague, which manages the building for its owner, Chicago-based Glancer Properties LLC (City Paper used to be owned by the building's owner when it was Chicago Reader Inc.). The Champlain Street building has multiple tenants, including WPFW radio, a software development company, and a bike shop.

"We're just tenants," says Austin. "We haven't owned the building for over two years. Why not say it's WPFW's trash?"

"We're not paying the citation," she says.

There's no question there was trash in the recycling-only Dumpster used by the tenants of 2390 Champlain; the citation, written by agent K. Jones, helpfully included a picture of a white plastic trash bag sticking out the top. The question is: Why now, and why send it to us?

City Paper has a call in to Linda Grant, DPW spokesperson.

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  • Mike DeBonis

    Well, our name _is_ on the front of the building...

  • Fred

    Who owns the trash?

  • dcblackdaddy

    Andie Candie Fenty and Co. do not like the truth and what the fuck is up with all the vendetta against the people of DC. City Paper keep telling the truth, take out the garbage (politically) and keep recycling the waste( DC Gov't fraud) until the drum can pound no more.

    Am, I allowed to say , as a Black mandigo this place aka DC feels more like China,Russia and African corrupt nations proliferating and permeating the entire city and only the corrupt survive.

  • Pingback: DPW to City Paper: Recycling Violation Not Retribution - City Desk - Washington City Paper

  • niello8

    doesnt matter if its your trash or not. if you dont pay it, you can try to contest it with a letter but you all will most likely be dragged into a hearing. and the fine will double of course.

  • Fred

    Well, it KIND OF matters who owns the trash since the CP DID just write a piece critical of haulers mixing trash and recylcing.

  • adam

    It's a bit hypocritical to write a story criticizing haulers for not keeping trash and recyclables separate - then to not separate your own trash and recyclables. Personally, I'm guilty of the same offense, but then I don't preach to those who are guilty of it as well.

    my place of business does not own our building, we are tenants of a management company. when the same sort of non-separating type of incident happened, we were hit with the fine and not the mgmt co. there was at least one other tenant in the building at that time, but it was definitely our trash.

    Regardless, it is dumb of DPW to steep to this. Don't pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.