Street Cleaning

The Street Cleaning program is responsible for street sweeping and cleaning throughout the City. The crews sweep approximately 30,000 lane miles each year. The Street Cleaning program is also responsible for annual collection of leaves through the Annual Leaf Collection. All these programs keeps Alexandria’s street aesthetically pleasing as well as safe.

Page updated on Jun 7, 2017 at 12:52 PM

Street Cleaning main imageHow You Can Help

  • Pick up the litter and trash around your property, rather than sweeping these items into the street, alley or gutter, as they will eventually end up in the Potomac Bay.
  • Residential property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks adjacent to their property. Commercial property owners are responsible for the public space around their property including the curb and gutter area.
  • Use the street litter and recycling cans as you walk along the City’s commercial streets. The litter cans are for pedestrian trash only, not household trash.
  • To obtain street and alley cleaning services, use Call.Click.Connect., the City’s online customer service system or call 703.746.HELP (4357).

Public Trash and Recycling Containers

The Resource Recovery Division is responsible for maintaining all City-owned trash and recycling containers located throughout the City for use by the general public. These containers are located along public thoroughfares and in parks for the convenience of residents and visitors.  It is against the law to dispose of household or business trash in these containers.The crews maintain approximately 800 public waste collection containers throughout the City.

Update:   Public trash cans located in City parks are being moved to park entrances and parking areas.

To improve aesthetics, safety, and efficiency, many trash and recycling cans have been relocated to park entrances and parking areas. This change echoes the National Park Service’s philosophy that park visitors should “leave no trace; pack it in, then pack it out.”  

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why move the trash cans to entrances and parking lots when park-users and their trash are located near playgrounds and ball fields?

  • The City’s trash collection vehicles pose a danger to park-users when these vehicles are driven on pedestrian sidewalks and trails. 

  • Collection vehicles damage lawns and turf when driven “off-road”.

  • Remote trash cans located away from entrances and parking areas must often be serviced “on foot” and are hard to see from a distance which extends collection time even when many trash cans are empty.

Will recycling containers be located near playgrounds and ball fields?

  In many locations, a recycling collection container will be paired with a trash can at park entrances and ball fields.

Will the City be expanding recycling in parks?

Over the next six months, staff will be monitoring to determine additional opportunities to expand the recycling program throughout the City.

Especially on weekends, I have seen trash cans over-flowing; won’t moving these cans just make things worse?

By moving trash cans to a location that is more accessible to collection vehicles, the City plans to increase the frequency of collection.

What if people just throw their trash on the ground?

Research shows that few people litter and that most people are willing to take a few extra steps to keep our City clean and beautiful.  City staff will continue to pick up litter in the parks.

What if this change doesn’t work?

City staff will be monitoring this change and will review the situation after six-months.  If changes are needed, they will be made at that time.  Your feedback is always welcome by calling Call.Click.Connect. at 703.746.4357 or online at

Adopt-a-Block Litter Program

The City of Alexandria City Council approved the Adopt-A-Block Litter Program to promote partnerships between the City and Alexandria residents to maintain litter free neighborhoods and streets. The City’s Adopt-A-Block program is modeled after the Virginia Adopt-A-Block Highway Program introduced in 1988 by the Virginia Department of Transportation to “Keep Virginia Beautiful”.

Why Do People Litter?  According to research conducted by Keep America Beautiful, Inc, it was found that people litter because they:

  • Feel no sense of ownership for the property or land
  • Believe someone else will pick up after them
  • See litter has already accumulated at a site.

How can I help to change people’s attitudes about litter?  Participating in the Adopt-a-Block program can help affect people’s attitudes about waste and its handling, which will lead to a reduction in litter and dumping.

  • By removing litter, graffiti and cleaning up an area will make it less likely to attract more waste.
  • Involving people helps them to appreciate the environment more and learn that their actions matter.

 Adopt-a-Block Participants Responsibilities 

  1. Review the Adopt-a-Block Agreement. - *Participating groups must be an established business, government entity, or community or public organization. Participants must be at least 8 years of age, and anyone under the age of 17 must have adult supervision (at least one adult for every three children).
  2. Adopt a four-block section, at a minimum, of roadway for a period of two years (one block includes both sides of the street.)
  3. Sign and support the terms and conditions of the litter program.
  4. Collect litter a minimum of four times per year, or more often if necessary, to keep area reasonably clean.  Please report the amount of litter collected and any sidewalk issues, street lamp outages, etc by completing and returning the Adopt-a-Block Clean Up Report Form. 

City Resource Recovery Division Adopt-a-Block Responsibilities 

  1. Installation of an Adopt-a-Block sign with group name or organization
  2. Provide vests, trash bags, and gloves to each Group Leader
  3. Coordinate publicity efforts with the group to solicit local media coverage, as requested
  4. Remove filled bags and large heavy or hazardous items found or reported from the adopted area following clean-up

To Adopt-a-Block, contact the Resource Recovery Division at 703-746-4410.

Current Adopt-a-Block Participants: 

  • Alexandria Democratic Committee
  • Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Community Association
  • Earth Tech
  • Environmental Policy Commission
  • MOM's Organic Market
  • Senior Craftsman
  • Virginia Tech National Capital Region
  • The Interceptors Group
  • Tau Nu Chapter, Phi Theta Kappa – NVCC
  • PMA Properties
  • Northern VA Juvenile Detention Home - The New Beginnings Program
  • Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc
  • The Robinson's
  • The Cameron Family
  • Covanta
  • Visionary Integration Professionals, Inc (VIP)
  • Denese Faulkner
  • The Pointe at Park Center
  • NOVA
  • Alexandria-Washington Chapter, DeMolay International
  • Alexandria City Chapter Top Ladies of Distinction
  • St. Paul's Episcopal Church
  • Upper King Street Neighborhood Association