Concerned Germantown residents discussed potential solutions for Germantown’s garbage collection and littering issues during a community event held by the Germantown Info Hub on March 24.

About 30 people attended the discussion, which was held at the People’s Education Center on Germantown Avenue.

As opposed to a lecture, the event allowed local residents to discuss issues related to four areas of concern within a small group setting. The group conversations focused on litter prevention, issues related to the Germantown business corridor, cleaning up vacant lots, and cleaning up blocks.

Following the small-group discussions, attendees came together to share their ideas with everyone in attendance for the last 30 minutes of the event.

Here are some of the questions and solutions that the groups developed during their conversations.


  • What role should business owners play in keeping the lots in front of their property’s clean?
  • How best can either the city or community hold accountable property owners who refuse to keep their lots clean?
  • How do we best engage community members to ensure they are invested in making sure their respective blocks remain free of litter and trash?
  • How effective has 311 been in responding to calls related to illegal dumping and other trash-related concerns?
  • How do we educate young people, notably those who gather around bus stops, on the importance of not littering?

Potential solutions:

  • Grant funding from underutilized sources, like the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Working with politicians, journalists and others to hold bad owners accountable. Calling them out in public may also need to be an option.
  • Education programs in schools for youth on importance of keeping streets clean and respecting neighborhood.
  • Having business owners and property owners sweep, as opposed to relying upon GSSD for cleanup.
  • More trash cans throughout neighborhood.
  • Study on sources of trash in neighborhood.
  • Better collaboration among community organizations.
  • Outreach programs and events that better connect all residents of Germantown, as a means of instilling more pride in the neighborhood.

Next week, we will be releasing a series of stories related to this topic. Look out for other future conversations, including a conversation with journalists about the Germantown High School next Saturday!