Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I call to register a complaint regarding a vacant lot that needs to be cleaned?
You should contact Property Maintenance at (301) 883-6100. Once a violation notice is issued, the property owner has 10 days to clean the property before the County takes action to have the lot cleaned at the owner's expense.

My neighbor’s grass is knee high. Who should I call to report this problem?
If the grass is higher than 12 inches, this Code violation should be reported to Housing Enforcement at (301) 883-6100.

Who do I contact about repairs that need to be made in my apartment?
Apartment repair requests should be directed to the owner or manager of the property. If repairs are not completed within a reasonable period of time, contact Housing Enforcement at (301) 883-6100.

Can I operate an auto repair business out of my house?
Operating an auto repair business from a residential property is illegal under the County's Zoning Ordinance. Once illegal repair activity has been verified, a violation notice will be issued to the responsible party ordering the activity to cease within 30 days or be subject to legal action and/or fines. To report such activity, contact Zoning Enforcement at (301) 883-6100.

How many unlicensed vehicles can I keep on my property?
Only one wrecked, dismantled, inoperable or unlicensed vehicle may be kept on private property, and it must be stored in a wholly enclosed garage. To report a violation of this nature contact Housing Enforcement at (301) 883-6100.

Where do I report an abandoned vehicle parked on public property?
The Abandoned Vehicle Section removes wrecked, dismantled, unlicensed or inoperable motor vehicles from public space. To report violations contact (301) 952-1873.

How do I obtain a Rental License to rent my single-family house?
A rental license is required to rent a single-family dwelling with the following exceptions: the tenant is the landlord's parent, son, daughter, sibling, grandchild, grandparent or in-law; the landlord is an active member of any branch of the United States Armed Forces, Diplomatic Corps, or Foreign Service who maintains the subject property as her or his domicile and permanent residence; or the landlord has been relocated for employment or education, maintains the subject property as her or his domicile and permanent residence. A rental license application can be obtained from Housing Enforcement at (301) 883-6100.

Where do I call to obtain information about the recent changes in trash collection services for County residents?
For information about your trash collection service, please contact the Waste Management Division at (301) 952-7630.

If my refuse or recycling collection day falls on a holiday, when is the next collection day?
If your refuse or recycling collection day falls on a holiday, your pick-up will be on the next regularly scheduled collection day. For more information on collection services and holiday schedules, please call the Waste Management Division at (301) 952-7630.

What happens to recyclables after they are collected from the curb?
Once collected, recyclables are taken to the County's Materials Recycling Facility where the materials are sorted and are either crushed (glass) or baled(newspaper,plastic, aluminum and steel) for shipment to markets.

Who do I call to find out my recycling and trash collection days?
To learn the trash and recycling days for your community, please call the Waste Management Division at (301) 952-7630.

How can I get bulky trash items picked up?
Bulky trash items such as washing machines, dryers, furniture, hot water heaters, and other large items are collected by appointment only. You may contact Bulky Trash at (301) 952-7600, Monday through Friday, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to schedule an appointment. You may also schedule an appointment electronically by e-mailing us at BulkyTrash@co.pg.md.us with the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number and
  • a list of specific items to be collected by Bulky Trash

How do I dispose of items such as oil-based paints and pesticides?
Household items that are flammable, caustic or toxic are considered to be hazardous. Household hazardous waste includes cleaners, solvents, poisons, acids, insecticides, oil-based paints, used motor oil, antifreeze, swimming pool chemicals and car batteries. Citizens and residents can take their household hazardous waste to the Household Hazardous Waste Acceptance Site located at the Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill, 11611 White House Road in Upper Marlboro on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.. For more information concerning household hazardous waste, please call (301) 883-5045.

Is it OK to leave grass clippings on our lawn?
Clippings that are left on the lawn will return to the earth and restore natural ingredients to the soil. Additionally, these clippings help to retain moisture, reduce wear and facilitate growth. By not bagging our grass clippings, the cost of waste removal is reduced by 24%.

How can I adopt a pet?
Any County resident may adopt an animal from our shelter. Identification reflecting your current address must be presented when filling out the application form. If you lease a house or apartment, permission to keep a pet must be verified from the landlord. The adoption staff may perform a house check before approving the application to ensure that the pet being adopted will be in a safe and caring environment. Upon approval, you are required to pay an adoption fee prior to taking ownership of your pet. For more information, please call the Animal Management Division at (301) 780-7200.

I am a County teacher and I would like to plan an animal care instruction lesson. Where do I call for information?
To schedule a presentation, please call the Volunteer Coordinator at (301) 780-7220.

How do I obtain a pet license?
You can obtain a pet license from the Prince George's County Animal Management Division, the College Park Animal Control Facility or the Bowie Animal Control Facility. When submitting the application, a copy of the current rabies vaccination certificate, a copy of the spay/neuter certificate (if applicable), and a check or money order payable to Prince George's County in the amount of $5 for altered animals or $25 for unaltered animals must be included.

Where do I call to report a missing, vicious or injured animal?
To report a missing, vicious or injured animal, please call the Animal Management Division at (301) 780-7200. Be prepared to provide additional information as appropriate, such as type of animal, last known location and condition of the animal.

Where can I have my pet spayed or neutered?
For information on low-cost spay/neuter services, please contact the Spay/Neuter Clinic located the Animal Services Facility at (301) 254-8151.

Where can I apply for a construction permit?
The Permit Office, located at 9400 Peppercorn Place, 6th Floor, Largo, Maryland, processes all applications for construction permits. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., closing daily at 12 noon and reopening at 1:00 p.m.

How do I obtain the necessary information to prepare my permit application?
Prior to your visit, it is a good idea to call the Permit Office ahead of time to explain your plans and ask about additional documentation to include with your permit application. The telephone number for the Permit Information Line is (301) 883-5776. Permit fees are determined upon approval.

I just bought a lot and want to build my own house. Can I do this?
Yes, you may build your own house. The Permit Processing Unit will provide you with all the information you need to prepare for your project. Before being issued a building permit, you will be required to meet with staff to discuss your construction needs, and provided a Building and Grading Permits Guide and supplementary permit brochures. These publications will assist you in pulling together everything you need to proceed with your construction application. The telephone number to the Permit Information Line is (301) 883-5776.

What is the easiest way for me to schedule an inspection of my work?
You can schedule an inspection by calling the Automated Inspection Request and Information System Line at (301) 883-5390, between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Water enters my basement every time it rains. What actions can I take to correct the problem?
One of the first things to check is if the areaway drain outside your basement door is clogged. If drainage and waterproofing measures are in place and you are still having a significant problem, contact the Department of Environmental Resources at (301) 883-5832. Staff from our office will inspect your property to evaluate and determine the extent of the problem and if a drainage study is necessary.

What’s the best way to filter stormwater in my yard?
There are many ways you can slow stormwater runoff down and let it soak into the soil. What works best for you will depend upon the size and layout of your home and property, the type of soil you have, how much you want to spend, and how much maintenance you’re willing to do. This Rainscapes webpage will help you choose between infiltration practices such as rain gardens, rain barrels and BayScaping.

What is a rain garden?
A rain garden captures stormwater runoff and allows it to slowly soak into the ground. The water that washes off your roof, driveway and your lawn, called stormwater runoff, becomes contaminated by the everyday substances found around your home. In a rain garden, layers of soil and water-loving plants naturally filter and remove pollutants before they flow through the storm drain pipes and into our local streams. These gardens can absorb several times more rainwater than a lawn, while replenishing the groundwater supply and filtering pollutants. They are easy to maintain and, after the plants are well-established, rarely need watering. They also provide a habitat for birds and butterflies. To view our brochure, Rain Gardens: A Home-Grown Solution for Water Pollution," please visit our website. For more rain garden resources, please visit the following links:

What is a rain barrel?
A rain barrel captures water from your downspout and stores it. You can use it to water plants in your garden or simply let the water soak slowly into the ground during dry weather. There are many styles and types of rain barrels available. You can even build your own from a cleaned and recycled 55-gallon plastic drum. Listed below are some sources for purchasing rain barrels. (These links are provided for information only and are not to be construed as an endorsement.)

For more information on rain barrels see these links:

What is BayScaping?
BayScaping is conservation landscaping that helps protect local streams that lead to the Chesapeake Bay. BayScaping saves money, takes less work, benefits the environment, and gives your yard year-round beauty. For more information on BayScaping and Conservation Landscaping, please visit the following web pages:

Who do I call for information about flood prevention?
The Department of Environmental Resources administers and manages flood awareness and protection programs in the County, as an active participant in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Community Rating System. For more information, please call our Environmental Services Division at (301) 883-5787.

How does your Budget and Procurement Section help my community?
The Budget and Procurement staff monitors the acquisition of materials, equipment and supplies the Department uses to implement our community services and programs. The services we provide, such as solid waste, stormwater management, tree preservation, stream clean-ups, property and construction inspections, vehicle impounds, and animal control programs, make up a large percentage of our budget.

Our organization is planning a public meeting to include a discussion on the services provided by the Department of Environmental Resources. Can you help?
Our Communications Section staff can help you identify issues that may be of concern to your community or group, and schedule representatives from our Department to provide you with the pertinent information. Additionally, they are available to assist you with public events and meetings by arranging to have the Department display a booth or information table on your topic of interest. For more information, please call the Communications Section at (301) 883-5961.