Trash Problems Pile Up

10:25 PM, Feb 16, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Forget about the snow getting in your way, how about the trash?

Many local jurisdictions are struggling to keep up with pickup routes and in DC, narrow alleys and a federal holiday only add to the mess.

"It's been very miserable," said DC resident Paul Smith. "They haven't been picking up the trash. It's just been trash everywhere."

On the curb, near bus stops, tied up in bags or spilling over onto the snow. The trash is noticeable to both the eyes and the nose.

"It's kind of a problem because there is nowhere to put the trash," said Alex Bearman, whose garbage is piling up in an alley behind his home. "I don't fault them too much because I know there is a ton of snow and they're not used to doing all this."

Bearman's patience is just what the Department of Public Works is hoping they'll find over the next few days. On top of the record snowfall, Monday was a holiday. So, trash collection is pushed back another day for every neighborhood.

"We have no idea when we'll be able to get back in the alleys so we're asking people to put their trash out in front in black bags," said Nancee Lyons, a spokeswoman for DPW. "In particular, what would be really helpful is some neighbors are putting their trash near a major intersection so there is sort of a main point of collection."

But those main points can really turn into an eyesore. Some passerbys were disgusted at various locations in Columbia Heights.

"The city is not doing better to make sure they pick up the trash," said Smith.

DPW is also asking residents to use a bleach mixture around the bags to repel rodents.

"Another thing, we're not doing recycling this week," said Lyons. "So for folks who really want to make sure their recycling is taken care of they can take their recycling to the Fort Totten transfer station, which is at 4900 John F. McCormick Road, NE."

Residents can also drop off their trash at that location, if they can handle the smell and the load.

Written by Brittany Morehouse

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