Garbage Problems Persist


It is amazes me that something as simple as garbage proves to be such a challenge. I mean we all get garbage cans yeah? So why the hell would people be throwing massive bags of household trash in a public can anyway? I just don’t get this but obviously it is a serious problem. I can’t believe it’s gotten to the point where the city is considering removing the public trash can. That’s one thing that we probably need more of. So who has a theory on why folks throw household garbage in public trash cans?

25 Comment

  • It seems to be just laziness. I think I’ve seen my neighbor do it instead of rolling his own can out to the alley and back in, he just drops in in the public receptacle or in another neighbors cans on his way out.

  • Sometimes I find bags of trash in my tree box. One day, I walked out the door as my neighbor pulled a bag out of his car parked in front of my place. I’m sure he was just going to drop it in the tree box, but instead he walked all the way down to the corner (I live mid-block) to the public trash can. LAZY and disrespectful.

  • where is that can?

  • Just like dropping a bag of McD’s along with your giant soda cup and can of beer out of the window of your car in Petworth. Pure laziness and disregard for others.

  • But there may be a glimmer of hope. As of a few weeks ago, there is a brand new city can at the corner of Quincy and 13th. Hats off to whomever made that one happen. Now we need many more. I cannot explain why somebody would rather use a public can than their own, but in a neighborhood like Dupont where there are cans everywhere, there was much less trash in the yards.

  • Getting new city trash cans is tricky, they tend to refuse to put them on corners that are strictly residental. It took a few tries to get the 3 new ones in front of the park on 10th st between Spring and Quincy (which were so desperately needed a neighbor put out his own “rogue” trash cans previously pictured by PoP.)

    To submit a request go to and plead your case.

  • Here’s another idea if you do all the work, sorting your trash, putting it into the correct bin: that means less work for someone else. Could this be economic self interest? I have a friend that refuses to bus his own tables at fast food restaurants, with that same theory. If you do that, you are giving the business the ability to hire less workers. Just, um, throwing this out there as another possibility.

    I live in a building where people seem unable to sort their trash correctly, I do it for them all the time. So I do know what a pain this. And I do think it is representative of not well educated people who don’t take much pride in their place and their connection to neighbors.

    I am always amazed at the people that cart large pieces of furniture down to Decatur and NHA to leave by the trash can. That’s not laziness, they could leave it in their own back alley and call the city to pick it up. I don’t know what that is actually.

  • Some people just are not good neighbors. Usually these people are congregated in the same neighborhood, making the whole neighborhood bad.
    Yesterday, a teen in my hood ate a Domino’s Pizza and dropped the box right in front of my home. I went to his house and asked for him to pick it up. You can’t always do this as the parents will accost you at times. But I knew this kid. And guess what he did with the pizza box? He threw it in his friend’s front yard.

  • Would it solve the problem if they were to put a lid on the street trash can with an opening only wide enough for cups, crumpled up paper, etc? Or do you think people would just resort to leaving bags of trash next to the trash can? I agree with other comments that these kinds of actions seem to indicate laziness and very little respect for others. Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.

  • The city actually has a program that if they catch you putting your household trash in a public can, they will fine you. Essentially if you report a can that is constantly used for household trash, DPW will come out and sort through it and odds are the offender has thrown away something with their name and address on it, and DPW will fine you.

  • I want to say that it is laziness. But for the life of me, I can’t comprehend loading my car up with my household trash, driving blocks to the public trash cans on 10th Street (between Spring and Quincy), getting out of the car, and dumping the bags into the cans.

    I mean… it took work to be that much of an ass. So is it laziness?

  • Let’s just say up in Cleveland Park we don’t have this problem.

  • What Adam’s Morgan says is true. I have two friends that were fined by DPW (and not a piddly amount) because they found their mail in the public bin. Never mind that said friends were simply throwing a single piece of junk mail in the trash can on the way out of the house, they lost that appeal. Be careful!

  • Can’t they just hire a few extra folks to take care of the trash more often? After all, the world needs ditch-diggers, Danny, just not as many as it used to. So what are we going to do with all those extra people? Let them sit idly by, turning into hipsters???

  • Maybe the offenders are like me and my roommates. We received proper receptacles from the gov only after TWO MONTHS pestering 311 for some bins.

    Yes, we stuck our garbage at the curb in bags, and they took it, but others might find the city-provided bin more convenient in the interim.

    It’s on Rock Creek Church Road just east of GA Ave.

  • Watch your lip, Danny Noonan. I’ve sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn’t want to do it. I felt I owed it to them.

  • PoP, are you going to let me say what I want now? Honestly, you seem like a weak individual, I just want to make fun of PBR drinking “working-class” wannabes who don’t wash their face properly. If you wanted to make fun of me for being a pink shirt and boat shoe wearing, trade group employee I wouldn’t start becoming Hitler and banning your posts!

  • I was raised never to litter. Never to drop trash in the street, to always find a trashcan, to never toss anything out of a car window. That’s littering. And we were taught that way back in the day when ecology was barely a word. So I can’t relate to people defiling their environment in such a way. But just the other day, I was parked talking on my cell phone, near Barnard ES. A Mercedes with DC plates parked near me and 2 older teenagers, maybe even college freshmen got out and threw out their bags of fast food on the sidewalk. I was horrified. And they went into their house.

  • I’m with [email protected]:48. DC was slow to give us bins when we moved in, then they wouldn’t pick them up, then they were stolen and we had to wait again to get new ones, and then they wouldn’t pick them up again! And for all this time, we would keep the trash stacked in the kitchen or spare bathroom, because putting it outside without the bin brings rats all around the house. I’ll admit I’ve put a few bags into the public cans and the dumpsters nearby. Luckily they’re taking our trash now (two trash days in a row doesn’t exactly mean a streak), though we still can’t get recycling.

  • You are correct PoP… it is amazing that something so simple could prove to be such a challenge! Although I am a law abiding citizen, for 4 plus months… FOUR… I have been waiting for cans from DPW. After 3 months and 3 weeks, I was told by DPW, “Perhaps, you aren’t eligbile for garbage pickup.” After which, I was told by the same DPW official to call the city inspector and once my home was inspected I could likely get garbage cans, as there was no logical reason as to why I haven’t yet received them. And today, three weeks after I’ve requested an inspection, when I hauled the garbage out to the curb for the Tuesday/Friday pickup (as the sign on your picture above so kindly reminds me) my neighbor finally told me that, “some time ago” a can was dropped off on your porch “only to be carried away” by someone on the same day.

    Every Tuesday and every Friday morning for more than four months, I have hauled my trash out to the curb and kindly asked my neighbor if I can set my trash with theirs, but frankly… every so often, I have a bit more trash on Sunday than one can manage to horde up in their house. So, don’t assume I’m LAZY when I call the mayor’s 311 hotline on a weekly basis asking where the HELL my trash cans are.

    If they don’t want to give me trash cans… fine. Just tell me! That way, I (and my nieghbors) can pay for my trash pick up and we can all resume our lives as civilized citizens who don’t horde trash and then toss it on the curb (or in the local trash can) on a regular basis.

    It should be so easy to get a trash can, but like 2 others have suggested, it’s like everything else in DC – it’s just not.

  • It will be a LONG time before DC’s services are on par with NYC. Barry flooded many of these agencies with people that are incapable/unqualified of doing their job. We just have to wait on them to retire or do something stupid before they get replaced.

  • I guess we should be grateful that these people are putting their trash in an actual garbage can. I find all kids of trash — fast food containers, soda bottles, empty bags of chips, etc. – in front of my house that clearly got there as a result of someone dropping it. There are many people in the neighborhood who have no respect for any space other than their own and could care less where they drop their garbage. Why should they be inconvenienced by having to carry an empty container another block when they can leave it for you to pick up? It’s like the people who walk their dogs but never carry a plastic bag or a newspaper. Why should they clean up after their dog when someone else can?

  • I guess we should all be thankful we don’t live in or near Naples…

  • i think the solution to this problem is the same that ive suggested to many past problems. tasers, lots and lots of tasers. maybe a paintball gun for good measure.

  • ok I get that people are being lazy and that personal household trash should not go in those baskets, but is threatening to take it away really a solution? If the people abusing the can are that lazy and selfish wouldn’t they just return to throwing their trash on the streets? I can totally see a post in a few months where it’s just the same trash sitting in bags on the spot the can used to be…

Comments are closed.