Dear PoPville – Anyone Else Noticing Public Trash Cans Disappearing?


Dear PoPville,

I was wondering if you know anything about the disappearing public trash cans in Petworth. Our 1300 block of Shepherd St lost 2 at the corner of 14th St. about a month ago and now 2 more have disappeared on 13th st. I phoned 311 but they didn’t know anything about it. I sincerely hope that they are about to be replaced with the most awesome garbage cans ever seen but I wonder why so much time has passed since they were taken? If you don’t hear from us again it’s because we have drowned in a sea of litter… please send help.


20 Comment

  • Were these trash cans being used as trash bins for household waste (it looks like it from the photo)? they might have removed them because of the abuse. removing the incentive i guess…

    • I’ve heard of DPW ticketing for unlawful use of public trash cans. A friend of mine checked his mailbox on his way out of the house and threw a piece of junk mail in a public can. A few weeks later, he got a ticket in the mail with a description of the offense. I guess someone from DPW actually looked through the garbage and bingo!

      • So it’s illegal to put trash in the trash can? WTF? I get it if you’re regularly putting the bag from your kitchen or whatever in it, but discarding a piece of mail?

        • I think technically you’re not allowed to put household trash (which includes junk mail) in public trash cans, and I have heard that one easy way they can bust you is if they find stuff with your name and address on it in the can.

  • Since the C&K hotel was closed down again last week pimps are being spiteful and just doing any damage they can to the neighborhood.

  • anyone notice that Vincent Orange’s campaign signs are still all over the freaking city? what a douche nozzle.

    • +1000
      I called Orange’s office this morning and reminded them that the 30 day deadline to remove signs is coming upon us soon.

  • What is going on here? First – the OP states it is the PUBLIC trash cans. IIRC – this is for the inauguration. No matter how far – if it’s along any route they might use (parade route, or evac) – they will remove the garbage cans and the mailboxes and the newspaper boxes, etc.

  • OP, try contacting Muriel Bowser’s office. (14th/Shepherd is in Ward 4, right?) Her office should be able to find out from DPW whether the trash cans 1) went missing, 2) were removed and are going to be reinstalled somewhere nearby, or 3) are perhaps being removed in advance — WAY in advance — of the inauguration.

  • 14th and Shepard cans were removed b/c the drunks living above the corner store were filling/overflowing the can with empties 3-4 days a week. Saturday and Sunday were particularly bad. By Monday there was broken glass and garbage everywhere.

    • Query: how does removing a trash can address a garbage on the street problem. Seems like they need to add capacity, not remove it.

      • It’s worked in some parts of the world, like Tokyo. There are almost zero public trash cans there. People don’t just leave trash on the ground. But people don’t think twice about making a ‘best effort’ to toss something into an already full can.

    • I wish the drunks in my neighborhood would leave their empties in the trash can on the corner.

  • Here is a question for the group – if you know that there is someone who is using a public trash can for their personal trash, can they be fined? It irks me every time I see someone leave their house in the morning and dump a big ol’ trash bag in one of those cans. This is usually people who live in a house and have regular twice-weekly trash pick-ups (in my neighborhood). Can I call 311 and report that address?

    • Good question. I think it’s worth a try… but I suspect that unless they catch the person in the act or the person leaves something with their address in their trash bag, probably nothing would happen.

      If you regularly see the same people at the same time, maybe give them the offender’s address and the time he/she tends to dump household trash in the street litter can.

  • The trash can at the end of my block disappeared a while ago (maybe 6-9 months ago)? I miss it– we’re very close to Eastern Market and a lot of trash is generated on the weekends.

  • I cannot wrap my head around the need to put whole bags of household garbage in public bins when DC doesn’t have a fee for garbage pick up! We need bins that are were designed in modern times that have smaller openings and multiple functions. Of course the biggest problem in the neighborhood is the lack of bottle deposit… so much wasted broken glass! I sincerely hope that no DC official believes that removing garbage cans creates less garbage…

    • binpetworth

      DC Public Works only picks up garbage for single family dwellings & buildings with 3 or fewer units. Therefore people who live in larger apartment buildings must depend upon their mgmt company/condo board to purchase trash collection services. So while I get annoyed at people dumping their bulk trash in public cans, I understand why it happens, especially in my neighborhood where there are many buildings that are poorly run by mgmt companies that don’t give a damn about their tenants.

  • There are not enough trashcans in petworth at all. This has always been a problem. Now they ARE disapearing, I am really wondering what is going on? Also, I noticed a couple of the blue mailboxes dissapeared as well. I wonder if they are moving to other neighborhoods. Not fair~

Comments are closed.