Garbage Not Picked Up in 2 Weeks


@ColinHauck tweets us:

“The alley b/w Meridian & Oak. Haven’t had trash pickup in 2 weeks. Is there a strike I’m not aware of?”

I’m guessing it’s weather related, are others having pile ups like this?

78 Comment

  • Weather related. Some/many/most? alleys were skipped last week due to the alleys not being plowed. DPW warned us about this.

    • They didn’t warn very effectively. The sentence “As a result of the snow storm, some untreated alleys may not be passable with a large truck” was buried in press releases/e-mails titled “DPW REMINDS RESIDENTS THAT [regular day pickup] TRASH/RECYCLING COLLECTIONS WILL BE MADE [the following day] BECAUSE OF THE MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. HOLIDAY.”
      The “sliding” is a regular occurrence. It would’ve been more helpful if the press releases and e-mails had said “SOME UNPLOWED ALLEYS WILL NOT RECEIVE TRASH/RECYCLING PICKUP.”

    • clevelanddave

      Is it in fact policy that non thoroughfares much less alleys do not seem to get plowed? It seems major streets like 11th, 13th, 14th get plowed, but smaller streets don’t see the front of a plow at all. Not a lower priority: not plowed at all. Kinda pathetic that you have to wait for the snow to melt to have a clear side street in this town.

  • Same is happening to us. Today is pick-up and I’m hoping they got it.

    • It is amazing to me how different city services can be in different parts of the City. I lived in Columbia Heights for years and they would never take anything not in the barrel, would leave stuff in the barrel and if I put out too much stuff, they would take only about half of it. It was generally inconsistent. Now I am in Chevy Chase DC and they will take anything, no matter how much of it out there and how I put it out there. To me it says that they know they can get away with it in a neighborhood that has a lot of people that don’t give a shit/respect their environment (which of course is not everybody). Shameful.

      • I live in Columbia Heights and the garbage guys will take anything as long as it’s next to a trash or recycling can. It’s great.

      • +1 to “To me it says that they know they can get away with it in a neighborhood that has a lot of people that don’t give a sh1t/respect their environment (which of course is not everybody). Shameful.”

      • It’s true. I live in Capitol Hill now and our trash was promptly picked up last Tuesday. And I don’t think I saw a Christmas tree out for more than three days. We’ve never had a problem at all.

  • My alley had a trash pickup on Fri. 1/17, and no trash or recycling pickups since then.
    With the MLK holiday, our Tuesday/Friday pickups should have “slid” to Wed. 1/22 and Sat. 1/25. Given Tuesday’s snowfall, I wasn’t surprised that Wednesday’s pickup didn’t happen… but I was surprised that Saturday’s pickup didn’t happen either.
    I noticed before I left this morning that the recycling had finally been picked up. I’m hoping I’ll come home to find the same for the trash.

  • Trash and recycling not picked up last week in Foxhall Village either. I’m guessing a combination of weather + MLK Day.

  • Our trash day is normally Thursday morning, but with the MLK holiday it slid to Friday, but it was never picked up. The recycling was finally picked up yesterday, but the trash is still sitting as I type.

    The same thing happened after New Years, when we had that bit of ice on Thursday; when I called 311 to report it, they said the whole city was backed up, and they’d get to it by Wednesday (13 days of total accumulation). Of course, it wasn’t picked up until Thursday, meaning our already rat-infested alley went a full two weeks without pickup.

  • They skipped the alley around Crispus Attucks Park in Bloomingdale last week, too (b/w First and North Cap, U and V NW).
    I understand that without the alley being plowed it was tough, but they sorta added insult to injury when on the same day trash was supposed to be picked up the city announced that they were gonna spend $9 million on new trash cans. Our trash cans work really well, as long as they are emptied weekly.

  • epric002

    same problems in 3800 block of 13th St NW

  • Florida Ave between 13 and 14 got garbage but no recycle for two weeks now.

  • This is effing ridiculous. Our alley not only has garbage piling up and falling on the ground, but we still have Christmas trees left over from December! What is wrong with this city? I get that there was snow, but if that’s the case, have a contingency plan (like contracting out) in place to take care of it. Everyone knows the worst thing for a person running for re-election is missed garbage. Did I mention metro delays, potholes, snow removal and tree pickup? It’s all about the every day services. Spells major trouble for Mayor Gray.

  • I’m at 10th and W and it’s been three weeks since recycling was picked up and two since any trash was picked up. This is street-side too, not alleyways.

  • Same for 10th/Otis/Monroe/Spring.

  • 18th and East Capitol too. MLK day + weather. The ridiculous part is that our alley is super wide, paved, and well maintained. It’s in better condition than the street. It’s BS that DPW couldn’t get a garbage truck through here sooner.

  • I didn’t even know they came down alleys. Why not collect all the garbage from the street curb like my neighborhood does?

    • I would much rather be able to store my trashcans out of site in the alleyway!

      • You’re not supposed to leave them in the alley full-time; you’re supposed to pull them back into your back yard (other than the night before/day of collection).
        I agree that trashcans in front of a house are more unsightly than trashcans in the backyard, though.

        • It’s once a week, during the day. Is it really that unbearable?

          • I didn’t say it was unbearable. It’s just that trashcans are unsightly no matter where they are, so I’d prefer them behind the house rather than in front of it… especially since people with curbside pickup might not have anywhere to stash their cans on non-pickup days except in their front yards.

          • Ok, I didn’t really consider the possibility that someone might store the cans in their front yard. I can see how a couple people doing that on a block could make it ugly. Fortunately where I live everyone wheels them around to the back.

        • austindc

          right on man! I always bring my trash cans in from the alley. It keeps the alley looking nice, no one else puts stuff in them, they don’t get stolen, and they are closer to my back door when I need to take the trash out in the cold. The rest of the neighbors leave their cans in the alley, so maybe they think I’m nuts about trash cans.

      • Seriously. I hate the curb pickup streets. Inevitably there is a trail of garbage and cans strewn about the street. It’s much nicer to have them in the alley.

    • You LIKE having your trashcans sitting out front of your house? No thank you. Allies are where trashcans belong, where allies exist.

    • Not to be rude but how long have you lived here not to know that many people have alley pick up?

      • 8 1/2 years, and I’ve moved around the city quite a bit. I guess I’ve never happened to live in a neighborhood with alley pickup. Oh well!

    • Jesus christ. No thank you.

  • Let’s rent some trucks and dump all this stuff on the steps of the Wilson Building.

  • Takoma/DC alley off of Whittier. The recycling was picked up but not the trash. The alley was passable. They didn’t even try.

  • Same here at 16th & T.

  • The trash in my CoHi allie is getting totally out of control. I’m so angry I can hardly work. I emailed Jack Evans’ constituent services person, but I doubt it will do anything… sigh…

    • Isn’t Columbia Heights in Jim Graham’s district, not Jack Evans’?

    • That’s Jim’s territory. Sorry Charlie. Jack’s constituent services person is wonderful.

      • Whoops! Old habits die hard! LOL!!!
        My roommate/friend and I used to live at 18th and T in a 2BR/1BA English basement (it got tons of light though). I’ll shoot Graham’s shop an email. Thanks!

  • This doesn’t bode well for the bulk pickup that was supposed to happen for me yesterday and was pushed to today…

  • Um, uh, hey, I know a guy who knows a guy who’s in the um, waste disposal business, you, um, need a little, you know, a, you know what i’m saying?

  • Any hope for christmas tree pickup?

    • Someone from Mary Cheh’s office sent our neighborhood listserv (Chevy Chase) an update on Christmas tree pickup, saying it was being delayed because the trucks they use for Christmas tree recycling are also used to treat the roads during weather events, and thus the city could not handle both tasks.

      Our Christmas tree is still in our alley next to our garbage cans. It’s been there since New Year’s Day. I’m pretty sure it’s about to take root.

    • I emailed Muriel Bowser’s staff. Her constituent services people are top notch. The Christmas trees were picked up today (I emailed them on Sunday).

  • jburka

    Anyone bothering to put in complaints with the DC 311 app? It’s not at all unusual for the garbage or recycling collection to skip our house (or entire block) on regular trash days, and submitting complaints via the app has been surprisingly effective in getting a truck to come by.

    • epric002

      i’ve seen at least 5 complaints come through in my neighborhood over the last week, and we’re still w/o trash, recycling, or xmas tree pickup.

  • Mid-Petworth here (near 8th & Buchanan). Neither trash nor recycling last week. Everyone in our alley has just left their overflowing cans out there, hoping that the truck may someday come like a thief in the night…

    • Ditto in Petworth up by Barnard Elementry! They took our regular thankfully, but not our recycling. Given the ridiculously small recycling cans, I think most of us might have preferred the other way around given the piles we now have going….We too wait hopefully for that truck in the night…

  • I emailed Muriel Bowser’s staff and they responded very quickly. They were just as frustrated as all of us. In addition, the called DPW who said it wouldn’t be picked up until Thursday (our normal day). Thanks for covering this topic PoP. I was wondering why we hadn’t heard more about it.

  • ThunderCheese

    Same problem in Lanier Heights. No trash pick up since before MLK day. And now I have a ton of mice. Coincidence?

  • 2300 block of 15th street (15th and Belmont) – no trash pick up for the last two weeks and our cans are in front of the house on 15th which was plowed and salted hourly starting the night before the storm. No excuses.

  • Our alley in Bloomingdale has not been picked up in two weeks either. Tomorrow’s our day, here’s hoping.

  • Today is our scheduled pickup in Park View. Hope when I get home the trash and recycling has been picked up. After 2 weeks the trash is really piling up. The DPW twitter guy has been blaming the weather and staffing issues due to the flu.

    I have seen their trucks out late at night emptying public trash cans, so there’s that.

    • Jeez. Sounds like they need to encourage their staff to get flu shots.

    • Public trash cans in Park View don’t have much room for public trash. Why don’t private residents discard trash in their own bins?

      • I think the OP wasn’t commenting about people putting household trash in street litter cans (which they should not be doing), but rather following his/her criticism of DPW with an acknowledgment that at least they’re managing to empty the street litter cans.

        • I agree. I just read ‘public trash cans’ in this person’s post and took off on a tangeant. I notice people dumping household trash in those bins daily. Is there a fee they are trying to avoid? Public bins overflow regularly.

          • D.C. provides city trash/recycling pickup only for single-family homes and apartment buildings with three or fewer units. Some slumlords with buildings of 4 or more units don’t want to pay for private collection of trash/recycling, and leave their tenants to their own devices.
            But some cases of people using street litter cans for household litter make no sense — like, people who lives in houses with twice-weekly pickup but for some reason prefer to put their trash in the street litter can.

          • I’m the OP to this comment – it drives me nuts that people put household trash in the bins. I’m assuming it’s because DC now charges for the supercans.

            I have seen people (often with MD plates) drive up to public trash cans and empty bags of their personal trash! (One day I caught a guy in our alley “shopping” for supercans with room for his trash bags).

          • People emptying their personal trash into street litter bins is bad, but at least it’s better than if they empty their personal trash into the gutter.
            Most of the time the litter I pick up on my street looks like it came from something that someone ate/drank while walking somewhere or hanging out on a stoop. But the other week I encountered a patch of litter with (among other things) a huge empty bottle of grape juice and a huge empty container of Shedd’s Spread. I was dumbfounded. Margarine (or whatever you call it) is not something that you use while in transit!!

  • Hasn’t been picked up in Brookland for two weeks and there are still Christmas trees all over the place.

  • I’m still waiting for the 2nd leaf collection…..every year I get a shiny leaflet indicating when leaf pickup will occur in my area – the first scheduled event is always missed by a week or more, and the second pickup event NEVER occurs….

  • same in Ecudaor Alley. After the wind last night it looks like the city has started a new dump in our alley. Garbage everywhere

  • Our alley has not been picked up in several weeks either. We have a private trash service bc we are a 4 unit building so I’m not sure of exact dates missed, but the bins along the alley are overflowing and becoming large piles of strewn debris.

  • Still waiting for my building’s trash and recycling (1.5 weeks/10 days worth) to be picked up. I’m at 13th and Kenyon and am hoping that the rats that are usually swarming the neighborhood are frozen stiff and not mating in my crawl space, plotting a way to breach into my warmish apartment and make a new home in the mountain of glass and paper I’m waiting to recycle.
    I’m all for safety, but I’m expected to show up for work in heat/cold/snow/ice/apocalyptic terrorist attacks and have little patience for public employees who get away with not performing their most basic job responsibilities. If I did my job the way DPW does theirs, I would be fired.

  • Same here. Recycling picked up once in past 3 weeks, bins not touched at all for 2 weeks on Monroe between 14th. and 16th.

    The side of the street without an alley is almost impassable from all of the blockage.

    I also frequently have the problem that they simply leave on the ground anything not in the bin. The bins are barely big enough for a week’s worth of recycling, and then they don’y come to pick it up. I have 4 bags of recycling in my house that I won’t even bother to put out now, because they’ll just leave it as always.

    What do we have to do to get the city to actually get the services we’re paying for??

  • Desperate it Park View. It had been 3 weeks of missed garbage pickup until today…they picked some of it up and then spread the rest generously throughout the alley. Recycling hasn’t been picked up in January. Every time reported to 311 until an email to a manager in DPW provided by our ANC rep the last time this negligence got out of control (17 missed collections in 2013). I’m not actually sure the email worked since there was no response. DPW = fail.

Comments are closed.