DPW – Please Pick Up from the 1600 block of 4th St, NW


@stereogab tweets:

“Hey @PoPville think you can help my block -1600 4th St NW get city’s attn to haul away these old garbage bins? Thx!”

cc @DCDPW @311DCgov

44 Comment

  • dont they need those yellow stickers on them?

    • They’ve probably fallen off by this point. I did see one interesting way to dispose of the old garbage cans in Bloomingdale – there was a small pile of melted plastic on the sidewalk last weekend, the remnants of a recycling can. I guess someone finally got desperate enough and just burned it.

    • They did for the first four weeks or so. Then the various storms came and washed them away.

  • It’s like that everywhere. New can distribution was a debacle.

    • Well, the distribution itself went great. 😉

    • You must have a very low tolerance. I’d say it was a success, given the parameters. I got my can months before my neighborhood was scheduled, and they picked up the old ones (which were truly in need of replacement) within three weeks.

      Now if I’d been running it, I would have budgeted for fewer cans and more targeted delivery, instead of the district-wide want-it-or-not model.

      But no matter how I would have done it differently, it’s pretty hyperbolic to call it a “debacle”.

    • It’s nothing like that on the blocks around my house. If anything, it sounds like the distribution of the new cans went very well, it’s the pickup of the old ones that’s annoying some people.

    • Right. Like the distribution truck couldn’t have been followed down the street by another truck picking up unwanted cans?

      • Nobody knew in advance exactly what day the new cans would be coming, so people would’ve been stuck leaving the old cans out for days, having to pull them back in to put out the trash and then put them back out again, etc.
        Agreed that the whole thing was poorly conceived. Many people didn’t need the new cans, and for those who did, a single new can might not always be enough.

  • clevelanddave

    What a horrible, politically motivated, wasteful project this is. If you are a fiscal conservative, 1/2 of this expense was unnecessary for all those who had decent cans. There was no “skin in the game” on behalf of recipients- “free cans, why not.” If you are an environmentalist, yea, everyone now has nice new appropriate cans, but now you’ve got tens of thousands of perfectly good (or good enough) cans that need to be recycled. What a mess. Thanks Mayor Gray!

    • Or if you are just a normal citizen, you are super excited that you now no longer have a recycling can that fits approximately one bag of recycling, and a trash can that would fit about 8 bags of trash. My recycling can was constantly full, and trash can often had one bag.

      Genuinely, Thanks Mayor Gray!!!

      • jim_ed

        +1. If we’re going to have political pandering, at least give me something tangible and useful. The jumbo sized recyclables can is awesome since the old one was too small that I often found myself driving my recycling to the Ft Totten transfer station, and my old supercan was beat to hell. This easily solved two problems

    • Oh, and to skin in the game. Hell yes I have skin in the game. I pay a lot of DC taxes. I am able to draw the connection between taxes I pay, and services I receive. This was an example of the DC Government using tax revenue it took, to improve my life. For that, I am appreciative.

      • Agreed with the general principle here on taxes/services, but I still think it was poorly handled.
        For the past few years in D.C., new trash or recycling cans were available only on request and for a fee (I think $32.50 for the 32-gallon ones and $62.50 for the 64-gallon ones). Then all of a sudden, the D.C. government decides to give them to everyone — whether they want them or not — for free. There should have been a better way of making sure that the people who actually needed new and/or additional cans got them, without the expense of foisting them on people who didn’t.

        • I sort of agree.
          Except at least a set went to the rude, rude neighbors who were too cheap to buy cans and have spent the last 4+ years putting their trash in other people’s cans the evening *after* trash pick up before most of us got home to bring our cans into our yards.

          • Ugh, those neighbors sound terrible!
            I guess one good thing about the replacement program is that it does get cans to cheapskates like your neighbors, and to people (like those in one of the group houses next door to me) who didn’t have enough cans to hold their trash but couldn’t be bothered to get replacements, and might not have been bothered to do so even if the replacements were free.
            I just wish D.C. could redirect unneeded used-but-in-good-condition trash cans to people like my neighbors. Even with two trash cans, their trash is still overflowing, and the same is true of many other houses on the block (even those with 3 or 4 cans).

    • Or we all recognize that even cans that seem OK that have some holes in them add to the vermin problems throughout the city. We need folks to regularly replace their cans to keep out the rats. Good enough doesn’t cut it when trying to stop the rat problem. This isn’t a fun program so you get pretty cans, this is about rat abatement.

  • Agreed. I went through the process they said to go through, called 311, left a message with my address and the info the requested, and then nothing. Can’s still out there, but the yellow sticker has since disintegrated.

  • Is there anyone out there who actually believed DC would get this right?

  • I’ve given up getting the city to pick up the extra new recycling supercan they gave me. Anyone want it? It’s in Mount Pleasant. Email me — facto75 [at] gmail

  • Ya, the pick-up has been strange. A truck came through my alley collecting bins just before I got my stickers on the old bins. I called 311 several weeks ago to schedule the pickup, and got a message back saying it would happen within 10 days. Well, 4 weeks later, the bins are still there, the stickers have almost peeled off, and someone has left one of their old bins (sans sticker) next to mine.

    Not only did we not need new bins, but we certainly didn’t need Bigger garbage bins. In this age of increased environmental awareness, how can you justify making garbage cans bigger? In theory having larger recycling bins is a better idea, but even this encourages increased consumption of disposable items (recyclables are ultimately disposable from the user’s perspective). Lots of other North American cities are being increasingly progressive, with municipal composting programs and decreasing pail size (and charging for excess garbage), but DC seems to be heading in the opposite direction…

    • Totally agree here. My cans finally got picked up yesterday (14th and Webster), but I don’t need that HUGE garbage can. I called and asked if I could have one of the smaller ones, but was told no. I also returned the big recycling bin because my small one was big enough, and if I have extra, can toss it in the neighbor’s bin.

  • We never got new trash cans and then saw a ton of extra new cans with the “remove me” stickers so we took matters into our own hands. We live along the same stretch of 4th St, NW as the person who wrote the original post and I have to agree- there are old trash cans everywhere stinking up the neighborhood. DC really dropped the ball on the whole process in my opinion from distribution to removal.

  • My alley is packed with old trash cans! The city just needs to start sending trucks around picking up all the old cans, forget about waiting for a 311 call.

    • ah

      I think it’s awesome that this block lined them all up in one place. That’s my feeling on how we should address the problem in my neighborhood-stack them up like we do with xmas trees and leaves at various street corners.

  • gotryit

    We need some budding entrepeneurs with a power drill to go around making these into composting bins and reselling them to people for $10.

    • I like it. Maybe a snazzy paint job, too. However– I think they’d have to install some kind of a latch on the lid, so that you could roll the bin to mix the compost. Can’t see how you’d turn the contents, otherwise.

      • gotryit

        I’m just an amateur with composting, but with less mixing (all I can reach with a shovel) won’t it just take a bit longer? I’m thinking that if I line up 5-6 of these, I can let each go for 3-6 months and not run out of space.

      • gotryit

        A shovel? Yes, I am just an amateur.

        • I think reaching down into a deeper-than-it-is-wide container and turning the contents with a shovel would require more upper body strength than I have.
          (I’m also an amateur and am attempting my first urban compost in a 5-gallon bucket. It’s probably not enough volume, but it’s what I have, and what I have room for. Will update in a month or two.)

  • Thanks, PoP for posting this! My neighbors appreciate it, too. Actually, the stickers were still prominent before last week’s torrential downpours. And I kept my bins to use for composting – but didn’t think too much about installing something to help roll the mixture around. Did seem to me like a last minute effort to look good before the mayoral primary. Maybe if Gray won, we wouldn’t be having this discussion now. Maybe not.

  • I’ve decided to convert my old ones into compost bins and tomato buckets!

  • Columbia Heights is the same. What a mess.

    People ripped the stickers off of mine and then started filling them up with trash.

    • Same here… Left in alleyway, 311 said 10 days (that was 7 days ago), stickers ripped off on day 2 and full of trash. Emptied the trash and affixed the last sticker. Hope the city will take both old cans with only one sticker.

  • Hey PoP, can you do a poll about who has actually had their old cans picked up?

  • I think I’m gonna take my old cans to the Ft. Totten transfer station this weekend. I was there a few weeks ago and they had a very large pile of old green and blue cans. Has anyone else tried this?

  • My alley on 13th in 16th St Heights is the same. Row of old cans all down the alley, stickers coming off or gone.

  • They came by a few weeks ago and took my cans that had just been emptied by the trash truck, cans that I wanted to keep (the stickers were on broken ones that I was about to call 311 to pick up). Bizarre.

  • on my block, ignorant dog owners keep putting little bags of poo in the trash cans out for disposal, which causes the trash people to not pick them up since they have to be empty.

    dog owners should bring their poo back to their own damn houses. i’d love to see reasonably-short jail sentences for dog owners who put trash into other peoples’ cans. just a couple of days per dog poo bag should do it. try that and I bet this problem goes away.

    • My alley (between Kenyon/Irving and 13/14th, saw the green ones picked up a day or two ago, but all of the blue ones were left behind. Are different colors picked up by different trucks? There has to be a good joke here, but I am not finding it.

  • Same thing in our area. What a terrible system.

  • Interesting related article in today’s Washington Post:
    Alleged theft of D.C. recycling bins marked ‘Take Me!’ leads to arrest, charges
    By Peter Hermann and Aaron C. Davis, Published: May 7
    I can understand someone helping themselves to a couple of unwanted trash/recycling cans, but 51 of them??

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