Bulk trash on the sidewalk?

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Topic: Bulk trash on the sidewalk?

Life and Society June 14, 2012 at 10:59 am

Bulk trash on the sidewalk?

I’ve lived in urban areas most of my life and I’ve NEVER lived somewhere where people just left their large trash behind – sofas, beds, tables – like in DC.
Just this past weekend, our block now has a sofa, a large tube TV, and some sort of wall shelving unit on the sidewalk.  Obviously people are dumping their stuff because they’re too lazy to responsibly take care of it/find a new home for it. 
How does it work to get this stuff removed?  I can call 311, but if there’s a more efficient way, or someone has handled it differently, I’d love to know.  It’s SO irritating – nothing like a sofa, left out in the rain, for people to then put MORE of their trash on. 

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I also hate this practice for the reasons you state.  I don’t have an “efficient” solution.  People have to step up and take care of their own crap.
Last time this topic came up on the blog, commenters had pushback about how great a resource it is for the poor or needy.  I don’t buy it; think it’s a rationalization to feel ok about dumping “free” box spring mattress or large tube TVs on the sidewalk.  Seriously, when is the last time you saw someone walking down the street, dragging an old sofa or chest of drawers?
Why not get rid of your stuff responsibly:  Craig’s List-Freecycle…if your furniture is in good shape, Salvation Army will pick it up…even a Google search can find groups that will put stuff to good use.  Or take it to the municipal dump at Fort Totten (yeah, you might have to rent a car.  Get together with some friends or neighbors to split the cost.  If you can afford to replace that large tube TV, you can afford to dispose of it, too). 
Otherwise, it’s litter – litter that attracts more litter, becomes a hotel for rodents, and inconveniences neighbors.
[And OP, as for 311 – the city won’t pick up bulk trash from apartment or condo buildings (any multi-unit over 3 or 4) so even that response is of limited use.]

Well, they are supposed to notify the Department of Public Works/Trash Department for bulk pickup.  But I think sometimes people believe that someone else might want their old worn-out stuff so they sit it out on the curb.  It happens in my neighborhood all the time (Euclid Street, between 14th & 15th).  If the stuff stays there for more than 2 days I just call 311 bulk pickup and they come and get it.  Same with abandoned cars, I hate having to do it but if it takes that to get it off my street then I just do it.

It isn’t outside of a specific building, it’s on both sides of the street.  I really just wish people would be respectful of their neighbors.  It’s an inconvenience for sure – we just had to find a new home for our sofa – but it’s not THAT hard to GIVE THINGS AWAY vice leaving them out. 
So essentially, I should call 311.  heh

I think there’s a happy medium in this situation. If it’s something I think someone can genuinely use, I’ll put it outside my building with a “Free” sign on it to encourage people to take it, positioned in a place such that I can see it from my window. I’ll also put up a craigslist “curb alert.” I look out the window, and if it hasn’t been taken within a few hours or by nightfall, I bring it back inside to be disposed of properly. I did this with a stereo recently, with the “free” sign stating what did and did not work about the stereo, and it was gone within an hour.

The solution is to take it to Fort Totten. Are you listening, new family across from us on Girard at 13th? You’ve had a huge pile of bulk trash sitting out front for over three weeks now.

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