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The Great Trash Can War of 2013

by Prince Of Petworth May 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm 57 Comments

Screen Shot 2013-05-14 at 10.07.10 AM
Photo by PoPville flickr user ewilfong

Dear PoPville,

These are all actual emails sent in the past few months. The only changes I have made are to delete names, addresses and other identifiers.

March 1, 2013, 11:20:34 PM

From: Neighbor 1

Hello to all –

I have purchased the condo parking space next to the church. (Neighbor) has purchased the space next to me. As existing contracts on condo units close, the additional five spaces will be assigned new residents and more cars will begin parking there.

I will be cleaning the spilled garbage and debris from the parking area next to my space and under the church stairs in the next week but would appreciate your removing any trash or recycling cans you might have in that area immediately. (I don’t think I saw many there this evening.)

Your trash and recycling cans must be placed in front of your homes on (Address) since I don’t believe trash collection will agree to collect it from the rear of your properties. It should not be placed in the alley either behind my house and the church or the condos.

I appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

Mar 2, 2013, at 3:13 PM

From Neighbor 2

DPW has been collecting from the rear of (address) since I moved in 10 years ago. Initially there was a problem with DPW trash collectors, but we met with reps from our city council member and DPW and got agreement that alley collection would be accepted.

I frequently have to move cans associated with our neighbors directly to the east, as they are blocking the alley, but have never complained, in the interest of being neighborly. However, in keeping with the thoughts of this email from (neighbor 1), perhaps their cans should be placed in front of their houses on (street), where they will not block the alley.

Continues after the jump.

On Mon April 8, 2013 at 2:07 AM

From Neighbor 1

To all – Today I learned that you are seeking some exception from DPW to place your trash and recycling receptacles in the alley instead of in front of your homes. I’m all for it as long as that place abuts your property and no one else’s property, and definitely not mine.

I have tried to work with you in many ways. I have cut back the wall on my property not once but twice to allow you easier access to your property. I have given you leeway to place your trash receptacles in front of my property while you sought a solution you found pleasing. I have picked up your litter and trash and moved your trash cans in order to access my property for a decade. When (Neighbor 2) decided he did not want one inch of a telephone pole on his property, I allowed it to be placed totally on my property. When people parked their cars on my property without permission, I sought out the owner(s) instead of having the cars towed away, and even then did not object when I was told that the illegally parked car would be moved, not then, but the next day.

You led me to believe you were looking for private collection. Now I learn that you had no intention of doing anything other than continue your entitlement approach to encroaching on others. Hundreds of households in DC place their trash in front of their homes. I really don’t understand why you should be the exception.

I will be filing an objection with DPW to your request. I will be contacting the DC City Council. I will be building the wall on my property back to its original position. I will be seeking legal council to learn what other options are available to me to stop any and all special exemption requests you make to the city.

I am truly sorry you forced me into this position. In 33 years, I have never encountered such privileged individuals as you.

On Mon, April 8, 2013 at 11:22 PM

From Neighbor 2


For the record, last night or early this morning, someone threw cafe au lait on the (color) mini, on my Prius, and on the car belonging to (Neighbors) at (address).

On Tue April 9, 2013 at 10:37 AM

From Neighbor 2


Further- Last night someone used soapy water to wash off the coffee from my car and the (color) mini. This was evidently done in the dark, as the cleaning was only partial.

On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 9:23 AM

From Neighbor 1

To all residents of (address)

I have asked repeatedly over several months that you adhere to DC regulations regarding placement of your trash in front of your house. Today I returned three of your cans after DPW picked up the trash. Your cans were placed on my private property and also DC public property, both of which are against regulation.

You have no property that abuts the alley and cannot place your cans there. I also own the parking place next to the church and you cannot place your cans there. Your options are placing your cans out front or arranging private or DPW collection from your own property.

I am now contacting DPW and asking that you be fined.

Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:14 at AM

From Neighbor 3


This is the first I have been made aware of this issue. After reading the tone of (neighbor 1’s) email, I would like to make everyone aware that my car,(expensive car) for reference, was vandalized while parked behind my house. Coffee was thrown on the car and left to sit while I was out of town which damaged the paint. I have a security camera that is focused specifically on my parking spot. I have reviewed the footage but since I only know what my immediate neighbors look like I cannot positively identify the assailant, yet. I will review the regulations and act accordingly. I’d also like to mention that my trash cans were stolen for over a month, and being kept in someone’s garage. I am not familiar with the specific DC code, but I am sure that theft continues to be illegal.

Note- the following email was sent to Neighbor 2, evidently in error.

Tue April 23, 2013 at 9:12 PM

From Neighbor 1

I won’t respond. I don’t know if his “easement” includes the right for him to put his trash cans on (address) and frankly, I don’t give a damn. Hope it doesn’t and he has to pay (Neighbor) $ to do so.

Thank god (Neighbor 2) is one of your peeps and not mine. There are too many ass-hole straight men as is.


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