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My buddy Andrew advised me to look into the trash pickup in Washington, D.C. since it is after all news-worthy information. I can’t just drop a “all-hell-will-break-loose” bomb on my readers and then move on. It seems as though the city itself won’t be such a mess after all due to a cash reserve fund, which will keep essentials running for approximently two weeks.

A Washington Post article that ran the day before the government shutdown talked about what would happen once shop closed. One of the issues it tackles is, “Would the city of Washington, D.C. be affected?”

Only if the shutdown goes on longer than a few weeks. In theory, the District of Columbia is supposed to shut down all but its most essential services during a government shutdown. […] Some background: The District of Columbia is the only city barred from spending funds during a federal government shutdown, save for a few select services. During the 1995-’96 shutdown, the city was only able to keep police, firefighters and EMS units on duty. Trash collection and street sweeping came to a stop until Congress finally intervened. This time, however, the District is taking a more defiant stance.

Take it into consideration that the rumors regarding trash day spread based on understandable circumstances, especially since certain news sources seemed to be under the same impression as I was about the government’s organization. Other people were also not informed and they were concerned, frustrated and confused, which led the worry.

D.C.'s garbage collection stops during a shutdown. (The Washington Post)

D.C.’s garbage collection stops during a shutdown. (The Washington Post)

On Wednesday, the city began collecting trash in the city’s federally owned parks, such as Lincoln Park and those in Capitol Hill. According to Washington City Paper (Vince Gray takes out the trash), they cannot do anything for the barricaded national monuments, and they probably won’t be reimbursed later by the feds when the shutdown is over.

I like this quote at the end of the article: The abandoned garbage cans are yet another reason for Gray to be frustrated with Congress.  “I think he’s getting ready to get out there with a pitchfork pretty soon,” [mayoral spokesman Pedro] Ribeiro says.

Gray ain’t alone in this struggle.


What a Government Shutdown will look like by US News

D.C. to run $58K weekly tab for park trash collection by Washington Times

D.C. to pick up fed’s slack, will collect mall trash by wtop.com