- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 6, 2013

D.C. officials said city workers will pick up trash from federal parks left unserviced during the federal government shutdown at a cost to the city of nearly $58,000 per week.

Federal parks were closed Tuesday at the beginning of the shutdown, and since then the National Park Service has stopped maintaining the properties.

Worried that the parks could become a haven for vermin and rodents if trash is left piling up, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Friday the city would collect trash from 372 sites for the duration of the shutdown.

“It is imperative that someone remove the trash in a timely fashion before garbage piles up and rodents and other vermin are attracted,” Mr. Gray said.

Department of Public Works employees won’t be out on the Mall, however. Trash collectors will not enter parks that are barricaded, leaving them to service smaller neighborhood parks instead. The 372 sites include Dupont Circle, Lincoln Park, Logan Circle, Union Station Plaza, Anacostia Park, and Fort Dupont Park, as well as scores of unnamed, small neighborhood pocket parks that dot the District, public works spokeswoman Linda Grant said.

The District government has remained open during the federal government shutdown, with city officials paying for operations through a contingency reserve fund.

The extra cost incurred by the D.C. government for providing the services is estimated to be $57,930 per week, Ms. Grant said.

Complaints about trash at Stanton Park and Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill prompted the initiative, the mayor’s spokesman Pedro Ribeiro said.

“It’s not something that’s going to be really expensive,” Mr. Ribeiro said. “We’re adding these spots to their already existing routes.”