- The Washington Times - Friday, October 4, 2013

District officials announced Friday the city will pick up trash from federal parks left unserviced during the federal government shutdown.

Federal parks were closed Tuesday at the beginning of the shutdown, and since then the National Park Service ceased maintenance of the properties.

Worried that the unkempt parks could become a haven for vermin and rodents, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced Friday that the city would collect trash from accessible locations 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. Complaints about trash at Stanton Park and Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill prompted the initiative, mayor’s spokesman Pedro Ribeiro said.

Public works employees first collected trash from several park sites on Thursday and will assess other locations — such as Freedom Plaza located across from the John A. Wilson Building — to determine where additional trash collection is needed as the shutdown continues.

“It’s not something that’s going to be really expensive,” Mr. Ribeiro said, unable to give an exact dollar figure on the cost. “We’re adding these spots to their already existing routes.”

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