The District is embarking on a 72-hour blitz to catch up on trash collection delayed due to recent snowstorms.
Friday and through the weekend, the District’s Department of Public Works is sending trash crews out to collect garbage that has piled up for weeks in some parts of the city after snow accumulations left trash trucks unable to reach residents’ trash cans.
The Presidents Day holiday on Feb. 16 interrupted some trash pickup, with workers off for the day. Trash crews normally would have slid collections back a day, picking up trash on the following day instead. But 6 inches of snowfall on Feb. 17 led the government to close for a snow day. And an additional 4 inches of snow that fell Saturday further complicated matters — making alleyways too slick for trash trucks to safely navigate.
The “All Hands on Deck” trash collection effort will send salt trucks through D.C. alleyways, where many residents place their trash cans out for collection, in order to make the alleys passable by trash trucks. Additional crews and private trash collection companies will also take to the streets this weekend in order to collect all remaining trash.
“We apologize for the delay in service,” city officials said in a statement. “This winter has been particularly challenging, but the District’s government and our employees are rising to the challenge.”
This isn’t the first time the city has struggled with trash collection during icy winter months.
In January 2014, a bout of the flu that left a rash of DPW workers out sick and an inopportune snowstorm combined to leave trash piling up for three weeks in some neighborhoods.
During this weekend’s trash pickup blitz, city officials noted that recycling would be suspended with recyclable items commingled with trash in an effort to speed up the collection process.