The grease spill early yesterday morning that shut down traffic on a swatch of U Street NW ended up affecting a large part of the U Street and Logan neighborhoods. According to the city, the substance was cooking oil collected from nearby restaurants. After the spill, other cars and trucks then spread it to surrounding streets.
Dcist reported (with photos) yesterday that “a truck that was driving down U Street at 4 a.m. this morning [Wednesday] left a significant trail of oil and grease on the road.”
The fallout ended up going far beyond U Street. First, the DC Deparment of Public Works suspended residential street sweeping for the day, Wednesday, July 7, in Wards 1, 2, and 4, apparently because the equipment was needed to clean up the spill.
Then, DPW announced that last night it would be working through Wednesday night to remove the sand that was put down to soak up the oil–in an area that encompassed 7th Street NW on the east, 16th Street on the west, V Street on the north and Rhode Island Avenue on the south. DPW said it was then planning to use two 3,000-gallon flushers, loaded with a water-soluble degreaser, which would be sprayed on the streets in these areas.
The DC Department of Public Works is picking up trash and recyclables an hour early, at 6 am, on days when the temperature is forecast for at least 90° F and air quality is bad. This policy was in effect yesterday and today and will continue Thursday, June 24, and Friday, June 25.
Residents may put their trash and recyclables out for pick-up starting at 6 pm the night before collections so they do not have to change their morning schedules to make sure these materials are collected. Throughout the summer, when the temperature is predicted to be 90˚ or higher or the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments announces unhealthy air quality (Code Orange or Code Red days), DPW collection crews will begin their work at 6 am to avoid health or environmental issues.