From Candida Mannozzi. You can reach her at candida[AT]borderstan.com.
Featured photo by Candida Mannozzi: A hyacinth in bloom on Corcoran Street NW.
True story: I was returning home on an errand around lunchtime and a babysitter, a friendly looking lady in her 50s, was sitting at the bottom of the flight of steps that lead to my building’s front door. She was spoon-feeding her ward some yogurt. As she realized she was blocking me from getting into my building, she apologized profusely and made way. I smiled, thanked her and went inside.
About five minutes later, I was on my way out again and the babysitter and stroller were gone. In their place, on my front stoop, was the empty yogurt container. SERIOUSLY?! She was SO sorry to be sitting on my stoop, but leaving her trash there was not a problem? Wow. Well, I’m glad to know some people have their priorities all synced-up. I look forward to a memorable “come to Jesus” moment the day I run into her again.
I feel for all the owners of front stoops and gardens, who regularly have to pick up the garbage that rude passers-by feel perfectly entitled to toss over a railing or bush onto their property, instead of finding the closest public garbage can. Not to mention those urban hybrids, native to our neighborhood: the empty beer and liquor containers that regularly blossom in our gardens and sidewalks after every weekend night.
Where I grew up, we used to tell people caught littering not to publicize the fact that they’d been raised in a pigsty. Borderstan, it’s time to take back our front stoops, gardens and sidewalks! I plan to shame any litterbug I catch in the act. Thoughts?
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From Mike Kohn. Have an urban etiquette topic to address? Send Mike an email at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @mike_kohn.
You know what stinks? Trash. Even in my own apartment, I found myself needing to quickly get a bag of trash out of my apartment since it had somehow managed to smell up the place overnight. One thing can make everything around reek of garbage — and nobody likes that.
Now, I’m not going to get on my soapbox and tell you why saving the planet should be at the top of your agenda. Yes, I support the environment and work by day for a company that emphasizes the importance of sustainability, and I love that. But I don’t hug trees and this column isn’t a desperate plea for you to take action.
Dear Newly Arrived Downtown Resident: Public trash cans on the street are NOT for your household trash. Not at all. It’s illegal. Sometimes the city trash collectors or inspectors will take your household trash, trace you, contact you and FINE you. If problems persist with a specific can, the city might remove the can.
Instead, let’s talk about how your trash is affecting my life. Literally.
- Put the trash in the trash can. I swear, it could not be a simpler instruction. And yet, I see trash on the street and blowing in the wind.
- Along the same lines, tie up your trash bags. This is really for anyone who leaves their trash in a container outside. Trash smells bad. Like I already mentioned, we all know it, so keep it locked up as best you can.
- Sometimes, I will admit that it’s hard to put your casual trash in trash cans because they’re full. And with that in mind, don’t place your household trash in public bins. You have a trash can. Use it. For many of us in townhouses, this requires us to go to the dark and scary alley when it’s way easier to dump your stuff in the public bin outside your house. But doing that prevents everyone else from putting trash in the bin. And when people on the street are able to use the bins… well, that makes everyone happier, doesn’t it?
- Even if it’s kind of a pain, recycle — even if it’s just a little bit. OK, I had to get an environmental plug in there somewhere, right? Maybe it’s too much of a pain to do everything, but if you recycle just that one plastic bottle or that one glass container, you’ll be doing some good. Good for you!
Let’s be honest. Overall, Borderstan is a pretty clean neighborhood. We don’t have a major trash problem. But as we keep growing, this is a good way to make sure it stays clean and doesn’t get, well, trashy. Ever noticed any problems? Have you seen delinquents with their garbage?
As always, if you have any crazy urban challenges, please send them my way at [email protected] or find me on Twitter @mike_kohn so we can right your etiquette wrong!
The Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2F/Logan Circle meets Wednesday night, July 1 at 7 p.m. at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle NW. One item of note on the agenda of interest to some Borderstanians is “1400 Block of R Street, NW: Street/Sidewalk cleanliness.” The item is under “Community Development Committee Report (Michael Benardo, Chair) – 8:25 p.m.”
- Who: Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F
- What: Regular Monthly Meeting
- When: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 7 p.m.
- Where: Washington Plaza Hotel at 10 Thomas Circle NW
The agenda is available at the ANC 2F Web site. Remember that East Borderstan (east of 15th) is in ANC 2F.
The D.C. Department of Public Works (DPW) has delayed trash, bulk trash and recycling collection this week by one day due to the snow and ice. If your normal pick up day was Wednesday, it wil be today; Thursday pick ups on Friday and Friday pick ups on Saturday. More information here.
On October 6, the DC city government announced an expansion of its recycling program. From the release:
Mayor Adrian Fenty announced that starting today Department of Public Works recycling collection crews will accept an expanded list of items for recycling, especially plastics. Now residents can recycle film plastics like grocery, produce, and dry cleaning bags, as well as aerosol cans and a variety of rigid plastic including plastic lawn furniture, toys and flower pots.
From the D.C. Department of Public Works:
The DC Department of Public Works (DPW) announced today how services will be affected in observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 1, 2008.
- Trash and Recycling Collections: There will be no trash and recycling collections. All Monday trash and recycling collections will “slide” to the next day. Trash and recycling containers should be put out for collection no earlier than 6:30 pm the night before collection and removed from public space by 8 pm on the day(s) of collection.
- Parking Enforcement: DPW will suspend enforcement of parking meters, residential parking, and rush hour lane restrictions. It also will suspend towing of abandoned vehicles.
- Ft. Totten: Ft. Totten Trash Transfer Station will be closed Monday. It will reopen Tuesday for residents to bring bulk trash.
- Other Services: Other services that will be suspended for Labor Day include scheduled street and alley cleaning, graffiti removal, and nuisance abatement.
- Household Hazardous Waste/E-Cycling/ Shredding: The Benning Road Trash Transfer Station, at 3200 Benning Road, NE , and the Ft. Totten Trash Transfer Station at 4900 Bates Road, NE, are open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to receive residents’ unwanted toxic items, such as pesticides, batteries and motor oil. Electronics, including televisions, computers and cell phones, will be accepted. Residents also may bring up to five boxes of personal paper documents and credit cards to be shredded for free.