Federally run parks in the District are usually maintained by the Park Service. Since the shutdown, many Park Service employees have been furloughed, which means trash in the parks was piling up. This week D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray sent D.C. sanitation workers to the parks to clean up all the trash.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has ordered the Department of Public Works to collect trash from national parks in the city for the remainder of the federal shutdown.
The mayor announced the move Friday out of concern over the spread of vermin.
Under the mayor's order, municipal trash collectors will begin emptying litter cans at national park sites for the duration of the federal shutdown.
"Because the federal government cannot step up to provide this basic service to District residents and visitors, I have authorized DPW to service the litter cans for the duration of the federal shutdown," Gray wrote in the order.
The collections will take place at park sites that are accessible to the public. Those parks are ordinarily under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, but Gray says it's necessary for local trash collectors to get involved at this point.
"I think it's great that the mayor is trying to keep city services going while the government is shut down," Logan Circle resident Paul Jacobs said.
Of course, if the shutdown drags on for too long, city workers may also have to be furloughed.
The district has about two weeks' worth of money on hand that's already been authorized by Congress. But if the money runs out, the D.C. Department of Public Works would have to shut down, halting trash and recycling collection.