Food Vendors Blamed for Overflowing Trash During Cherry Blossom Festival

Tourists who flocked to the National Mall to see the famous cherry blossoms also got an eyeful of trash. Cans were overflowing, and the National Park Service says a lot of it was from illegal dumping by food vendors.

“We had such pedestrian gridlock we couldn't even get our trash trucks through,” said Carol Johnson of the U.S. National Park Service. “And our maintenance guys told me that this last weekend was equal to the Fourth of July and maybe more.”

A closer look shows it wasn't just tourist trash but food vendors, according to the Park Service.

“They're supposed to take out their own trash,” Johnson said. “And when we looked at the pictures from the weekend we could see a lot of it was commercial trash.”

The park service said it would work with district government to step up enforcement on streets around the Mall for the Fourth of July and future events.

“We went through a long regulatory reform period and we supported severe fines for things just like this because we recognize that we have a lot of flexibility in D.C. in where we can go, and everybody should be playing by the rules,” said Che Ruddell-Tabisola of the DMV Food Truck Association.

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