Believe me when I say there is trash

Trash bag and trash

Shane on Q has been to BACA meetings before to plead for help or some relief from the trash that piles up on the 100-200 block of Q Street NW. The street gets cleaned up on the Co-op’s side, and I gather that is due to management of the property and its block proper. However the opposite side of the street gets to have McDonald’s bags, liquor bottles, and today, watermelon rind littered upon it. The only one cleaning it up (unless you witness someone else also doing it tell me) is Shane. And Shane is getting kinda frustrated.For Flower Power I did a walkby on Q, noticed the trash and decided to get a bag and clean up. I ran into Shane and he offered to join me. He wondered if he should leave the trash so that when the FP group walked through we’d see the trash and understand his predicament. Noted that his problem was he was out of the range of cleaning crews and trash pick up guys. 100-200 Q is too far west of the North Capitol and NOMA clean up crews. It is too far north for the lone guy from S.O.M.E. picking up trash. Too far east for Brian (big tall blond guy with the trash can). And not adjacent to a major church, which would have some caretaker.

I suggested residential parking. Now I’ve just had an unfortunate incident with residential parking as my new roommate got a ticket, with me thinking that parking enforcement wouldn’t be around. Wrong, so I am very aware of the downsides of resident parking. But I think it might help with the trash. The trash come from people visiting and being bad guests, tossing their trash on the street. Now my block got the residential parking to combat drug dealers. The presence of drug dealers is down, but that comes from a combination of things of which parking was a tool.

This page contains a single entry by Mari published on June 26, 2010 11:38 AM.

My weekend

Well Saturday was the BACA clean up which Caryn over the BACA blog mentions the turnout was low. Well I didn’t help matters by not posting the announcement earlier, though I got it earlier. Also there were supposed to be fliers about it, but of a neighborhood of our size flier distribution takes a while. Yes, it doesn’t seem like it but you never realize how many friggin’ houses are just on one side of the street until you have to place a flier in every single one of those doors. Personally, I don’t care for the stuff the flier in the fence method, as the wind can take those away. I took on the top triangular part of the TC till my bag got ripped. There wasn’t much to do as we have a few neighbors who regularly clean the sidewalks.
Before I picked up my bag I was walking with Brett to 1st & P, where BACA normally starts these things, trying to explain the “Broken Window” theory and why clean ups are important. I’m hoping B. was playing Devil’s advocate when he questioned the effectiveness of a clean up and the ‘broken windows’ theory. Quick summary, trash adds to the perception of crime and disorder.
After the clean up I ran my usual Saturday errands, one being the warehouse area on Florida Ave NE. At US Beef I ran into Ms. Frozen Tropics, Elise, who had a hunk of meat for carnitas. I had a bag full of drumsticks for curry, two pounds of butter, for making ghee, and a frozen boneless lamb. I mentioned that the frozen whole chicken there was rubbery, but the fresh chicken was quite good. Elise mentioned she was going to hit Mexican Fruit next for limes. But there were limes near the register at US Beef and I had already been to Mexican Fruit, whose limes were lackluster that day, so we both picked up bags of lemons and limes. I was going to make marmalade, Elise margaritas. Somewhere in the middle of that a friend of Elise came up with a small tub of tofu from a nearby store. I expressed my confusion with the warehouse area of knowing which stores will sell to you. Apparently there is a tofu place between US Beef and Sam Wang, you go up to the window, you tell the guy you want the white tub, and for $4 you get a small gallonish tub of tofu. Half shopping experience. Half speakeasy.
Sunday, was chicken Sunday. Chicken stock. Chicken Marsala. Chicken Biryani. Buttery Chicken. And chicken curry. Somewhere in there I decided to clean 1/2 of my alley, with some help from a neighbor. The street was busy with open houses. The house that was under contract, is back on the market. Then a new neighbor has decided to move to the west coast and rent out his house so there were people dropping by to check the place out.

Clean up tomorrow

I was meaning to post this earlier:

After our snowiest winter in history, months without street sweepers, and damage from the snow, let’s say goodbye to winter by springing into action! Here are the details for the first 2010 clean-up:

Date – March 27 (rain date – April 1)
Time – 10:00am – 1:00pm
Meeting Location – First and P Sts

We will have brooms, bags, and shovels on hand. You may want to bring gloves as well as some of your own supplies … just in case.

We have made fliers but may not be able to hand them all out door-to-door. Please email me if you are interested in distributing to your block. Also, email me or Anita with ideas for volunteers.

Pete and Anita

Trash and the new people

One tell a tale sign of a new neighbor, should the movements of a house absolutely escape us, is trash.
If you have a big alley, your trash tends to get picked up in the rear of the house. If you have a small (too small for a truck) alley or no alley your trash tends to get picked up in the front. And if you are in a multi-unit building your trash might get picked up by a private contractor.
So when you dump your bags of trash onto the sidewalk, where it awaits the cats, squirrels, and birds to put holes in them, you have revealed that you are new. I’m waiting to see if one of your closer neighbors is going to pin a sign on your pile of trash informing you of the proper trash disposal. Like they did the last time a new person set out trash on the sidewalk.

When the Mayor Does His Walkthrough Will He See This?

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

My failing in this is that I can’t seem to find the confirmation number of my submitted illeagal dumping complaint, which I filed a week or two ago.
Here is the sad history of these dumped mattresses.
June 13th I led a Flower Power tour. Amongst the people I led was a DPW mucky-muck. When we walked past these mattresses, and he saw that he and his assistant did some furious Blackberrying. So I figured that was that and the offending trash would be gone in no time. He also spotted one of my neighbor’s big truck (for hauling crap) parked on the street and said that would get ticketed. As far as I know, it didn’t figuring on L. eventually moving said truck.
So a week or two passes and the mattresses are still there. I do an on-line request to have them removed. As of yesterday evening, they are still there.
Mayor Fenty is scheduled to walk through my neighborhood today. I’ve informed my SMD ANC commissioner of the matter. I’ve also let it be so you can get the mapped coordinates of where this picture was taken, so that hopefully the mattresses can go bye-bye.
But on the bright side, the illeagal dumping in my alley has improved over the years. Before, whole rooms would get dumped in people’s backyards. Couches, beds, dressers, construction debris, and so on. Since people have fenced off their yards the trash is limited to what can be lined up on the fence.

S.O.M.E. and cleaning

I’ve been meaning to mention something I’ve noticed, and despite the rocky relationship the neighborhood has with S.O.M.E., this should be mentioned. Several weekends when I’m running errands on the eastern end of the TC and NE DC I see a gentleman in a S.O.M.E. apron pushing along a cleaning cart sweeping up the sidewalks along North Capitol. I have seen him as far as the 100-200 block of P Street.
I’ve noticed this within the past year or so. In the earlier part of the decade, residents in the Hanover region would constantly complain about S.O.M.E. One of the complaints being about S.O.M.E. meal-related trash. Shall I gather things have gotten better?

And ye shall know them by their trail of trash

That is a picture of some sort of spent firework on my kitchen roof. But all in all it was a tolerable 4th weekend. None of the pre-teens or teenagers managed to blow off any of their fingers or put out an eye, though making very good attempts to do so for the past few days. Someone did call the police (not I), a cruiser came by and the police said something to the kids that made them stop for all of 5 minutes.
There was the annual display of fireworks on the corner and it seems that it wasn’t as big as last year. Walking around, other corners like 3rd and R, and spaces (yard of JF Cook) were used for DIY displays as firework junk lays strewn all over on the street.
For my own block I am thankful we have 3 gentlemen who voluntarily clean up. There is alley cleaning man, who has been cleaning the alley behind me for as long as I can remember. He occasionally puts up tersely written signs about dumping and throwing “your” trash around. He got up most of the debris left by the neighbors across the way who were setting off fireworks in the alley. Bry, when he isn’t out of town supervising Christian missions in malaria infested countries, cleans our street, sometimes the block over. One time I spotted him cleaning the other side of New Jersey Avenue and I yelled at him. His competitor and sub (when Bry is out of town) is J. who also cleans our street, going down the sidewalk with broom and trash can. So most of the firework debris on our street has been taken care of, except the stuff the kids were blowing up yesterday evening.

Dude, Where’s My Trash/Recycle Bin?

Ever come back from work to a sidewalk or alley strewn with trash and recycle bins tossed around as if a hurricane had blown through. You look among the bins laying on their sides, searching for the one that is yours, but most of them all look alike. And maybe, and I hope not, you may discover the one that is yours, is gone.
This is my little service announcement to tell you to put your address on your trash and recycle bin. Not in magic marker, as that fades, but feel free to use it on the inner lid. It doesn’t fade as quickly there. Paint. Use paint, it lasts longer. Do the lid and the sides. And try to put your whole address if possible. I once discovered a Bloomingdale recycle bin on my TC block. Luckily, the owners had put the street address on the bin, so I rolled it on over, across Florida Avenue, over to the address listed. I hope it was NW.
Also, for myself, does anyone have one of those old square recycle bins they aren’t using? I would like an extra container to grow tomatoes in.

Trash Day and trash cans

Because today is a holiday, your normal trash day will be the next day. Like if today was your trash day, then tomorrow your trash will get picked up. So that’s when your trash cans should be out on the curb or in the alley. But you can be like a lot of people and ignore all that and put it out when you normally set it out and let it sit for an extra day. Then while it is bulging with trash the feral cats, the psycho squirrels, and birds will check it out and strew garbage all out on the street.
Over on one of the hood listservs trashcans seem to getting kidnapped by handimen. I’m amazed how few of the cans on my block get napped. I mean they sit on the sidewalk, not inside the yards, and unmarked. If that don’t scream TAKE ME, I don’t know what does. I guess it depends on who is doing work in your area and if they need to “borrow” your can.

Adventures in Diversity: Trash

This weekend I spied that the neighbors put their big green trash bin out and their blue bin was overflowing with trash in bags. For those of you who don’t know, the blue bin is for recycling. Also we don’t have trash pick up on the weekends.
This is where I became the buttinsky neighbor. I took the trash bag on top and threw it into one of the other neighbor’s not-so-full trash cans. Then I grabbed a brochure from DPW I had stuck to the fridge and walked over to the recycling offender’s house. I knocked on the door and the kids answered. I said that the city wasn’t collecting trash that day and they won’t take trash from the recycling cans. I got a wide-eyed saucer look and they yelled something back to their mom in the rear of the house. Mom came to the front, I tried to explain myself and then handed her the brochure.
I should mention, Mom does not speak English. Or Spanish, that other great American language. I’m not really sure if the kids speak English either. Dad speaks perfect English, however, Dad wasn’t home.
Also this is not the first time I have made attempts to explain the trash/ recycling system to the family. When they first moved in their trash can never got to the curb. They would fill it. But it never moved to the spot where the garbage men would take it. I mentioned it to the son, but he just smiled and nodded. It still did not move until I moved it. Once that was done, they figured it out.
I have no idea what language the family speaks. I understand that their native land is diverse with several ethnic groups and a couple of languages…. Well that’s what I sort of remember from a speech given at some street fair in Adams Morgan.
The DPW brochure has a bunch of big pictures showing what kinds of materials go into the blue bin. Hopefully, this will help in my evil plan to impose my western recycling values. Next, imposing my anti-littering values on the native population.