Washington’s city government has long been a symbol of poor management, wasteful programs, and gross inefficiencies. That image was reaffirmed this month after the city turned a program to replace trash bins into an utter disaster. Shortly before the primary election, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) rushed the new cans out to every citizen. The program was so rushed that there appeared to be no system in place to collect the old cans. Now, it appears that the city has not only been chucking new cans but it has not been recycling the plastic cans — simply pumping them in Virginia for incineration. However, the city charged two people who tried to reuse the discarded bins.
The city delivered more than 200,000 new cans but left old cans on the streets. The result was alleys full of new an old cans. Then the rain washed off the stickers to identify the new cans so that crews began to collect new and old bins for disposal. In the meantime, the city arrested a District artist who decided to take some of the old discarded cans and repurpose them as flowerpots. So, while she was being prosecuted, the city was collecting old and new cans to throw them away. At least 132 truckloads of plastic bins — a third of the 16,000 cans that were to be collected and recycled — were simply dumped in Virginia to be burned.
The city has a curious defense. Since it failed to properly rollout the program, the mix of old and new cans now were clogging streets and presenting safety issues. Thus, the city decided to dump rather than recycle the cans in its rush to deal with its gross negligence. While the new cans came with stickers to put on old cans reading “Take Me” to allow them to be collected, the stickers fell off and left crews uncertain as to which cans were to be collected. Public Works Director William Howland (right) ordered dump trucks to “blitz” the city and treat the cans as garbage to be dumped.
In the meantime, outgoing Mayor Grey was not available — he is traveling to Las Vegas for a taxpayer supported conference. He is also unreachable to deal with another year of appalling school scores for the District and a new investigation showing police officers running red lights with impunity.
The city however charged Mina Karini and a friend with theft after they took the “Take Me” signs literally and repurposed some of the cans as planters. The District argued that by taking the cans, the two acted to “deprive” the city of “property of value” and potential profits from recycling the cans – which of course they did not do.
Source: Washington Post