During Shutdown, D.C. Government Cleans Up Federal Government's Mess

January 8, 2019 AT 7:40 AM

By Rachel Sadon

Images of overflowing garbage cans and litter around the National Mall are a federal government shutdown classic. But things aren’t nearly as bad as one might think from a handful of posts on social media showing trash pile-ups.

That’s because, as promised, the District’s Department of Public Works has dispatched extra workers to pick up the federal government’s garbage. And for the most part, the city’s federal properties are pretty clean.

Even as the partial government shutdown is affecting tourism, marriages, and bank accounts across the region, the District is still open and providing all city services. It wasn’t always that way, but a rider in annual spending bills since the 2013 shutdown has enabled the D.C. government to keep operating using local funds.

So while the Smithsonian museums are shuttered and the bathrooms barred, the city and a variety of community organizations are pitching in and picking up the trash at sites normally managed by the National Park Service.

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