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D.C. to pick up fed's slack, will collect mall trash

Friday - 10/4/2013, 3:23pm  ET

trash_nps_dcgov.jpg
The mayor's office tweeted this image of D.C. Public Works crews removing trash from federal parks Friday. Mayor Gray authorized city workers to take over trash removal duties while National Park Service workers are furloughed. (Courtesy @MayorVinceGray)

WASHINGTON - Garbage collection is among the most basic, routine services any government can provide for its citizens.

But because of the federal government shutdown, there is no one to collect the trash piling up along the National Mall and at other National Park Service sites throughout the District, many of which are popular tourist sites. Enter D.C. Public Works to the rescue.

Mayor Vincent Gray has authorized public works staff to collect the trash at publicly accessible National Park sites for the duration of the shutdown. The trash needs to be collected or it could attract rodents and pests.

"The National Park Service parks in the District attract large numbers of visitors - especially during the unseasonably warm weather we have been enjoying lately," Gray said in a statement. "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."

He asks park visitors to use trash cans to help keep the parks clean and free of vermin. The trash collection began Friday.

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