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NPS: Cleanup ‘going well’ after inauguration, Women’s March

Fading light didn't keep protesters at the Women's March on Washington, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, from making their feelings clear. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

WASHINGTON — The cleanup continues on the National Mall following the inauguration Friday and the Women’s March on Washington Saturday.

The National Park Service has been working to get the area back to its original condition, removing trash, taking down the fencing and pulling up the decking for the recent activities.

“We’ve had our maintenance team out there since last night when they already did a pass,” National Park Service spokeswoman Emily Linroth said Saturday.  “Today, they are really going through with a fine tooth comb and picking up what’s left. They do this every July Fourth, so they are pros at it.”

This time around, officials say, visitors were tidier than prior years. Linroth says so far, the cleanup is going well.

“Fortunately, a lot of people, even though, the trash cans were full, have stacked the trash neatly as close to the trash cans as they could get them, so that is making our job easier,” Linroth said.

The two back-to-back events put the National Park Service to the test, transitioning the National Mall from one event to the other. Crews were able to start taking apart some of the decking and setup from the inauguration overnight Friday into Saturday, but left much of that in place for the Women’s March on Washington.

“We put the decking down in advance, and we left a lot of it down for the events that happened yesterday to ensure the turf would be protected no matter how many people showed up and what direction they went,” Linroth said.

The availability of portable toilets was a concern raised by WTOP listeners.

The National Park Service said the Presidential Inaugural Committee handled the contracts for the portables. Because the Inaugural Committee’s toilet contract was only for inauguration, those portables had to be swapped out for others from a different contractor.

“Given the number of permit requests that we get for First Amendment activities on the National Mall in a given year, let alone over a 36 hour period, we work to make sure that we’re being efficient and we are dovetailing those different activities as best as we can,” Linroth said.


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