National Park Service resumes trash pickup at National Mall, DC-area parks

The lid of a trash can is left open as trash peeks out at Rock Creek Park on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
The lid of a trash can is left open as trash peeks out at Rock Creek Park on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
The National Park Service announced it will start trash pickup again at its parks. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
The National Park Service announced it will start trash pickup again at its parks. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Trash overflows from garbage cans along the National Mall in D.C. on January 2, 2018. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Trash overflows from garbage cans along the National Mall in D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez )
A trash can overflows as people site outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial by the Tidal Basin, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, in Washington, during a partial government shutdown. Chances look slim for ending the partial government shutdown any time soon. Lawmakers are away from Washington for the holidays and have been told they will get 24 hours' notice before having to return for a vote. Washington area national parks will remain open during the partial government shutdown, but without visitor center services. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
A trash can overflows as people site outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial by the Tidal Basin, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, in Washington, during a partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jimmy Taylor
Jimmy Taylor of the Department of Public Works collects trash at the National Mall in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 24:  Trash begins to accumulate along the National Mall near the Washington Monument due to a partial shutdown of the federal government on December 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. The partial shutdown will continue for at least a few more days as lawmakers head home for the holidays as Democrats and the Trump administration cannot agree on an amount of funding for border security. (Photo by Win McNamee/Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Trash begins to accumulate along the National Mall near the Washington Monument due to a partial shutdown of the federal government on Dec. 24, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Image/Win McNamee)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 24:  Trash begins to accumulate along the National Mall due to a partial shutdown of the federal government on December 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. The partial shutdown will continue for at least a few more days as lawmakers head home for the holidays as Democrats and the Trump administration cannot agree on an amount of funding for border security. (Photo by Win McNamee/Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Trash begins to accumulate along the National Mall due to a partial shutdown of the federal government on Dec. 24, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Image/Win McNamee)
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The lid of a trash can is left open as trash peeks out at Rock Creek Park on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
The National Park Service announced it will start trash pickup again at its parks. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Trash overflows from garbage cans along the National Mall in D.C. on January 2, 2018. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A trash can overflows as people site outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial by the Tidal Basin, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, in Washington, during a partial government shutdown. Chances look slim for ending the partial government shutdown any time soon. Lawmakers are away from Washington for the holidays and have been told they will get 24 hours' notice before having to return for a vote. Washington area national parks will remain open during the partial government shutdown, but without visitor center services. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jimmy Taylor
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 24:  Trash begins to accumulate along the National Mall near the Washington Monument due to a partial shutdown of the federal government on December 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. The partial shutdown will continue for at least a few more days as lawmakers head home for the holidays as Democrats and the Trump administration cannot agree on an amount of funding for border security. (Photo by Win McNamee/Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 24:  Trash begins to accumulate along the National Mall due to a partial shutdown of the federal government on December 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. The partial shutdown will continue for at least a few more days as lawmakers head home for the holidays as Democrats and the Trump administration cannot agree on an amount of funding for border security. (Photo by Win McNamee/Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Shortly after the partial government shutdown began, photos began popping up on social media showing trash cans overflowing along the National Mall and at other parks under the National Park Service. The lack of maintenance came as 80 percent of park service workers were furloughed.

In response, D.C. and community groups began stepping in to help keep parks clean. But now, their help may no longer be needed.

The National Park Service has announced that trash pickup will begin once again, even though the agency is running without federal funds due to the budget impasse. And, the National Park Service will remove snow for the snowstorm expected this weekend. 

The money to pay for cleanup crews will come from fees collected at parks nationwide.

“It won’t reopen parks that have been closed, but will help us take care of those parks that have continued to host visitors with no staff on hand. We’re still determining which parks it will affect; the National Mall was among the first to get its plan approved,” said park service spokesman Mike Litterst in an email.

Additional sanitation services and emergency road repair will also start up again and will be funded by the admission money collected by the park service.

“We appreciate the generous support of many of our partners, the D.C. government and BIDs across the city who helped us maintain our parks during the lapse in appropriations,” said acting National Capital Regional Director Lisa Mendelson in a news release.

The park service said it will use the fee money under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act to provide basic services at parks and monuments. The money will allow NPS to keep parks that are still open safe for those who visit them, according to the statement.

It also said they’ll be able to better protect park resources, including Anacostia Park, Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Capitol Hill Parks, Civil War Defenses of Washington, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Georgetown-area parks, Kenilworth Park, Meridian Hill Park, National Mall and Memorial Parks, President’s Park, Rock Creek Park and Suitland Parkway.

Though many of the D.C. area’s parks remain open, skeleton staffs will remain until a budget deal is reached. That means the normal visitors centers will remain off-limits, and visitors won’t find the knowledgeable rangers who normally educate visitors about the parks.

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