Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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The federal government shutdown left nonfederal D.C. in limbo. The District’s own government still functioned normally, thanks to the city’s contingency fund, but the stuff the feds usually do in the middle of the city stopped, like trash collection in parks.

Cue a rescue from, of all things, the D.C. government. With rats frolicking in the parks’ growing trash piles, the District stepped in, adding trash cans that normally would be federal responsibility to the city’s garbage routes.

The District opted opted not to ask to be reimbursed for the price of the collections when Congress finally reopened the government. The city got something worth much more out the collection than the tens of thousands of dollars it cost: For once, D.C. could tell the feds they were doing it wrong.