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D.C. schoolchildren weren’t the only ones who got a break from early December’s winter weather: Waste Management Inc., the District’s recycling contractor, fell behind in collecting recyclables in alleys and behind houses. (Curbside service went as scheduled.) Tom Henderson, solid-waste administrator at the Department of Public Works (DPW), says the city has no authority to fine Waste Management for weather-related service delays. “We’re going to be much clearer this time on what happens when there’s inclement weather,” says Henderson. When D.C.’s contract with Waste Management expires in August, the DPW plans to handle alley recycling on its own—a move that would strip Waste Management of 70 percent of its current stops. “This is one area where privatization isn’t working,” Henderson says. “For them to make money, they need to use big trucks going down wide suburban streets. What we have is small winding alleys where we need smaller trucks.” —Josh Levin