There were some funding hiccups along the way, but Mayor Vince Gray announced Thursday that he has secured the necessary $9 million to move forward with his plan for D.C. to buy every household in the District new trash cans and bigger recycling bins.
The mayor first introduced the city to its new bins in November, and trumpeted the deal as nearly finalized. But in December, the council nixed the mayor’s plan to largely fund the project through the city’s retiree health-care fund. (At the time, Gray justified paying for the project through this fund because it had been doing well in the stock market.)
But now, according to a mayoral spokeswoman, Gray is drawing from contingency funds to pay for the majority of the cost of the new cans, which he hopes will boost recycling in the city. Twenty percent of the funding comes from the regular budget.
“I’m glad that we have secured funding so District residents will have new trash and recycling cans,” Gray said in a press release. “We will move forward to make sure all of our residents who use DPW’s garbage and recycling services have new containers for garbage and larger ones for recycling.”
The Department of Public Works will start delivering the cans next month.
Many bins in the District are more than a decade old. But if theirs are relatively new or have been repaired recently by DPW, all residents will get a new trash can and recycling bin. Residents can opt to keep their old cans for additional space.
Residencies that have scheduled trash pickup once a week (which is most of the city except wards 2, 6, and parts of 1) will get 96-gallon bins for trash and a 64-gallon recycling bin. Currently, these residents have 96-gallon trash bins and 32-gallon recycling bins.
Households that get trash picked up twice a week will get 32-gallon trash bins and 48-gallon recycling bins. Recycling only gets picked up once a week.
Photo by Perry Stein