More and more of the D.C. government’s attention lately seems focused on garbage—literally. In the Fourth Police District, officials are rolling out a pilot program that could fine litterers $75. The municipal budget crisis means new Supercans, which used to be provided free to new homeowners, will cost $62.50. And had the federal government shut down last month, District trash would have gone uncollected.
Might there be a correlation between the presence of trash and the easy availability of somewhere to throw it out? Using data on 311 service requests from the District’s Citywide Data Warehouse, we’ve mapped calls for Supercan deliveries between April 10 and May 10 and complaints about illegal dumping in the same time period. No obvious pattern emerges when we look at it, but for some reason, the phrase “garbage in, garbage out” did come to mind.