The D.C. government is always keen on coming up with ways to communicate more effectively with their customers.

Recently, the Department of Public Works outdid itself. That is to say, in an effort to explain what happens with garbage pickups after a city holiday, the agency may have devised one of the most confusing visual aids on record.

The simple text-based explanation of holidays and garbage pickups goes like this: After a holiday when the city does not pick up trash, the trucks will come by one day later than usual. Is that so complicated? Apparently DPW wanted to make absolutely certain no one could actually figure out such a simple concept and will be sending this “slide guide” postcard to all city residents:

How silly of me to think the simple explanation would make sense to most people. Somehow, the statement of DPW Director William O. Howland Jr. included in the press release announcing the slide guide works a bit better. “Every week, we collect from 110,000 households, and when a holiday occurs, trash and recycling collections ‘slide’ to the next day,” he said.

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