Citizens Association of Georgetown Holds Public Health Town Hall
By November 7, 2022 0 780•
Trash and rodents. They’re a never-ending topic in Georgetown (that The Georgetowner has covered for years) and was once again the subject of a town hall meeting sponsored by the Citizens Association of Georgetown (CAG) on Oct. 26 at Christ Church, on the 31st block of O St. NW. But there are always new aspects, initiatives and things to learn. The panel of DC Department of Public Health, Business Improvement District (BID) and Georgetown University Community Outreach officials assembled by CAG President Tara Sakraida Parker didn’t disappoint.
The rodents – rats and mice and the like – have always been a part of Georgetown. They scurry across the paths and even under the seats of Georgetown residents and guests, especially in the evenings, and especially in the increasing number of outdoor dining sites and new restaurants surging into Georgetown through the pandemic. Even the Four Seasons manager Marc Bromley called rodents “the bane” of the hotel’s aspirations to expand outdoor dining at the premier location next to the canal at 29th Street NW.
The Georgetown BID has become a growing hub of resource expertise when it comes to all the new designs of sealed and trap-door types of waste disposal containers now available and the pros and cons of various chemicals and bait that can be used. Increasing trash maintenance inspections by city officials, education, warnings, support, subsidies and serious fines are being constantly updated and tried between the city and especially commercial establishments, according to John Wiebenson, BID’s Director of Operations. One of the most effective methods of rat and mice control seems to involve inspectors with trained rodent-finding dogs. BID can help residents find resources to help with riddance or management of large manifestations of rodents, bees or other pests.
“Georgetown University’s community engagement program is actively involved almost daily in cooperative efforts between Georgetown and its university population, said Office of Neighborhood Life (ONL) Director Cory Peterson. They especially involve student residences in Georgetown neighborhoods, advising, inspecting and educating staff and student residents about maintaining constant trash maintenance. Unique to that community is the annual move-in and especially move-out periods when students traditionally leave piles of trash, paper, broken decorative items and often furniture including couches, beds and mattresses on the sidewalk. “The Georgetown [ONL] now offers free pickup of bulk items during move-out week if students notify them,” said Community Director Sidiki Tarawali. “It’s a service that close neighbors can use as well if they notify us.”
Inspector Harold Davis of DCDPW’s Department for Waste Management spoke at length about ever-changing upgrades to trash containers – for the most part given out free to property owners – and regulations that need to be followed or fines faced. To almost every question town hall participants asked him, he would advise “call 311” – the city’s official connection to D.C. agencies that even involve real live people if you’re patient.
Special services can also be found by searching on line, for instance electronics recycling. While old and unused electronic appliances and devices that are prohibited from regular trash pickup can be dropped off in person at the Benning Road Transfer Station at 3200 Benning Road SE, a city truck will pick up devices in a particular ward at scheduled times each month by the Department of Energy & Environment Ecycle.DC electronics recycling program. Ward 2 pickups are not on the November schedule at this time. Specific information about “collection events for electronics recycling” can be found at https://doee.dc.gov/ecycle.