DAN GANNON/THE HOYA Students will now drop their trash in designated locations.
Students will now drop their trash in designated locations.

Students living in university-owned townhouses will have to walk their trash to one of four collection sites within a block of their homes once city-provided curbside trash pickup ceases Feb. 3.
The change in university trash policy was announced in an email Tuesday to on-campus townhouse residents and arises as a result of current methods of trash disposal that have led to sanitation and rodent issues.

“The technical reasons for the change are apparent if one walks our community streets,” Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management Robin Morey wrote in an email to The Hoya. “There is improper storage and flow of trash which consist of open trash cans which are not properly sealed, trash cans in public space on days other than collection days, too many trash cans, trash bags on the curb and other debris improperly stowed on the sidewalks.”

The mishandled trash not only is an eyesore to the community but has led to rodent problems, according to Morey. The new waste disposal plan includes daily trash pickup, new rodent control efforts for the area surrounding the dumpsters and regular cleaning procedures.

Townhouses on the 3600 block of Prospect Street have been using a central trash collection system on their block for years, according to the email sent to students this week. The new policy will help to standardize collection methods across residence halls.

Planning and Facilities Management employees from the university will collect the old plastic roller trash bins and distribute trash bags to townhouse residences once curbside service ceases next week.
Morey said that although students did not request the change in policy, they were included in the decision-making process through the Georgetown Community Partnership Steering Committee as well as the Environmental and Landlords Working Group.

Students have expressed concern, however, that the new trash disposal system will be an unwelcome burden, especially during inclement weather, leading to longer walks to collection sites.

“I think it’s a policy that’s not necessarily advantageous to students,” townhouse resident Ben Forester (MSB ’16) said. “We signed a contract at the beginning of the year to get our trash taken out. Now what they’re calling improvement is they’re pretty much making us take our trash out to a farther location every day. We have to walk two blocks every day with all our trash bags.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson said that though the longer distance is a hindrance, the old method of collection presented an annoyance of a different type.

“I understand that carrying trash to containers can be a chore,” Olson wrote in an email to The Hoya. “I know that managing trash cans is also a chore. We believe this change will not add a burden. We appreciate students’ flexibility in adapting to this new approach.”

Townhouse resident Nina Eng (NHS ’16) shared a different point of view than Olson.

“While the university feels it will aid students, they neglect to realize that the extra effort of moving the trash can through the house or to the backyard is negligible in comparison to the new required process of walking trash to the new further trash locations,” Eng said.

Staff Writer Katherine Richardson contributed reporting to this story.

One Comment

  1. Past Townhouse Resident says:

    Please, this is hardly an extra effort. Trash pickup was already dismal at best, carrying a few bags out a week on your way to class is not even a chore in and of itself.

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