City official admits to ordering some old trash bins to be thrown away, not recycled

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Between city trash trucks at D.C.'s Fort Totten trash transfer station, ABC7 News spotted resident Guillermo Fajardo personally delivering his old trash bins, to get rid of them.

"They never came and picked it up, so I have to bring it myself," he said.

Across the city, residents are irritated by old trash bins still in the street that they expected the city to pick up weeks ago when it distributed the new ones.

"I think it's nonsense. There are too many of them here," said district resident Nasser Danesh.

"They should have had a better plan than what they have now," agreed resident Ranard Wood.

That irritation was the subject of much of Mayor VIncent Gray's weekly news conference Wednesday.

"I'm not happy about it either," Gray said.

Public Works Director William Howland said city workers are getting the bins broken down and prepared for recycling by a bulk buyer. So far, about 71,000 bins have been collected - yet he admits, with all the complaints, he ordered some workers to just grab 5,000 of the bins and treat them as trash. Forget recycling, he candidly admitted.

"We just didn't anticipate the demand would come as quickly," he added.

For Guillermo Fajardo, it was a beneficial trip to Fort Totten - he got rid of his trash cans - but he had a question.

"I don't understand - why replace it? Because the old one used to be useful," he said. I don't understand why they [spend] the taxpayers' money on that. "