After all the incessant flogging and flyers about today’s Hazardous Waste drop-off at Carter Barron, I rather expected it all to run smoothly. Really, it seemed so well-publicized that they had to have been expecting a serious crowd, right?
Sigh. I really should’ve known better. But after two hours of waiting in the car in a line that stretched for blocks and blocks in both directions of 16th Street and the surrounding cross streets, with horns honking and people flailing and (cue sad irony alert) gas-guzzlers chugging, we finally bailed. Our car was low on gas and there was no end in sight. At the corner of the main entrance, with still aways to go to the designated drop-off at the parking lot, people were just walking up and dumping the contents of their cars, with the DPW people waving their arms “no” and “we don’t have the manpower today to carry this stuff back there for you” and other such protestations. As we were leaving a cop was on the scene, talking people down in the their cars as temperatures rose. No one could adequately answer why the delay was so bad.
But no one needs to – it’s obvious. They were simply unprepared for the amount of residents who took their civic duty seriously and decided to commit to legally disposing of hazmats. They didn’t think through the manpower needed or the difficulties of traffic flow for a drop-off location that basically traps cars. There was even a kids soccer game in progress which probably clogged the parking lots as well, adding to the congestion. Incredible, with the amount of advertising that they did, also considering the additional PR of Green Week, and that everyone knows the way to Carter Barron is a two-lane mess in both directions on a regular day anyway…
Oh, it’s a a waste of invective. The least I can hope is that they will re-evaluate this debacle for next year’s hazmat collection, and strive to improve.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs