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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Diversity, equity official to leave GW in July
By Jenna Lee, Assistant News Editor • June 8, 2024

City plans to fight rodents with new trash collection technology

Mayor Muriel Bowser plans to take on rats in the city with three projects designed to reduce trash pileups in areas with high rodent populations.

Bowser announced Friday that D.C. departments would install 400 smart litter bins, which include a sensor that measures the amount and weight of trash in the bin. The bins then signal to the Department of Public Works through an online service, helping crews determine which bins are ready for pickup, according to a release from Bowser’s office.

The D.C. Department of Health, Department of Public Works and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer are also working to add 25 solar trash cans throughout the city, which are enclosed and do not need a connection to an electrical grid to compact trash. These solar cans have already been installed on Barrack’s Row, Freedom Plaza and Indiana Avenue.

The Department of Small and Local Business Development also launched a $13,500 grant for more than 60 D.C. businesses that purchase or lease the sealed compactors. The grant will be available until September.

“We are taking a comprehensive and 21st century approach to an old problem, and we ask that the community continue to help us by reporting rodent issues to 311,” Bowser said in the release. “Working together, we can reduce waste and keep our streets clean.”

Residents and visitors can call 311 to get assistant or information from city government.

Officials said D.C.’s rat population has likely jumped in recent years because of two consecutive warmer than average winters. Last year, calls to 311 for rodent treatment increased by 65 percent from 2015 with more than 3,500 requests, according to the release.

This announcement falls into the mayor’s Back to Basics campaign, which focuses on the day-to-day work in the city, the release states.

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