Mar 22, 2022 - News

Why Washingtonians call 311

Data: D.C. OUC. Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

About half of D.C.’s 311 calls have to do with trash, according to city data from 2021 through last week.

What’s happening: Requests for bulk trash pickup, such as old mattresses and couches, increased during the pandemic. Parking enforcement and missed trash collection round out the top three most common calls. 

  • People making pandemic moves likely fueled the increase in bulk trash pick ups.
  • Plus, quarantine-induced spring cleaning led to Washingtonians creating more trash.

Why it matters: Bulk trash collection is a great city service — it can save you a trip to the dump — but if the garbage trucks fail to come by in a timely manner, alleys and sidewalks get unsightly and hard to navigate. Not fun.

Zoom in: The compounding trash issue is a possible explanation for the uptick in pest-related 311 calls over the last few years. 

Of note: The Emergency No Parking sign is sacred, apparently (or those who get burned are too lazy to report violators). Fewer than 1,000 calls came in about issues in those zones. 

Our thought bubble: We expected potholes to be higher on the list.

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