On January 20, 2009, the post inauguration clean up began. The mess was monumental and grotesque.
Washington trash trucks hauled away at least 130 tons of garbage after the inauguration of President Obama, with more to go. National Park Service workers picked up almost 100 tons on the Mall and near the White House.
To be fair, there were few trash cans available:
Because most trash cans had been removed for security reasons and a record-breaking crowd gathered downtown, the mountain of rubbish left behind was of historic proportions.
How ever, the National Mall was trashed.
“There was so much trash left behind. Piles and piles,” Lyons said. “When all those people were there, you didn’t realize how bad it was. But once they left, we saw the work ahead.”
City workers on double and triple shifts tackled the peaks, determined to get the garbage out of downtown before the morning rush hour, Lyons said.
“People left so many of their personal effects. Blankets, sleeping bags,” Lyons said. “Then the places where the vendors were, some of them just left their tables behind.”
Having lived in the DC area nearly my whole life and having worked in downtown DC just off the Mall a number of years, I can attest to the gobs of trash left by people after events. Earth Day always seemed to me to be the worst. All those environmentalists littered like insane people. But, as you can read above, even the Washington Post classified the mess after the Obama inauguration to be historic.
Everyone is making this point, but as a resident of the area, I have to say how deeply impressed I am that there was little clean up required at the Tea Party Taxed to Death Protest on Saturday: