The Washington Post

Trash still piles up at Iwo Jima Memorial

Trash piles up near the Iwo Jima Memorial on July 10. ((A Loop fan))

We’ve written about the National Park Service’s new policy — begun last April — to start removing trash cans from sites along the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Iwo Jima Memorial, Great Falls and Roosevelt Island.

The idea was to force visitors to take their empty bottles and such with them when they leave, thereby keeping the parks clean and reducing trash pickup costs.

We were skeptical that folks in this area — especially tourists with box lunches and such — could learn to handle trash the way backpackers or veteran hikers in the Rockies do.

A Park Service official said that all that was needed was a “mind-set shift”and that the program had worked at other parks.

Unfortunately, it seemed last month that minds don’t shift very quickly, as trash and litter piled up around the Iwo Jima Memorial across the river.

A Park Service spokeswoman said it might take a little while longer.

But a Loop fan sent us a couple pictures Wednesday morning of litter still being piled up by the lovely row of portable toilets.

((A Loop fan))

Well, we’ll keep hoping for the Great Mindset Shift to occur. Meanwhile, let’s hope they don’t sell the garbage truck.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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