Ninth Street Dumpster Nightmare – City Fines Bystander

City Workers Clean Up Overflowing Dumpster behind Marine Barracks on 9th Street, SE

City Workers Clean Up Overflowing Dumpster behind Marine Barracks on 9th Street, SE

Ninth Street Dumpster Nightmare – City Fines Bystander

by Larry Janezich

Ninth street residents who became the victim of both a negligent contractor and the contracting homeowner as well as the lack of response by the city when they sought help in resolving a trash issue have been issued a citation for not addressing the problem themselves.

Last March, a contractor engaged in a renovation project on the 700 block of 9th Street, SE, placed a dumpster (by order of an Emergency No Parking permit, valid through the first week of August) mostly in front of a property at 736 9th Street adjacent to the job site.  The address has been the residence for the past 43 years of David and Adrienne Umansky.

As the renovation progressed, the dumpster was emptied once and replaced.  Before being hauled off again, however, the contractor went bankrupt, and despite being covered by a tarp, the dumpster gradually attracted a mountain of trash and garbage from nearby residents and passersby.

According to the Umanskys, the owner of the property being renovated tried but was unable to find the company who owned the dumpster “since the contractor was bankrupt. “  The Umanskys and their neighbors, they say, called 311 to report the problem numerous times in June and July with no response to their concerns.

Finally, last week the city moved to address the problem.  ANC Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg was instrumental in finally getting the city to take notice.  Oldenburg told CHC, “When neighbors reported the overflowing dumpster to me, I called the [DDOT] Deputy Associate Director who directed inspectors to check out the matter.  Over the course of a week, citations were issued to both the dumpster firm and the contractor who had hired the dumpster.  The firm tried to remove the dumpster several times but could not because of a car parked in front of it.  On Tuesday, September 9, [DDOT] Inspector McCreary got DPW to tow away the parked car and the dumpster was removed.  At [Tuesday night’s ANC6B] meeting I thanked DDOT’s Public Space Regulations Administration and, especially their Inspector McCreary who doggedly managed to resolve a very messy and complicated situation.”

Grateful for finally having the problem resolved, the Umanskys were less happy when they received a citation last Thursday levying a $75 fine for “Failure to maintain abutting public space.”  The ticket was accompanied by a photo of trash which had been placed next to the dumpster.  The Umanskys have reached out to DDOT to appeal the ticket and left messages, but as yet have received no response.

Last Thursday night, the neighboring ANC6A north of East Capitol, sent a letter to DDOT asking them for information regarding the process for issuing emergency no-parking permits and opportunities for the ANC to weigh in on longer-term permits.  No such action has yet been considered by ANC6b.


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9 responses to “Ninth Street Dumpster Nightmare – City Fines Bystander

  1. Jimmy Crk Crk

    They finally hauled it away and the city have this guy a ticket? Insanity.

    • We tend to rant when city agencies don’t do their job properly and then ridicule them when they do. Here’s what happened: As luck would have it, just between the time the dumpster was finally removed and the second truck arrived an hour later to pick up the excess, a DPW inspector arrived and wrote that ticket. Alas, the excess had been plopped down on the curb in front of Mr. Umansky’s residence and I had briefly left the site to eat some lunch.
      We tend to forget but we are all responsible for maintaining the public space in front of our houses.

  2. Well, getting a ticket because DPW said the wildflowers on our back alley were too tall and obstructed the ability of sanitation trucks to make it through the alley, I don’t really have any “sympathy.”

    Ultimately, the responsibility for the dumpster belongs to the homeowners. It was in that condition for months. Given the price of sanitation tickets given to commercial properties, they got off easy.

  3. I’ve never seen so many dumpsters on Capitol Hill. There are two in the unit block of 9th St. SE, one with a six-month permit ! Many days no one is at work at the site. There are two at the corner of East Capitol and 4th SE, both uncovered, and one piled high with mattresses and other junk.

    The ANC people should take a look at dumpster permitting, regulation, etc., to see if we can bring a little more sense to the situation. Dan

  4. Kathleen

    I agree. Let’s exhume Butch and Sundance.

  5. Karl

    It’s an obamanation.

  6. anon

    I don’t mind the dumpsters when work is active. What really grinds me are the dog walkers who dump their poop bags into them. Unlike regular trash pickup, that stuff can sit in an open dumpster for weeks or months. Not to mention it’s gross to do that to contractors using them.