After Historic Day, Historic Cleanup

Trash-bin shortage caused tons of litter to pile up
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jan 22, 2009 11:21 AM CST
Aloysia Rochon of Oakland, Pa., waits amid the trash on the Mall after the inauguration of President Obama on Tuesday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Crews working into the wee hours hauled away at least 130 tons of garbage after America’s largest, and messiest, outdoor bash Tuesday, the Washington Post reports. With trashcans removed for security precautions, inauguration attendees littered the National Mall, leaving it looking like a rendition of Disney's Wall-E. Obama gear, American flags, handwarmers, newspapers, and even vendor tables were left behind.

“When all those people were there, you didn’t realize how bad it was,” says a city spokeswoman. “But once they left, we saw the work ahead.” While the Obamas hit the dance floors, cleanup crews used street sweepers, leaf vacuums, and compactors to contain the trash. Then workers hit the grassy expanse on foot, using spiked poles to snag remainders.