In response to his fraternity’s trash problem, GW sophomore Nathan Matlin united with the Foggy Bottom Association’s new cleanup intiative, the Community Improvement Committee.
The five-member committee was founded last fall to “enhance and improve the overall environment of the Foggy Bottom area, making it a visually attractive and safe community,” said Rita Champagne, chair of the committee and treasurer of the FBA.
Matlin, a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, joined the committee in November after Champagne approached him about trash overflowing from cans on the sidewalk in front of the fraternity’s house. Matlin addressed the problem and agreed to monitor the area between 20th and 23rd streets from E to G streets. Matlin said he patrols the area a few times a week, picking up trash and reporting areas for improvement, such as broken light posts.
Matlin also talks to members of the community about trash clean-up if he sees trash on the sidewalk.
“People sometimes don’t understand the trash system in D.C.,” Matlin said. “They put out their trash in a non-bagged can, and the sanitation department does not pick it up, because they are not required to.”
Champagne said the Committee will also work to reduce pest problems in the neighborhood.
“We really want to challenge the tremendous rat problem that the city has,” Champagne said. “So one of our main initiatives is to have residents package their trash properly, and dispose of it on the correct days.”
“Residents also leave their trash cans on their sidewalks, which we would like to change,” he said. “It’s the little things that add up.”
The committee also aims to discourage people from throwing nightclub advertisements on the ground, Champagne said. D.C. charges businesses $35 for each promotional flyer people find on the street and turn in. Any student reported littering ads could be fined or arrested, she said.
“I just want to convey to the students that this neighborhood is their home away from home, so they should take care of it,” Champagne said. “Littering is just not a neighborly thing to do.”