Twenty-five Days Without Trash Services, and One Group Steps Up

With the government shutdown now logging 25 days without operations, that also means 25 days without federal National Parks Service workers at the Bunker Hill Monument to do simple things like take away the rubbish.

That’s where CharlestownDogs stepped in over the last 14 days.

While the government shutdown made headlines 24 hours a day, few recognized any meaningful impacts right off the bat in the Town. However, soon, piles of trash began to build up at the Monument – and the trash barrels were overflowing.

With no one to dispose of the trash, Chris Lovell of CharlestownDogs said his members – who use the Monument park frequently for their dog walking – decided to make a dent in the shutdown.

“I’m pretty proud of CharlestownDogs volunteers who recognized a bad trash and dog waste situation at Bunker Hill Monument Park and took personal action,” he said. “Given the National Park Service maintenance staff has been furloughed, the park trash quickly built up to overflowing. CharlestownDogs has a strong cooperative relationship with the Park Service which means we help each other in any way we can.”

In this case, CharlestownDogs placed signs on the trash receptacles and attached bags for trash. Members have been taking those trash bags and disposing of them at their own homes. They also have brought replacement bags to hang on the trash barrels, providing trash disposal without having to open the barrels.

It has been a great way to keep the Monument clean for residents and tourists amidst a difficult and long shutdown of services.

“The tourists and visitors, while disappointed to not enter the museum or climb the Monument, are at least not faced with a pile of trash and a spotlight on our broken government,” said Lovell. CharlestownDogs is an all-volunteer community organization focused on the health and wellbeing of Charlestown. The organization tries to teach responsible dog ownership, which includes smart stewardship of open spaces like the Monument.

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