City Desk

Wait! Don’t Tip Your Garbage Collector!

Forget everything you've heard about holiday tipping. Here in the District, residents should apparently forgo tipping their garbage collectors in favor of writing a nice note to the boss. On the Tenley email list, Department of Public Works spokesperson Linda Grant writes:

We would prefer that you express your appreciation in writing to DPW Director Howland at either or the address below. Please include the truck number, your block, e.g., 1300 block of R Street, NW, and the names of the crew members, if you have them. On behalf of my co-workers, thank you for taking the time to recognize their hard work and happy holidays to you and yours.

William O. Howland, Jr.
DC Department of Public Works
2000 14th Street, NW
6th Floor
Washington, DC 20009

Though Emily Post notes that tipping $10-30 is standard for garbage collectors, she concedes that one should first "check city regulations if it is a municipal service."

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • anon

    Yea, right. Considering these guys seem to dump more of my trash on the ground in the alley every week than they get in the truck, they can go pound sand.

    When did it become common place for everyone to always have their hand out.

    Tipping has always been common place in food/drink establishments because they make a couple bucks an hour, but I am sorry...the tip cups at movie theaters, gas stations, shoe stores etc have gotten ridiculous. Now I have to tip the cable guy (for wasting my entire day with his 4 hour window that he still missed for 15 minutes of work), the plumber (who charges you 200 bucks just to show up).

    All of it....ridiuculous.

  • Lesley

    I was hesitant to tip the trash guy, but my parents swore by it....So alas when I became a homeowner I started doing it. And I have to say it makes a diff. My trash cans are always neatly put in place while other neighbors are askew. If that's what $10 buys me, I'm in.