The White House

All the President’s Garbage

  September 24, 2018

By Cathryn Jakicic

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure — quite literally, when it comes to the White House. Much of the trash collection process at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is kept tightly under wraps, according to The Washingtonian, and even the most basic details are hard to find.

The White House and the neighboring residence are like any other home or office in some ways, but the garbage from various departments and the Oval Office contain sensitive material — everything from off-the-record meeting details to the DNA on the president’s empty Diet Coke cans.

Previous administrations disposed of their trash in burn bags, according to a 2006 CBS News report. The Bush administration used the bags to discard sensitive documents, and everything went into such bags at the close of business.

The Trump administration did not respond to initial  inquiries from the Washingtonian about whether it uses burn bags but eventually referred questions to the U.S. General Services Administration, which oversees day-to-day White House operations. The GSA spokesperson says the Trump White House does, indeed, take out its trash and recycles.

“Similar to our other GSA facilities, we use single-stream collection for recycling, which means items are sorted offsite and recycled accordingly,” according to a White House statement. The White House briefing room and reporter-filing quarters have both trash and recycling bins, but it’s unclear which company deals with the refuse and whether those collectors must pass security checks.

This Quick Read was submitted by Cathryn Jakicic, Healthcare Industries Editor, FacilitiesNet. For more about hospital campuses and other medical facilities, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/healthcarefacilities.


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