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Excuse me, everyone. Did anyone notice that there are no women on the Gender Equality Commission?
Leslie Knope

"Women in Garbage" is the eleventh episode of season 5 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on January 24, 2013 to 3.94 million viewers.


Leslie Knope comes to Chris Traeger with her latest endeavor: a commission on gender equality. She has decided the lack of women in their government is criminal and that it's time to do something about it. Chris agrees with Leslie wholeheartedly and says that he'll call a meeting that day to discuss a course of action. Later, when the meeting assembles, Leslie is horrified to find that not a single department has sent a female representative. They get down to business, and Leslie points out that the number one offender of gender inequality is sanitation. The department reps state the reason there are no female garbage collectors, for example, is because the job is too physically demanding for the average woman. Unsurprisingly, Leslie takes this on as a welcome challenge.

Back at the Parks Department, Ron Swanson is in over his head babysitting Diane Lewis' kids for the day. He barely makes it out alive and a super awkward Ann Perkins isn't much help either. At the end of the day, Ron puts on a smile when Diane asks him to babysit again tomorrow, but he's clearly beaten to a pulp. Barely in to day two, he has no choice but to recruit Ann's help despite her complete disconnect with children.

Tom Haverford recruits Andy Dwyer and Ben Wyatt to teach him everything they know about basketball so he can schmooze his young Rent-A-Swag clients since it's all the kids are talking about these days. They get on the court and start with the basics, but Tom is completely hopeless.

Leslie and April Ludgate take the garbage pickup challenge, as they gear up and work a route for the day. April's fully committed to the task, ready to get her hands dirty and invade some personal privacy. They start off well as they make good time over the first half of the shift, but they get an unscheduled request to pick up a giant industrial refrigerator. The pair find straight away that they are no match for the fridge.

Ann finally connects with Diane's kids when she whips out her nurses kit and plays doctor in the conference room. But when she leaves them unattended for a moment, the girls lock themselves in and butcher their hair with Ann's medical scissors. They finally find the key for the room but it's too late – the damage is done. When Diane comes to pick up the girls, Ron's prepared for the worst, but she simply laughs it off. She's touched by how concerned he was and how invested he is in the well-being of the girls. In fact, she tells Ron that she loves him for the first time, which he reciprocates.

After hours of failed attempts, April and Leslie are about to throw in the towel. That's when the fridge owner emerges and reveals that garbage men came three days earlier to remove the fridge and they couldn't get it to budge. They realize the pickup was a setup. Leslie devises an alternate solution; since the fridge works, maybe someone would be willing to take it off their hands. Together, with a group of women from the local soup kitchen, they are able to load the fridge onto a transport truck. The sanitation department claims defeat and agrees to hire three women in their department.

After a day of basketball training, Tom completely humiliates himself on the court in front of his pre-teen clientele. As it turns out, basketball just isn't his calling. But Tom soon realizes that for him it isn't the game that matters – it's what's after the game. Tom decides to position Rent-A-Swag as the go-to location for all of your post-game press conference outfit needs.


[Ivy and Zoe have made Ron's office look girly and are painting Ron's shoes when Diane shows up]
Diane: [cheerfully] Hey!
Ivy, Zoe: Mommy! [they run to hug her]
Diane: [to Ron] You survived, huh?
Ron: Indeed, I did.

Diane: My sitter is still out of town. So I really hate to ask you this, but is there any way you could take them again tomorrow?
Ron: No, of course. I'd be delighted.
Diane: You're a lifesaver. Thank you. [to her daughters] Girls, you want to spend another day with Ron?
Ivy, Zoe: YEAH!!
[cut to Ron alone in his office downing a glass of whiskey; he then pours another glass]