BALTIMORE — Amid COVID related staffing shortages, the Department of Public Works is modifying its recycling collection schedule in Baltimore City.
Over a seven-day period during the holidays, DPW said it averaged 228 employees out of work with a peak of 340 employees out during that period.
"We've been having huge staff shortages," DPW Director Jason W. Mitchell said during a zoom press conference. "Over the last two weeks, we have seen, on average, every day, about 228 people out of work each week -- that represents 37% of our active workers."
On January 18, the following A and B alternating bi-weekly cycle system will be in place.
- Northeast and Northwest (north of North Avenue) neighborhoods will be on Week A of the alternating schedule, which will start on January 18 - 21. Their following collection will be the week of February 1 - 4.
- Southeast and Southwest (south of North Avenue) will be on Week B of the alternating schedule, which will start on January 25 - 28. Their following collection will be the week of February 8 – 11.
"This week, we were doing makeups, and then the following week, we will begin to provide that level of service," Mitchell said.
Residents should not expect their recycling day to change. The modified collection schedule will remain in effect until further notice and is only in effect for recycling, not trash collections.
“I want to thank Baltimore City residents for their patience as we have had to make hard choices while trying to navigate staffing challenges made worse by this recent spike in COVID-19 cases,” said Director Jason W. Mitchell. “This change to bi-weekly recycling collections will help the Department manage for the long-term. These modifications are essential to stabilize operations and ensure consistent, predictable, and sustainable services for residents.”
Baltimore City Councilman Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer, D-District 5, who called for a hearing, said recycling collections have been missed somewhat regularly over the past six months recently and more frequently. He is calling for a hearing scheduled for Thursday at 3 p.m.
As the Department transitions to the new recycling schedules, these will be the five DPW Residential Drop-Off Centers that are open Monday through Saturday:
- Northwest Transfer Station, 5030 Reisterstown Road
- Quarantine Road Landfill, 6100 Quarantine Road
- Northwest Residential Drop-off Center, 2840 Sisson Street
- Southwestern Residential Drop-off Center, 701 Reedbird Avenue
- Eastern Residential Drop-off Center, 6101 Bowleys Lane