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After 311 mix-up DPW crews clean up trashed alleyway in North Baltimore

Posted at 5:36 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 18:17:05-04

BALTIMORE — On Friday crews with Baltimore City's Department of Public Works were out in the 2600 block of Barclay Street cleaning up a trashed alleyway that neighbors called an illegal dumping site behind their homes.

By 2 p.m. the alley was clear of garbage that neighbors say had been piling up for two months.

"I cannot believe it. Less than an hour and everything is gone," said homeowner Nia Crawford. "This is how it should look. We shouldn’t have to live with the way that it looked. And it shouldn’t have to take the news to come out and to report on it for action to be taken within a couple of hours with no action was taken in, I’m going to say over a month. That’s not acceptable. That’s not what Baltimore should be about."

Residents in the area tell WMAR-2 News they tried to have the issue resolved on their own.

"I know I contacted 311 a number of times," said homeowner Mary Antonucci. "We’ve been told they’ve suspended both trash pickup. OK? I get that but this is a problem. We felt like this was kind of a health issue."

One look at the area and you can see the concern neighbors have.

In addition to ripped garbage bags covered with flies, there were torn up mattresses, sitting water and more trash.

"It looked like a landfill until you helped get this cleaned up," said Crawford. "We tried to get everything done through the proper channels. 311 sent crews out and cleaned up the alley," said Crawford. "But they cleaned the wrong alley."

In an email obtained by WMAR 2 News, 311 contacted Crawford on August 25th saying the issue had been resolved. The email read:

"Our records indicate your recent request for a City service –20-00540780 for SW-Dirty Alley at 2919 BARCLAY ST, BC – was recently closed. The case was opened on 8/14/2020 and the target resolution for this service request was 7 Business Days day(s).

When you submit a service request to 3-1-1, you are doing your part to make Baltimore cleaner, safer and stronger! City of Baltimore staff would truly appreciate your constructive feedback by your completing a very brief survey regarding your 3-1-1 experience. Thank you for your continued commitment to the City and allowing us to serve you!"

"They cleaned up an area in the 2900 block," said Crawford. "This is the 2600 block."

WMAR-2 News asked DPW about the mix up. A spokesperson with the department attributed the mistake to crews not knowing the area.