BALTIMORE — Bi-weekly recycling pickup will continue indefinitely in Baltimore.
Councilman Eric Costello tweeted a letter from the Department of Public Works about the services. In that letter, DPW director Dr. Jason W. Mitchell outlined several reasons why weekly collections are still on hold. Mitchell says services cannot be performed in a safe and effective manner at this time. DPW says workers need to be fully trained and do not want delays in pickups.
DPW says staffing remains a challenge, so the agency is considering reaching out to contractors for additional help. However, the agency laid out a few considerations before hiring a contractor:
- The use of contractors will result in disparate pay for City workers performing the same tasks as contractors.
- Contractors desire longer-term contracts (minimum of 5 years) as up-front investment and recruitment of workers is needed.
- Contractors may need to purchase specialized vehicles that will take 2-3 years for production.
- Vendors must provide enough staffing and equipment for 40-48 additional routes each week.
- An extra 10-12 trucks, 30-45 employees, including 15 commercial drivers are potentially needed.
DPW says starting in September, the 1st and every month, the agency will write a report to the City Council providing an update on curbside recycling. These updates will include the number of employees working on collections, the number of vehicles needed, a percentage of missed routes and what needs the agency still must address.
UPDATE - Request for Resumption of Weekly Curbside Recycling Collection— Eric Costello (@CouncilmanETC) July 26, 2022
DPW responded to the City Council concerns, outlining steps they are taking to better position agency to resume weekly service. Steps outlined, no firm date in July 20 letter:https://t.co/4GrDrsQcWg
The agency says it is conducting a study about improving recycling routes between now and December. Once that is complete, DPW says they will consider resuming weekly pickups.
Some, including Councilman Isaac Schleifer, have recently complained about bi-weekly recycling, saying it violates city code.
Last month, Schleifer called for penalties to be levied against DPW.