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Baltimore City's Dept. of Public Works dumpster pilot program to alleviate recycling delays

Posted at 8:59 AM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 09:31:40-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore's DPW is addressing at least one part of District 1 Councilman Zeke Cohen's letter, demanding solutions to delays in neighborhood trash and recycling collection.

On Friday morning, DPW told WMAR-2 News reporter Dave Detling, that several temporary dumpsters will be placed at various intersections throughout the district for recycling drop-offs, until proper staffing can be sorted out.

The department says they're also working on getting dumpsters out to the city's other districts.

"The dumpsters are an effort to alleviate the daily recycling tonnage collected by DPW Sanitation Crews and the number of missed recycling routes," said department spokesperson Yolanda Winkler. "The dumpsters were placed around 8 a.m. in Southeast Baltimore, Council District 1. We are reviewing locations for placement of more dumpsters on the city's southwest, northeast and northwest side."

The dumpsters come after Councilmen Zeke Cohen, who represents the District 1, wrote an open letter to the acting director of DPW.

Cohen took to Facebook about news of the dumpsters, and spoke with WMAR-2 News on his reaction.

"I want to be clear that this is a short-term solution," said Cohen. "It is not in any way shape or form mean that they don’t have to improve in their communication or make sure that their workforce is fully staffed. That is absolutely critical. But I think today it was helpful to provide some relief to residents who had multiple weeks of recycling piled up to be able to take it to the dumpsters."

RELATED: Councilman calls out DPW, demands better communication from management on service delays

Residents like Mary Rogers said she's glad to see the city taking some kind of initiative. She told WMAR-2 News her recycling hadn't been collected in nearly three weeks.

READ MORE: 35 Baltimore neighborhoods recycling pileups after DPW crews were no shows

"This was the only way to get rid of it," she said. " It was wet. I wasn't going to bring it back through the house and the trash didn't pick it up so I figured this was the only way to get rid of it."

DPW says a worker will oversee the dumpsters to make sure only recyclables are going into it.

As WMAR-2 News reported earlier in the week, the department is in talks with two private contractors who are expected to come on board and help out in September and October.

Here's a list of locations where you can find a dumpster.

S Patterson Park Avenue and Fleet Street

S Highland Avenue and E Lombard Street

Eastern Avenue and Umbra Street

Boston Street and Gusryan Street