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Woman says Baltimore City sanitation truck demolished her fence

Woman says Baltimore City sanitation truck demolished her fence.jpg
Posted at 3:14 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 17:15:25-04

BALTIMORE — We're talking trash on the city's southwest side, only this time the garbage complaint is against the Department of Public Works for the destruction of property.

When it comes to taking out the trash, 72-year-old Jeannette Carter-Bey is always on schedule.

"I take my trash out religiously on Monday nights," said Carter-Bey. "I put my trash in my gate. Not in the alley, in my gate."

She opens the gate into her yard and places her trash can in the opening. She says it's the perfect fit and location for both her and sanitation workers.

It allows her to maneuver the trash can easily and it doesn't take up space in the alleyway. But as of last week the trash can no longer fits.

When she came out Tuesday morning to collect her trash can she noticed the garbage hadn't been emptied and her fence was badly damaged.

"I came out here and I saw a broken fence," she said. "I used to be able to open and close my gate but not anymore."

She believes a Baltimore City sanitation truck passing through the alley behind her home in the 2300 block of Wilkens Avenue during its regular route is responsible.

Neighbors who had video of the incident say it happened around 4:30 a.m.

"You're going to empty my trash? Thank you, I appreciate that," said Carter-Bey. "But you're going to destroy my fence? You're not going to stop, say anything, do anything or leave a note?"

The video in question was shared with WMAR-2 News. The video shows the trash truck coming down the alleyway the morning in question.

While the fence isn't visible because the truck is blocking it, there are no signs the workers stopped to pick up Carter-Bey's trash.

"They also hit the neighbor's garbage can," Carter-Bey noted. "I just want my fence fixed or replaced. It wasn't a perfect fence but it was my fence."

Fixing the fence isn't going to happen overnight.

Property damaged by a city vehicle needs to be investigated and that starts with filing a claim with the Baltimore City Law Department.

Carter-Bey wrote out her claim and sent it by certified mail to the department's Central Bureau of Investigations.

"I just want this taken care of," she said. "I can't take out my trash can properly."

Given the damage to her fence, the can doesn't fit through the gate.

WMAR-2 News reached out to DPW, making officials aware of the situation. We also forwarded pictures of the damage along with video of the truck.

For now, Carter-Bey says she'll ask guys in the neighborhood to lift her full trash can over the fence so sanitation workers can pick it up.

"I probably can lift it back over when its empty but definitely not when it's full."

If you have questions about property damage caused by a city vehicle visit https://law.baltimorecity.gov/claims.

The city has PDF forms you can download to start the investigative process along with specific directions for mailing the claim.