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After presidential tweet storm about Baltimore, volunteers clean up debris

Posted at 5:08 PM, Aug 16, 2019

BALTIMORE — They are from Florida, New York and Boston, but they are here because they want to be.

The Traveling Trash Men lended their services for free to help pick up trash – and, maybe some Twitter storm debris.

John Rourke is the owner of the Florida trash company and decided to act after all the headlines about Baltimore a couple of weeks ago.

"I decided there is enough talking. It seems like that is all anyone was doing. Everyone was talking and nobody was acting," said Rourke.

Friday is their second day in West Baltimore.

Yesterday Rourke said they removed 5 tons of garbage out of the area; today, in half the time, they picked up that same amount and all of it out of the alley just south of North Avenue between Payson and Appleton Streets.

Denise Gee certainly knows how much trash was back there. She lives on Appleton and saw the crew working and bought them all snowballs...Oriole orange.

It is, she says, the least she can do.

"I appreciate it, I really appreciate it. I have two grandsons I am raising. I really appreciate this…100 percent, 150 percent better," Gee said.

"It's just been an amazing welcoming here,” Rourke said. “You saw the lady here just bought us all snowballs. I mean it’s really just been an outpouring of love and we appreciate it."

And the city is leaning in too.

The Department of Public Works gave an assist today with bigger equipment to hail away bulk trash, and it also waived any fees for using the landfill.

Downtown restaurant owners fed the crew last night – they even took in the Ravens game.

The Traveling Trash Men are focusing on a small part of West Baltimore -- but they are making a big impact...perhaps about as big as the city is making on them. Rourke’s crew says they will work through Saturday to help clean up some of the streets and alleys in Baltimore.

"It's amazing man. It's like, sometimes you forget by working everyday what it feels like to really give back, and I feel really good about it,” Rourke said. “It's very humbling, the support is awesome; this city is great."