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Pigtown trash mound cleaned up by business owner

Posted at 5:36 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 17:36:36-05

BALTIMORE — It's a feeding ground for rats and a breeding place for trash.

Despite crews cleaning up the 1200 block of Wicomico Street every few months, a portion of it continues to morph back into a makeshift dump.

On Friday, WMAR-2 News visited the illegal dumping site, and on Monday, the business owner sent crews to once again remove all the debris.

RELATED: Residents are frustrated about trash buildup in South Baltimore

WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii spoke with Edward O'Keefe of Simm-Kee, Inc. Monday morning. He said they've been dealing with illegal dumping for years. They tried removing the dumpster to keep people from leaving their trash, but now it just piles up on the ground.

Spencer Weidman was sick of seeing the eyesore, so he posted it on social media.

"The garbage brings rats, the garbage contributes to the crime, it makes for an unhealthy environment and there's no excuse for it," said Weidman.

He volunteered to clean-up the area, but O'Keefe had a handful of workers chipping away at the mound of garbage starting at 8:30 a.m.

"We were made aware, and unfortunately, we didn't hear about any citations or phone calls. [We were] pretty unaware of what happened here, unfortunately," said O'Keefe.

O'Keefe said they didn't receive the citations issued by the city, and there have been several, including this January and last November and March.

"I think there wasn't enough communication between the city and us. So apparently, they sent us citations but they just sent it to this random address with nothing, no attachments, they didn't send it to the business address," O'Keefe said.

He added that they would've cleaned up the mess sooner, had they known about it.

"We're business owners, this does fall under our responsibility," said O'Keefe.

Even so, he's asking for the community's help in keeping the area clean.

"We as Baltimoreans needs to all stand together and unite and do more because if this city's going to get better, it has to come from within. It's going to come from the people," Weidman said.

Last week, Mayor Jack Young launched a 'Clean It Up' campaign.

Some other ideas include neighborhood dumpster days.

Sofastaii reached out to the Citizens of Pigtown: Historic Pigtown's Community Association to see if they have any dumpster days or other initiatives planned. This story will be updated with their response.

In the meantime, O'Keefe said they'll try to better police the area and clean it up more frequently. They also went around the whole warehouse and cleaned up those areas as well. The Baltimore Toolbox contributed tools to assist with the clean-up.

If you don't have the transportation to move big bulk items, the city will come to your address once a month. You have to schedule the service through 311, but you may have to wait around a month for your scheduled date.