BALTIMORE — The Baltimore City Department of Public Works is responding to the trash and recycling delays throughout the city, citing several factors for the delays.
They say the delays are due to COVID-19, weather conditions, an increase in the amount of waste that DPW’s Bureau of Solid of Waste crews are collecting and shortages in staff reporting to work each day.
According to DPW, on Friday, in the Bureau of Solid Waste’s Routine Services Division, which collects residential trash and recycling, 163 of a required 230 staff reported to work.
“Some of these essential front-line workers are out of work due to COVID-19 or due to being in quarantine for 14 days or more because they were in contact with someone with the COVID-19 virus,” the statement reads. “There are also employees out of work due to other illnesses, and on permission leave. The Solid Waste crews that are reporting to work are working longer hours in weather conditions that vary from day to day.”
“DPW’s Solid Waste Crews have been working six days a week and until late in the evening. These same crews are often expected to report back at work early the next morning,” DPW Acting Director Matthew W. Garbark said.
DPW has identified a few private collection companies to contract with to help support Solid Waste operations. Unfortunately, they state that these private companies have also been struggling with the same issues.
“The City is working hard to identify and pursue long-term solutions to address recycling delays and alleviate the current pressure on our trash and recycling collection crews,” Acting Director Garbark said.
They state that curbside trash tonnage has increased by 22 percent since the activation of the City’s Shelter in Place Order some five months ago.
As the Department works to address collection delays, DPW encourages residents to use the three Convenience Drop-Off Centers that are currently available to the public Monday through Saturday:
Sisson Street Citizen Drop-Off Center, located at 2840 Sisson Street, Monday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Northwest Transfer Station, located at 5030 Reisterstown Road, Monday – Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Quarantine Road Landfill, located at 6100 Quarantine Road, Monday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.