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When Will The Trash Get Picked Up? Another Unknown That Some City Residents Take On

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Mary Rose Madden
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WYPR

It’s been almost two weeks since Baltimore’s Department of Public Works shut down its curbside recycling program and limited trash collection because of an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Eastern Sanitation Yard on Bowleys Lane.

In the meantime, some Baltimoreans have been taking trash into their own hands. 

A long line of cars snaked down Sisson Street Saturday as city residents hauled their trash to the Citizen Drop-Off Center there. 

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Credit Mary Rose Madden / WYPR
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WYPR
A line of cars waiting to get into the Sisson Street Citizen Drop-Off Center on Saturday

Keith and Jessica Clark were dragging large boxes of recycling to a dumpster. Jessica Clark says they’d never been here until the trash collection slowdown. "We just started this week," she said as she and her husband moved on to heaving the two mattresses tied to their roof into another dumpster. 

The disruption in trash collection had created a mess in their neighborhood, she says, but at least the kitchen waste and non-recyclable garbage was eventually collected.

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Credit Mary Rose Madden / WYPR
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WYPR
Sisson Street Citizen Drop-Off Center

       

Meanwhile, John Chalmers, head of the city’s Bureau of Solid Waste, says workers who self-quarantined because of the outbreak are coming back to work this week. And that "since the shelter in place there's been a 22% increase in curbside trash collection," Chalmers said on Friday. 

According to The Department of Public Works, they've received thousands of calls for missed trash collection these past few weeks.