BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As tourism begins to reopen in Baltimore, there are concerns about an increase in trash on city streets as sanitation crews work to address a backlog.
On Monday, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works stopped collecting curbside recycling and redirected those resources to picking up trash. Residents are now required to drop off their recycling at collection locations across the city until November 1.
“That was not a popular decision to be made, but frankly it was the right decision,” city councilman Eric Costello said.
The change comes as DPW crews have been behind on dozens of trash pickup routes due to staffing shortages caused in part by COVID-19.
It also comes as Baltimore slowly reopens its multi-billion-dollar tourism industry.
“Come see Baltimore, it’s going to take us to rebuild it,” Al Hutchinson, the president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, said.
While there are concerns that trash could pile up in some areas due to increased tourism without enough hands to clean it up, city leaders addressed the issue at a Downtown Partnership webinar, saying they’re confident the division will eventually get back up to speed.
In the meantime, residents should take advantage of the community drop-off sites.
“I continue to ask for everyone’s patience and frankly compassion as the men and women who service this division and help to try to keep our city clean every day do their very best to do that with extremely limited resources,” Costello said.