BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Since changing to an alternate week schedule for recycling pickup earlier this year, crews with the Baltimore Department of Public Works are now able to complete 100% of their routes, bringing more predictability to collections, the agency said Monday.

“I want to thank Baltimore City residents for their continued patience as the Department continues to assess our Solid Waste operations,” said DPW Director Jason W. Mitchell. “The temporary change to bi-weekly recycling collections has helped the Department manage recycling collections for the short-term and to better support solid waste services impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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In January, the department shifted to a bi-weekly schedule after an increase in COVID-19 cases among workers led to service disruptions, including one seven-day period during the holidays where an average of 228 employees were out.

Yolanda Winkler, DPW’s Chief of Communications and Strategic Alliances, said there is no targeted date yet for a return to weekly service as the agency continues to assess recycling collection.

In the early stages of the pandemic, DPW suspended curbside recycling pickup in June 2020 and didn’t resume operations until Jan. 19, 2021.

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DPW also accepts recycling at five drop-off locations:

  • Northwest Transfer Station, 5030 Reisterstown Road
  • Quarantine Road Landfill, 6100 Quarantine Road
  • Northwest Residential Drop-off Center, 2840 Sisson St.
  • Southwestern Residential Drop-off Center, 701 Reedbird Ave.
  • Eastern Residential Drop-off Center, 6101 Bowleys Lane

Mitchell said the department will start using software during recycling collection to “right-size” routes and “ensure the needed resources are available to provide predictable and consistent service levels.”

The technology tracks routes serviced per vehicle, helps the agency make real-time adjustments to collections and gauges performance with mobile GPS, Winkler said.

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The agency has also tried to hire more workers with a Commercial Driver’s License and said it launched an in-house training course to help employees acquire the license.

CBS Baltimore Staff