DPW Statement: Trash Collection Delays

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

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Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) Acting Director Matthew W. Garbark today issued the following statement on trash collection following the June 9 closure of DPW’s Eastern Sanitation Yard due to a significant number of COVID-19 cases:

I want to ensure Baltimore City residents that their trash will be picked up, and ask for additional patience as DPW continues to secure and deploy necessary resources to support curbside collections and keep the Department’s employees safe. DPW is currently experiencing delays in trash collection service, which is primarily affecting residents who live in neighborhoods on the eastside of the City.

The pace of return to normal Solid Waste operations may be slowed by ongoing challenges that DPW is facing. However, we are confident that our trash collections will return to their regular schedules, and that Citywide recycling will resume in the coming weeks.  

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, DPW managed to continue trash collection operations, and implemented a planning strategy to maintain this critical public health service.

Last week, however, DPW announced the immediate suspension of all solid waste operations and activities at the Eastern Sanitation Yard, located at 6101 Bowleys Lane, following a significant number of COVID-19 cases at the facility. This closure has significantly contributed to delayed trash collections.

As a result of the facility closure, DPW requested that Solid Waste workers on permission leave report to work. We extend our appreciation to the Solid Waste workers who have returned to work during these challenging times as well as to DPW workers from other sections of the agency and other City Departments who have stepped up to help us.

Unprecedented Challenges

DPW’s Solid Waste Crews are facing unprecedented challenges. DPW employees from other operations have been reassigned to trash collection routes. Trash collection is very physically demanding work, and workers who are not accustomed to it may need more time to complete a route. Drivers may also need more time to navigate an unfamiliar route, as the trucks are not equipped with GPS route software.

In addition, curbside trash tonnage has increased by 22 percent since the activation of the City’s shelter in place order some three months ago. As a result of the trash tonnage increase, 10-hour routes are taking longer and crews are working late into the evening and up to six days a week.

DPW’s Bureau of Solid Waste must address nearly 5,000 service request calls for missed trash collection.

I am committed to providing residents with transparent information on these vital services, and will be sharing updates as they develop.

Residents are reminded to:

  • Call 311 to report missed trash collections;
  • Secure trash in can with a tight-fitting lid until it’s collected; and,
  • Utilize the three drop-off centers open to the public.

Recycling, trash, and bulk trash items can be brought to one of the following Drop-off Centers for disposal:

  • Sisson Street Citizen Drop-Off Center, located at 2840 Sisson Street, Monday –Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 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.  
    Collection Delays


CONTACT: 410-545-6541

Yolanda Winkler - Yolanda.Winkler@Baltimorecity.gov

Jennifer Combs - Jennifer.Combs@Baltimorecity.gov

After hours, weekends, or holidays please call 410-396-3100 for the duty officer.

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works supports the health, environment, and economy of our City and region by cleaning our neighborhoods and waterways and providing its customers with safe drinking water and sustainable energy practices.

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For additional information visit: PublicWorks@baltimorecity.gov; Facebook and Nextdoor at Baltimore City Department of Public Works; and Twitter at @BaltimoreDPW or Instagram at @dpwbaltimorecity