Mayor Scott, City Agencies Highlight the Return of Weekly Recycling

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Mayor Brandon M. Scott with City staff outside by waste collection vehicles

BALTIMORE, MD (Monday, March 4, 2024) – Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott, Department of Public Works Interim Director Richard J. Luna, Department of General Services Director Berke Attila, and Baltimore City Chief Administrative Officer Faith Leach joined city staff and community members to highlight the return of weekly, curbside recycling collections for Baltimore City residents, starting March 5th.

The return of weekly recycling has been made possible with brand-new DPW load-packer trucks ready to hit the road, recycling routes being updated and optimized, and dozens of new DPW Solid Waste workers being hired or promoted.

“Returning to weekly recycling has been a priority since I first took office, but there was a long road in front of us to put the resources in the place and to ensure the return would be sustainable for both crews and residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “We utilized every tool available to us, bringing together numerous parts of city government to make it happen. In the end, we needed three things: to add more trucks to DPW’s solid waste fleet, to hire more workers, and to make sure that the collection routes were organized as efficiently as possible. Our teams at DPW and DGS have worked nonstop to make this happen, and this week, we’re thrilled to be able to finally make it happen.”

At the event, Mayor Scott and DPW Interim Director Luna stressed that the return to weekly recycling has been designed to be as seamless as possible for Baltimore’s residents. Through the route optimization efforts, pick-up days will not change for anyone, however, the pick-up time may change.

The Road to Weekly Recycling

The three-prong strategy to support the return to weekly recycling focused on:

  • Growing the Solid Waste Workforce: DPW has hired/promoted 35 new drivers and 74 new solid waste workers. With these latest hires, the solid waste workforce is down an 8.6 % vacancy rate.
  • Optimizing Recycling Routes: DPW implemented new technology to reduce the number of stops per crew from 2600 stops per crew down to 1800 stops per crew.
  • Upgrading the Solid Waste Fleet: DPW and DGS worked to upgrade and maintain the city's aging fleet. The City procured 80 new load packer trucks. Of these, 20 of these trucks have now been delivered, clearing the threshold of necessary equipment needed to return to weekly pick-up.

New Trucks, New Look

In order to encourage Baltimore residents to recycle, the new DPW Solid Waste trucks will be easy to spot as they traverse the city. These trucks now have a new look—bright colors, a new tagline, and an arrow design, signifying the new routes and evolution of the recycling symbol.

DPW’s Solid Waste fleet is comprised of load packers designed specifically to move through Baltimore’s narrow alleyways. In the Solid Waste industry, these trucks are known as the “Baltimore Load Packer.”

Clean it! Contain it! Curb It!

To facilitate a smooth transition to weekly recycling, DPW urges residents to take the following steps:

  • Clean It: Make sure recycling items are clean and empty. Help the recycling process by rinsing containers to remove food residue before placing in your recycling cart.
  • Contain It: Make sure your City-issued, blue recycling cart is in good condition with a secure lid. If you have moved and are in need of a cart, please call 311 or submit a service request online. Residents are free to use any type of container to hold and secure their recycling—except plastic bags.
  • Curb It: Set your recycling container out on your regular recycling collection day, place your items out for pick-up where your trash is collected. Your recycling collection day remains the same, but the time of pick-up may change. The return to weekly recycling just changes the frequency of recycling collections, moving from every other week to weekly pick-ups. To check your recycling collection day, please check our online map.

Mayor Brandon M. Scott at podium making remarks

Trash collection vehicle

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