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Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott is calling on the Department of Public Works to do more to help residents after the decision to suspend curbside recycling through November 1.

In a letter to acting DPW Director Matthew Garbark, Scott highlighted ongoing frustrations associated with regular trash and recycling pickup. The current plan diverts recycling crews to full-time trash collection in an effort to make up for route delays caused by staffing shortages and illness.


“For some of our neighborhoods, this announcement comes on top of weeks of disruptions to residential trash and recycling pick up. While COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for our city, it is unacceptable for us to be at this point and more must be done to ensure seniors, people with disabilities, and people without personal vehicles can access basic city services,” Scott wrote. “I am frustrated that Baltimore continues to struggle with regular trash pickup, a problem that predates this pandemic. Even as we navigate challenging and unprecedented circumstances, the City has to find a way to complete its most basic responsibilities on behalf of our constituents.”

Residents in parts of the city said they have gone weeks without trash pickup.

Scott said the DPW needs to better prioritize 311 requests for missed trash collection, plus put additional recycling drop-off sites in each council district, extend hours at the city’s drop-off centers and more communication. Still, he applauded the hard work of DPW crews.

Garbark told CBS Baltimore, the agency will continue to reevaluate the collection sites.

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