Baltimore City DPW Explains Reasons Behind Trash-Collection Delays

By Staff Reporter
Posted on 09/15/20 | News Source: WBAL TV

Outside vendor started helping DPW with collection Tuesday

Frustration over delayed trash collection in Baltimore is not waning.

During a Baltimore City Council Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing Tuesday, the Department of Public Works described how the coronavirus has impacted collection services and what the agency is doing to get help from private contractors.

DPW officials said that because of coronavirus issues, the department has been overwhelmed trying to staff all collection routes. A local contractor just began helping out Tuesday.

A trash truck that belongs to a private firm, Baltimore-based Goode Companies Inc. began collecting in northeast Baltimore. It's not the normal green trash truck city residents are used to seeing, but that doesn’t matter.

"Halleluiah. It's a blessing. It's a blessing," said Sheila Johnson, a resident. "I'm just elated they (are) taking the initiative to pick up our trash."

"The city contacted us. We saw it on the news, and we mentioned we have a couple of trucks that can help you pick it up," said Kirk Goode, a project manager.

The company is contracted to provide three haulers that will work eight routes weekly, two routes a day. It has a smaller truck that can go into tighter alleys, which presented a problem in recent months because other contractors' vehicles were too large.

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"The area they gave us, we're guaranteed to pick it up and make sure everything is serviced," Goode said.

So far, Goode is the only contractor the city has been able to hire.

The DPW told the committee how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted trash and recycling collection, saying negotiations are ongoing with other trash hauling companies.

"It has been difficult to get vendors on board. They are experiencing shortages, fear and concerns as we are, and concerns about the nature of the alleys requiring smaller vehicles," said Matthew Garbark, acting director of the DPW. Reaad more at WBALTV