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The Dripby Danielle Sweeney12:51 pmApr 21, 20150

Sustainability panel to make recommendations on dealing with trash

Expanding “smart cans” outside of two pilot communities is one of the recommendations of the commission

Above: No parking but plenty of household trash and dumped materials are piled up on a Southeast Baltimore street.

Baltimore’s Sustainability Commission will announce its recommendations to reduce trash in the city tonight at a community Town Hall event.

Their recommendations will include creating a “Clean Up Baltimore” Peer-to-Peer Network run by neighborhood leaders, nonprofits and city agencies and launching an anti-littering campaign on social media, buses and trash cans.

A key recommendation is expanding the city’s residential trash can program.

Currently operating in two Inner City neighborhoods, the program gives residents a sturdy city-owned trash can, equipped with an attached lid and wheels to make it easy to move. The purpose of the cans is to reduce garbage and rat problems in communities where residents don’t use trash cans or can lids or don’t use them efficiently.

More “Smart” and Corner Cans

The new cans are equipped with a chip that the city can use to determine where the can belongs. Taking a can from a property is considered theft and may be subject to law enforcement action.

DPW gave away over 9,000 such “smart cans” – one per residence in the Mondawmin and Belair-Edison communities – as part of the $578,000 program approved by the Board of Estimates in 2013.

Another recommendation is to increase the number and quality of corner trash cans, particularly at bus stops and other prime locations, to reduce the city’s street trash problem.
TAKING ON TRASH: The latest story from The Brew’s occasional series on Baltimore’s garbage woes.
Corner cans are somewhat controversial in Baltimore because the traditional municipal wide-mouthed trash receptacles are subject to misuse by those who stuff them with bags of household garbage.

Better designed narrow-rimed cans are less prone to abuse, and more efficient, but are also more expensive to purchase.

The commission also recommends supporting a statewide bottle deposit bill, and the city developing a more robust litter, trash and dumping code enforcement process. 

A Trash Plan for Developers 

Another proposal the commission supports is requiring developers to provide a trash plan for approval at site review meetings with the city Planning Department.

Tonight’s Trash Town Hall – which will include interactive family activities, giveaways, CFL bulb recycling, a children’s area, crafts, Mr. Trash Wheel and a compost kitchen – will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Humanim at 1701 North Gay Street.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Rudy Chow, director of the Department of Public Works, and Commission on Sustainability chair Cheryl Casciani will speak at the event.

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