After readers asked why there is so much litter in Baltimore, The Baltimore Sun took a deep look into the root cause of the city’s trash problem.
The Sun notes that the city’s litter problem is rooted to deep systematic challenges within the city. For instance, 694 staff members of Baltimore’s Solid Waste Bureau manage 210,000 households over nearly 90 square miles, and the agency does not have enough resources to effectively clean up behind more than 600,000 city residents, according to the report. The agency processes 150,000 tons of trash annually from home pickups alone, not including the 383,000 and growing service requests the bureau received last year to clean vacant properties, abate rats, clear alleys and clear storm drains.
The Baltimore Sun has more information:
Strolling the sidewalk on a lunch break, John Chalmers watched customers exit a downtown carryout, take three steps and promptly toss their trash in the gutter without a care.
For the man whose mantra is “Baltimore is not your personal trash can,” it struck a nerve.
“What’s shocking is that there was no shame,” said Chalmers, head of the city’s Solid Waste Bureau.
From downtown curbs to vacant lots, litter abounds in Baltimore. It’s hardly a unique problem, but managing litter is complex because it is both entrenched in and dwarfed by larger issues in the city like violence and poverty.