Baltimore Deserves a Department of Public Works that Works for the People
The recent announcement by the Baltimore City Department of Public Works that curbside recycling collection would be suspended until at least November is a sad reflection on the priorities of the Baltimore City Government. This comes on top of recent decisions to cut rat abatement and dumping enforcement.The Baltimore City Police receive over $500,000,000 per year and the Department of Public Works are being forced by Mayor Young to choose between collecting trash and collecting recycling.
Green Party candidate for 12th District City Council Franca Muller Paz: “I stand by our DPW workers, their right to sick leave, the need for them to safely quarantine, and mourn the tragic loss of those who have passed due to COVID19. While our City takes necessary steps to support the health of these workers, we must find temporary solutions to support the recycling needs of our City. We need to extend recycling collection location hours and support community-led initiatives to continue necessary recycling programs.”
The Baltimore City Green Party asks that the city take the following short term actions in order to deal with this problem in the short term
- The city should provide extended hours for recycling collection at the district level recycling collection locations
- The city should support community led recycling programs in order to allow those without access to a vehicle the same opportunity as those with vehicles.
- No worker should be forced to return to the job before it is safe to do so and all workers should receive paid time off if they need to quarantine after a potential exposure.
Before recycling resumes the city should ensure that all recycled materials are actually recycled and do not end up in an incinerator or a landfill. The city should also implement a municipal composting program by 2021 and move toward zero waste by 2032.
Baltimore deserves a Department of Public Works that works for the People. We need leaders who work for the People in City Hall to make that happen.