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DPW Sweeps 190 Tons of Trash from Baltimore Streets 

April 10, 2014 (BALTIMORE, MD) — The first two rounds of Baltimore’s Citywide Mechanical Street Sweeping program resulted in 190 tons of litter, broken glass, yard debris, grit, bacteria and other pollutants being taken off City streets and kept out of urban waterways.

“Just two sweeps in two quadrants of this City is making Baltimore cleaner and healthier,” said Rudolph S. Chow, P.E., director of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW).

The DPW Bureau of Solid Waste, which is responsible for street sweeping, collected 81.1 tons on April 2, the first day of the program, and 108.9 tons on April 9. Both are unprecedented amounts of trash and pollution collected by our street sweeping program. To put that in perspective, the 190 tons of trash weighs about as much as 25 elephants.

“In addition to keeping streets clean, mechanical street sweeping is an effective way of keeping pollutants out of the storm drain system and ultimately out of our waterways,” said Director Chow.

The DPW expanded the street sweeping program this month in order to make sure all parts of the City receive this important service.

Neighborhoods in Baltimore’s Northwest and Southeast quadrants are swept the first two Wednesdays of each month, odd sides on the first (odd numbered) Wednesday and even sides on the second (even numbered) Wednesday. Mechanical street sweepers will spend the next two Wednesdays in the Northeast and Southwest quadrants; odd sides of the streets on the third (odd numbered) Wednesday and even sides on the fourth (even numbered) Wednesday.
Residents are urged to move their cars from those sides of the street on their sweeping days to allow the machines to do as thorough a job as possible. The sweepers are in operation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., though residents may return their cars to their spaces as soon as the sweeper has made its pass.

The expectation is that the amount of pollutants swept from the streets will be reduced as citizens and the Bureau of Solid Waste work together to improve attitudes and behaviors regarding trash disposal. The DPW is already taking citizen feedback and assessing ways it can work with communities to strengthen the program.

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