Baltimore’s Municipal Trash Can Program Wins ‘Project of the Year’

Blue banner with text Baltimore City Dept of Public Works Press Release plus city seal & DPW logo

Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E., announced that DPW has been selected for a major industry award for the City’s Municipal Trash Can Program.  The program has been named “2017 Project of the Year” by the American Public Works Association (APWA) Mid-Atlantic Chapter.  APWA is the largest organization of its kind in the world with 63 chapters throughout North America, including the Mid-Atlantic chapter.

The Municipal Trash Can Program rolled out in the city in March 2016, following a successful pilot program.  Each trash can is constructed of heavy-duty plastic and is equipped with an attached lid and wheels that make the cans easy to move.  While the cans are free to residents, they are owned and maintained by the City.

Municipal Trash Cans are an important innovation for Baltimore. It has been shown to make City trash collection more effective, keep our streets and alleys cleaner, and reduce evidence of vermin.  The award is in the category of environmental projects in the $5 million to $25 million range.

The Chapter also selected DPW employees to receive the Public Works Hero award.  Alfonso Jenkins and Greg Schmidt will receive this award as a duo, for the life-saving efforts they performed on a co-worker at DPW’s Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant, where all three gentlemen work. The co-worker survived thanks in part to their efforts. 

In addition, Baltimore Environmental Police Officer Silas Phillips received an honorable mention in the Public Works Hero category.  The Environmental Police patrol and protect DPW’s watersheds, including the Liberty Reservoir, portions of which are in Carroll and Baltimore Counties.  Officer Phillips heroically apprehended dangerous suspects responsible for the armed robbery of the Finksburg Pharmacy in Carroll County.  He also apprehended suspects responsible for the theft of prescription medications in Sykesville.  Most recently, he was able to rescue a suicidal person from the waters of Liberty Reservoir.  Officer Phillips is also the recipient of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Valor award as well as the DPW Environmental Police Lifesaving award.

Phillip Chery, an employee in the department’s Human Resources Division, received an Honorable Mention for outstanding service in the Non-Public Contact Customer Service award category.  Chery was named DPW Employee of the year in 2016.  He exemplifies hard work, dedication and best practices in areas that include customer service, relationships with co-workers and contributions to the community.  He has served on the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities since 2012.  He previously served as DPW’s coordinator for the Combined Charities/Baltimore City Employee United Way giving campaign, prior to being named DPW’s Loaned Executive to the campaign in 2014.

The awards will be presented to DPW employees in a ceremony at the APWA Mid-Atlantic Conference to be held in Fredericksburg, Virginia on May 11. 

Other honors DPW holds include awards in engineering excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), Maryland Chapter for the Towson Finished Water Reservoir, the Montebello Plant 2 Reservoir, and the Rehabilitation of the Southwest Diversion Pressure/Gravity Sewer, Phase III.  It also holds a “Top Project” award from Water and Wastes Digest and the Industrial Water and Wastes Digest magazines for the Enhanced Nutrient Removal project at Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant.  DPW maintains the designation of “Utility of the Future Today.” The agency was one of the first agencies to receive this honor which recognizes the progress and exceptional performance of the nation’s wastewater utilities.

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The Baltimore City Department of Public Works supports the health, environment, and economy of our City and region by cleaning our neighborhoods and waterways and providing its customers with safe drinking water and sustainable energy practices.