John Chalmers Sworn In as Head of the DPW Bureau of Solid Waste

Press Release

Mr. John F. Chalmers was sworn in today as the new Head of the Bureau of Solid Waste for the City of Baltimore’s Department of Public Works.  Mayor Catherine E. Pugh administered the oath of office at the City Hall ceremony.  Public Works Director Rudolph S. Chow. P.E., and Mr. Chalmer’s family, friends, and co-workers were in attendance. Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young was also in attendance.

Mr. Chalmers has served in a supervisory capacity with the Bureau for the past quarter century.  Before becoming Acting Head in 2017, he most recently served as Chief of the Division of Routine Services for the Bureau since 2013. In that capacity he was responsible for managing the weekly curbside collection of mixed refuse and recycling from 210,000 households throughout Baltimore City, among many other duties.

“John Chalmers has been, and continues to be, one of DPW’s greatest achievers.  He has come up through the ranks in the agency, and with each new job he has improved the Bureau of Solid Waste,” said Director Chow.

As Head of the Bureau of Solid Waste, Mr. Chalmers is committed to keeping the City of Baltimore clean for residents and visitors by efficiently managing the resources under his leadership. In addition to overseeing trash and recycling collections, he is responsible for the cleaning of streets, alleys, lots and the harbor within the 80 square miles of Baltimore. In addition, the Bureau is responsible for eviction and fire debris removal, mechanical street sweeping, graffiti removal, landfill and transfer station management, rat eradication, and vacant yard cleaning and boarding operations.

Mr. Chalmers was at the forefront of the expansion of the Mechanical Street Sweeping Program in 2014 to cover the entire 2,000 miles of Baltimore City. As a result of this program an additional 20,000 miles of City streets are being swept and an additional 3,000 tons of debris are being removed every year. Mr. Chalmers has regularly produced and presented collaborative papers and reports on the Bureau’s finances, performance measurements and innovative programs.

Mr. Chalmers studied Computer Science at the Baltimore City Community College and is an alumnus of Frederick Douglas Senior High School. He completed Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) training in Landfill Basic Operations and Landfill Gas Extraction.  As a Solid Waste Assistant Chief, Mr. Chalmers was instrumental in the 2009 implementation of the ONE PLUS ONE curbside collection program, which was the most significant change in solid waste collections in Baltimore City in over 70 years. The change encompassed the frequency of collections, the collection schedule and the materials collected. In addition, the workforce was transitioned into a four, 10-hour-a-day work week.

Mr. Chalmers was a participant in the Free State Mentor Program at the Aberdeen Proving Ground where he mentored at risk youth 13-18 years of age and in 2008, was awarded a Mayor’s Citation for outstanding job performance.

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