Small commercial trash haulers will be able to register for a free 90-day permit to drop off their trash at waste collection sites as part of a pilot program aimed at reducing illegal dumping in Baltimore City.
The initiative is part of Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s “Clean It Up!” campaign, which he launched in January to reduce “crime and grime” in Baltimore.
“I’m very excited for this latest piece of the ‘Clean It Up!’ campaign because this is all about new and innovative ways to get residents to help make Baltimore cleaner and safer,” Young said in a press conference Wednesday.
The pilot program will build on the city’s existing Small Haulers program, which currently charges small haulers a $20 fee for loads up to 7,000 pounds and $3.38 per 100 pounds over that weight. Small haulers also currently have to pay a $35 fee to register a vehicle weighing 7,000 pounds or fewer.
Everyday residents are already able to dispose of their trash for free under the current program.
But with the new pilot program, all small haulers will soon be able to register for a free permit to haul their trash to two collection sites, from March 9 to June 7.
The Northwest Transfer Station at 5030 Reisterstown Road accepts small hauls from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The Quarantine Road Landfill at 6100 Quarantine Road accepts small hauls from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Haulers may not dispose of liquid waste or hazardous waste, such as oil-based paints, pesticides, herbicides, car and household batteries, drain cleaners and pool chemicals, at the transfer station or landfill, said John Chalmers, director of the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Solid Waste.
Those items have to be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection facility at Northwest Convenience, located at 2840 Sisson St.
Small haulers can obtain a free permit from the Baltimore City Health Department at 1001 E. Fayette St. If someone already has a valid small haulers permit, they can continue to use it, Chalmers said.
Young said the city is being vigilant of illegal dumping activity, including acts by offenders who live in counties around Baltimore City.
“If we catch county residents illegally dumping, they will be prosecuted,” he said.
Baltimore City Council Vice President Sharon Green Middleton, who represents District 6 in Northwest Baltimore, said people often illegally dump their waste in the Park Heights neighborhood if they are not able to access the Northwest Transfer Station.
“Sometimes we have a problem in that area where people will get turned away [from the transfer station] and then they’ll start throwing the trash and the furniture and stuff in different areas of Park Heights,” she said.
Middleton hopes the pilot program will encourage more people to legally dispose of their waste.
DPW expanded the Small Haulers program in 2017 to allow small commercial haulers to use the Northwest Transfer Station in addition to the Quarantine Road Landfill.
In summer 2019, the transfer station and landfill received more than 4,000 visits by small haulers per month and collected more than 5,000 tons of waste per month, Young said.
Young said the city has reduced its backlog of overdue 311 cleaning service requests, including reports of illegal dumpings, from 17,000 overdue requests in September to 1,700 now.
The city has also published a public list of the top 10 most cited trash, sanitation and illegal dumping violators. Young said the city is taking steps to engage those entities to stop those violations
Last week, Young launched the “Clean and Safe” piece of his “Clean It Up!” campaign. Through that initiative, the city will collaborate with community leaders in four neighborhoods that have been identified as needing more support to address “crime and grime.” The mayor also expanded programs to beautify and repurpose vacant lots.
Before that, Young announced another part of the campaign, challenging Department of Transportation workers to fill 5,000 potholes in 50 days. That challenge, which began Feb. 12, is on track with more than 1,000 potholes filled so far, Young said.
To track the city’s progress on the “Clean It Up!” campaign, visit the CleanStat dashboard at www.baltopi.com/cleanstat. For more information specifically about the Small Haulers expansion pilot program, visit www.baltopi.com/small-haulers.