A Cleaner South Baltimore

| February 16, 2012 | 11 Comments

As someone who has lived in the most southern end of SoBo for the last 8 years, I can tell you that the cleanliness of the streets has always been a huge frustration.  I am lucky enough (please note my extreme sarcasm) to live on a block where the trash wind tunnel seems to collect so no matter how much me and my neighbors would try to pick up the trash, it was impossible to keep up.

But everything has changed for us in the last few months. Now every Thursday, an extremely friendly lady from the Baltimore City Department of Public Works comes by with a broom, dust pan and trash can and cleans the block spotlessly.  I can’t tell you how much of a difference this has made. It now allows people like myself to spend more time on our busy lives and not cleaning up an endless supply of trash that has nothing to do with anything we did.  I have also driven through Pigtown and other parts of the peninsula and have seen street sweepers as well.

So whether or not this change occurred as a result of our neighborhood association, City Council, or  our leaders getting disgusted from being listed #6 in America’s Dirtiest Cities in Travel and Leisure (a site that seems to be trashing us, Philly and DC at every chance) it is really appreciated!

So what causes all of this trash?  As someone who works from home and takes his dog on about four walks a day, I feel like I can accurately answer this question.  Public enemy #1 is sloppy recycling pick-up.  Sure recycling is great for the environment, but not when hundreds  of bottles and newspapers end up back on the street by people who don’t use a lid on their bin and as a result of sloppy collection by the recycling truck.   A windy day on recycling day is a recipe for disaster – so continue to recycle, but please everyone use a lid on their recycling bin, it will really go a long way in keeping the neighborhood clean!  

Public enemy #2 is sloppy trash pick-up.  People over-stuff trash cans and place barely closed trash bags in front of their house and on the corners.  If you have too much trash, there is dump less than two minutes from here in Cherry Hill.  When people place too much trash outside, a standoff ensues between the residents and the collector.  If they don’t pick something up, please take five minutes of your time and drive to Cherry Hill.

A third problem which has drastically decreased with the improvement of the neighborhood is people who just don’t care and litter.  Many of us remember the days when Heath St. was a festival of ugliness and  remember that many of these people passing would loiter, buy or use drugs and throw their bottles and candy wrappers all over the streets.

Luckily things are starting to seem to turn around and I am glad things are moving in the right direction – but there’s still more that needs to be done. If you are also frustrated about the trash problems in this neighborhood, please forward this article and tell people how to help.  As the spring soon approaches, hopefully we can organize some weed pulling gatherings in the neighborhood – I have a big thing of weed killer ready!

Here is a sample of what the block typically looks like now after a cleaning. We’ve done a good job on the weed problem. 


Here is a picture from at least a year ago on Google Earth. 


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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
Filed in: Federal Hill, SBNA