Citywide Street Sweeping—A "Sweeping Success"

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Citywide Street Sweeping—A "Sweeping Success"

Initiative Makes Baltimore a Cleaner City

September 25, 2014 (BALTIMORE, MD)—Baltimore City Department of Public Works Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E., today announced the first results from citywide street sweeping which started this spring.

“In six months we have removed 1,600 tons of debris from our streets,” said Director Chow. “Because of this effort the material collected will not enter a storm drain, block an inlet, cause flooding backups, and pollute our streams, harbor and Chesapeake Bay.”

Launched April 2, citywide street sweeping operates in four quadrants that previously saw no service or scattered, inefficient service. Instead of sweeping only the Central areas of the City and some of our main commuter routes, all neighborhoods are now being reached using a fleet of 36 vehicles. An additional eleven sweepers have been purchased, and these will be used to replace older vehicles and ensure continuous sweeping operations.

In addition to the total amount of trash removed, the amount removed per mile has decreased from 0.14 tons per mile in April to 0.09 tons in September. This is indicative of cleaner streets.

“There is not a day that goes by where I don’t hear from residents who want to see the city doing more to clean up trash,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “I’m determined to grow Baltimore into one of the cleanest big cities in America, which is why expanding mechanical street sweeping into every City neighborhood was critically important.  Six months in, the program has been a huge success and taken nearly 1,600 tons of trash, pollutants and grime from City streets.  We are learning how to improve as we go, and I’m committed to making sure this program grows stronger and stronger each and every day.”

Sweeping is done on an odd-even alternating basis on Wednesdays. Residents must move their cars from the sides of streets being swept in order to expedite the work. On the first Wednesday of the month the odd sides of streets in NW and SE Baltimore are swept; 2nd Wednesday are the even sides of NW and SE; 3rd Wednesday are the odd sides of NE and SW; 4th Wednesday are the even sides of NE and SW.

To avoid neighborhood clutter, signs were not posted for this endeavor, but postcards were sent out and yard signs have been displayed throughout the city reminding citizens of their sweeping day. DPW will provide these temporary signs upon request.

DPW also posts weekly reminders of the sweeping schedule on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the upcoming 2015 DPW Calendar will have your sweeping days clearly marked, so look for that in the mail in December.

Citywide street sweeping is just one of several new initiatives from the Department of Public Works to Clean Up Baltimore. Others include a pilot Municipal Trash Can program, a targeted Alley Cleaning Program, Wooded Shoulders Cleaning and the Drive to 35 Recycling efforts.

Citizens are also reminded that regular cleaning of their own alleys, sidewalks and curbs; using a durable trash container with a tight-fitting lid; and not littering are the best ways to clean our City. By moving your vehicle on your street during your sweeping day we can do even more to make Baltimore cleaner.

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