- Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has announced plans to spend $10 million to purchase trash cans for every house in the city. The plans are aimed to control Baltimore's rat population and decrease trash hauler injuries.
- The announcement builds on a pilot program that Baltimore launched last year, which provided heavy duty trash cans to 9,000 households. The initial pilot showed that calls for rat extermination dropped nearly 75%, while the number of worker injuries also dropped.
- The city is expected to provide 64-gallon bins made of resin, with an attached lid and wheels, for 210,000 households — all of the ones eligible for trash collection. There will be no cost to residents.
The Mayor and the Department of Public Works have good intentions to clean up the city while increasing worker safety. As a part of the program, the city's garbage trucks are designed to lift the containers, which reduces the risk of injury.
"Cans provided by the city do help keep trash properly stored and the use of municipal cans across the city gives us the best tool we could have to combat rats and keep our communities clean," said DPW Director Rudolph S. Chow in a statement.
However, the well-designed trash bins come at a price — which may be stretching the city's budget. Some residents have turned to Twitter to express concerns that the $10 million is not being spent wisely:
Here's Baltimore's growing budget deficit. Let's talk about the $10M the Mayor is proposing to spend on trash cans. pic.twitter.com/077a9w0S08— Matt McDaniel (@McD4District1) August 17, 2015
So far, it is unclear if the program will include recycling containers.