- Starting this month, Baltimore is allowing small commercial haulers that collect household items to use the Department of Public Works' (DPW) Northwest Transfer Station for a reduced rate in an effort to reduce illegal dumping incidents, as reported by Waste360.
- Numerous illegal dumping incidents have been reported due in part to the distance and wait times involved with tipping at the Quarantine Road Landfill in South Baltimore, so the city decided another option was needed.
- Haulers must register with the city to use the transfer station. Tipping fees are $20 per load and an additional $3.38 per 100 pounds for any load that exceeds 7,000 pounds.
A recent DPW report estimated that 10,000 tons of waste are dumped illegally in the city every year. The city classifies this as any time bags of refuse, yard waste, tires, construction debris or other items end up on street corners, vacant lots or alley ways. During the previous fiscal year, Baltimore spent nearly $18.7 million on "right of way cleaning services" and dumping played a key role in that cost.
Shifting to cart collection, as well as opening five drop-off centers for residents, are among some of the other recent steps that the city has taken to address this issue. Cracking down on this behavior has been difficult in other cities as well. One New York council member introduced legislation that would require community service for anyone caught in the act and Oakland, CA has invested in mobile cameras that can read license plates.
As recently highlighted in Oakland, the health and blight effects of illegal dumping can also become compounded if too much material ends up in waterways as well. The city is one of many in California that is struggling to meet state-mandated reduction targets for marine litter due to the high costs of new stormwater infrastructure. In Baltimore, two "trash wheels" have been installed in the harbor to catch this debris and two more could be joining the family soon.