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Baltimore City will not resume curbside recycling pickup in November as initially planned

Baltimore City will not resume curbside recycling pickup in November as expected, and is unlikely to do so until at least Dec. 15, officials said Tuesday.

The city’s Department of Public Works paused recycling pickup in August due to staffing shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic and hot weather. At that time, workers who normally handled recycling collection were shifted to trash pickup.

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“National health reports indicate that the COVID-19 virus is beginning to surge. Some contributing factors to the surge include individuals moving from congregating outdoors to indoors. Out of an abundance of caution, DPW will not resume curbside recycling collections at this time,” said Matthew W. Garbark, the city’s acting public works director, in a news release.

In late August, Garbark said his department was working with 150 employees per day, despite needing 230 people per day.

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The department set up recycling drop-off centers in each of the city’s 14 districts during the shutdown. As part of Tuesday’s announcement, officials said that centers will be open on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. for recycling. Previously, they were only available on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Recycling pickup in the city was also paused for three weeks beginning in June, after a coronavirus outbreak at the Eastern Sanitation Yard.

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