Trash scofflaws of Baltimore beware.
City officials announced the creation this week of a public Top 10 list designed to shame Baltimore’s illegal dumping and trash violators into compliance.
The list, published on Baltimore’s CitiStat website, names the entities that received the most citations in 2019 — be they personal property owners, rental companies or businesses.
City officials plan to update the list monthly as new violators are cited and as past violations are rectified.
“Today, we want to put a spotlight on them,” said Democratic Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, who unveiled the list at a news conference Wednesday.
The initiative is part of Young’s “Clean It Up!” campaign, started last week with a pledge to eliminate the city’s backlog of 311 cleaning requests.
The majority of those named on the trash and dumping list are either limited liability corporations or other businesses that own and manage property. One, P&J Contracting Company Inc., is a construction firm, managed by president Pless B. Jones. P&J, which ranked third on the list with 22 violations, racked up the most fines among the Top 10 with $22,000 in 2019.
City officials cautioned that some of those named on the list have paid the fines they owe the city.
Jason Hessler, deputy commissioner for permits and litigation in the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development, said the P&J citations were related to the illegal storage of dirt on 22 "consecutive lots” where demolition was going on. The lots were city-owned, he said, calling the issue “very isolated.”
“That incident was addressed,” Hessler said. “Citations were issued, and within six weeks of citations being issued, the area was cleaned."
City spokesman James Bentley said Thursday that P&J entered into a settlement agreement after completing the cleanup and ultimately paid a $2,400 fine.
Jones did not return a message seeking comment.
Young also announced Wednesday that the city has cleared 1,500 work orders since last week for issues reported on the city’s 311 call system. Young and his staff pledged last week to get the number of backlogged cleanup requests to zero.
In September, residents were waiting on more than 17,000 overdue cleaning and property maintenance work orders, according to city data. By Jan. 1, city crews had reduced the backlog to about 7,500.
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Baltimore recently unveiled a CleanStat website, which tracks data related to how the city is dealing with trash, illegal dumping and litter issues. The Top 10 list of violators is also available on that website.