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Put Baltimore’s windshield washers to work on recycling | READER COMMENTARY

Baltimore Department of Public Works employees help move recyclables from a resident's car to a sanitation truck at the Sisson Street drop-off facility one year ago. Curbside recycling has proven to be a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun).
Baltimore Department of Public Works employees help move recyclables from a resident's car to a sanitation truck at the Sisson Street drop-off facility one year ago. Curbside recycling has proven to be a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun). (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)

Taxpaying citizens in Baltimore, of whom there are fewer each year, according to the new census data, are direct beneficiaries of only a very few of the programs on which Mayor Brandon Scott and the City Council spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Two services that touch nearly every resident are trash and recycling pickup. And for the second time in about a year, the city is cancelling weekly pickups because of COVID-19. That was a 2020 excuse, but here we are in 2022. Come on (”Baltimore to collect recycling every other week as COVID causes major staff shortages,” Jan. 12)!

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The mayor is spending big bucks to provide “workforce readiness” training for the so-called squeegee kids and other unemployed men and women including returning convicted citizens. A leader with a little imagination might see an opportunity here to give people in need of a job a real-life opportunity, something to put on their resumes, as temporary public works employees.

Oh, you say, there are civil service rules and unions? Then give a quick contract to one of the zillion non-profit organizations in town to round up workers for employment until the shortage of trash collectors is solved. Last year, the mayor imported a city administrator from Texas at about $250,000 a year to solve problems like this one. Where are his solutions?

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Bill Hamilton, Baltimore

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