Baltimore’s Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood will be the site of a new pilot program to combat illegal dumping in the city, Mayor Brandon Scott announced Monday.
The program will use $70,000 in grant money from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and the Department of Housing and Community Development to fund three city positions dedicated to cleaning streets and alleys in the East Baltimore neighborhood. The employees, who will be residents of the neighborhood, will also be trained to continue work for the city’s Department of Public Works, Scott said Monday.
The program will initially focus on the Tivoly Redevelopment Area and is expected to last for one year. If successful, Scott said, he hopes to deploy it in other city neighborhoods.
Matt Garbark, Baltimore’s acting director of the Department of Public Works, said the program will free existing city employees to focus on cleanups in other areas of the city. He commended Mark Washington, director of the Coldstream Homestead Montebello Community Development Corporation, for spearheading the program.
“When communities have an opportunity to launch a program like this, it’s important the city makes every effort to support them,” Garbark said.
The program will pay an hourly wage of $15. Officials said they have already hired several neighborhood residents for the program, including one who first volunteered with the neighborhood association as community service, Washington said.
Councilwoman Odette Ramos, who represents the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello area, said the new program is one of several city initiatives to address dumping. City Council is also working on legislation to increase fees for illegal dumping, she said.
“This is a community dedicated to making sure that nobody else dumps on our neighborhood,” Ramos said.