Curated Session: Waste Management Challenges

Welcome to Baltimore

Monday, September 25, 2017
14:00 – 15:15
Room 317

Moderator: Barry Shanoff, General Counsel, SWANA

As you observe the conference host location, what have you noticed about how solid waste is managed? How does it compare to your own community? Hear from people behind Baltimore’s solid waste programs about their challenges and successes.


Re-looking at Pedestrian Litter Control

Litter control is a hot issue for urban cities. Litter gives an over-sized perception that a city is dirty. Controlling urban litter and deflating that perception is an important goal. Baltimore City, which has more than 8,000 corner cans, has experimented with using Bigbelly containers and is now looking to expand and upgrade its network of corner cans to control litter more effectively while saving money and resources.

By attending this presentation, participants will better be able to:

  • Discuss the problems of litter on streets and sidewalks
  • Evaluate the effectiveness or various corner cans
  • Determine whether pedestrian recycling works
  • Discuss the relationship between siting corner cans and pedestrian behavior

Robert Murrow, Division Chief, Baltimore City Department of Public Works Bureau of Solid Waste, Maryland

Robert Murrow

Robert H. Murrow currently works as a division chief for the Bureau of Solid Waste and the Recycling Coordinator for Baltimore City. He has worked at the Department of Public Works for over 20 years as a Public Information Supervisor and worked mainly in the Bureau of Solid Waste and for the Office of Recycling. He worked at various City agencies prior to coming to DPW including stints at the Baltimore Zoo and the Mayor’s Office. A graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, Mr. Murrow has extensive experience in public relations and marketing and has served six Baltimore mayors. Some of the major projects he has worked on include the Artscape festival, the CSX train tunnel fire, the rehabilitation of the Loch Raven Dam and the change to once a week trash and recycling collections in Baltimore City—the biggest change in 70 years. He is the editor of the MAPS professional managers’ newsletter, was accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and was the editor of a city-wide employee newspaper, The City’s Pride. In addition to overseeing field operations and promotion of recycling, Mr. Murrow writes extensively and has written several white papers for the Bureau of Solid Waste, including making the argument for the purchase and distribution of 173,000 municipal trash cans in Baltimore city. Mr. Murrow has also written several policy papers and has written speeches for the bureau head as well as correspondence for the Mayor’s Office.

The Environmental Benefit of Standardized Municipal Trash Cans

The plan was to provide one municipal trash container per address. The container would be assigned to the property, but owned by the City of Baltimore. While the initial aim was rat reduction, another goal was that public's perception of the cleanliness of the city would improve when all residents had a uniform container that would help decrease the issues with dirty alleys and streets.

By attending this presentation, participants will better be able to discuss, examine or compare how the roll out of the program has gone, what Baltimore DPW learned along the way, what successes the program has seen, any changes in the rat population and any possible changes in worker comp claims as a result of all collection trucks being outfitted with lifters to empty the cans.

Tonya Simmons, Division Chief, Baltimore Southeast Quadrant, Baltimore City Department of Public Works Bureau of Solid Waste, Maryland

Tonya Simmons

Tonya R. Simmons currently serves as Division Chief of the Baltimore Southeast Quadrant, formerly known as the Special Services Division; since January 2016. Ms. Simmons is responsible for Street and Alley Cleaning, Graffiti Removal, Trash and Recycling Collection, Special Events, Corner Can Services, Vacant Lots and Vacant/Abandoned Property Cleaning/Cutting, Inner Harbor/Casino/Water way cleaning. Prior to being Division Chief of the Southeast Quadrant, Ms. Simmons was Division Chief of the Northeast Quadrant, formerly known as the Property Management Division; from May 2005 through January 2016. There, Ms. Simmons was responsible for the cleaning and mowing of Vacant Lots and Vacant/Abandoned Properties and Rat Eradication. Other titles Ms. Simmons has held are, Recycling Coordinator, Solid Waste Analyst, Management Support Tech, Recycling Program Technician and Office Assistant. Ms. Simmons holds a B.S. degree from Coppin State College in Management Science, with a concentration in Marketing and an MBA from the University of Baltimore with a concentration in Marketing. Ms. Simmons has 20 years of Solid Waste experience. She has worked in or closely with every division of Solid Waste, including three years in the Bureau of Water and Wastewater with direct support and stat analysis for the Bureau Head of Water and Wastewater and three years in the Department of Transportation. Throughout her 26 years of civil service Ms. Simmons has dealt with such issues as customer service, stat analysis, performance management, crew deployment, project management, budget, field operations, etc. Highlights during Ms. Simmons’ career are her pivotal roles in helping to develop and launch the 2007 Baltimore City Single Stream Recycling program, the 2013 launch of a City-wide Proactive Mowing program, and the 2014 launch of the Proactive Rat Abatement program. Ms. Simmons’ past and present affiliations include: current Sigma Iota Epsilon Chapter Member—National Honorary and Professional Management Fraternity, current member of the Solid Waste Association of North America, Mid-Atlantic Chapter, past Mayor’s Commission on Sustainability (Commissioner)—City of Baltimore, past Maryland Recycling Network (MRN) Member, February 2007 feature in Waste News magazine for improvements in urban recycling, member of the coined “Divas of Debris” during Mayor Sheila Dixon’s Administration.

Unpermitted Haulers: Bringing Them into the Fold

Illegal dumping is costly problem. It is suspected that many unpermitted small haulers collect fees for collecting trash but then dump their loads in public areas in order to pocket all of their fees. Baltimore City is establishing a small hauler program which will allow unpermitted haulers to dispose of their loads for a nominal fee at their convenience. They will receive an application for a small hauler's permit. The aim of the program is to make these small haulers more responsible.

By attending this presentation, participants will better be able to:

  • Discuss illegal dumping and possible remedies
  • Evaluate different approaches to reducing illegal dumping: carrot or stick?
  • Examine the motivations behind illegal dumping: is it just cost or convenience?

Yvonne Moore-Jackson, Solid Waste Chief, Baltimore City Department of Public Works Bureau of Solid Waste, Maryland

Yvonne Jackson

Yvonne Moore-Jackson joined the Department of Public Works in September 2013 and now serves as Chief of the Northeast Quadrant. As chief, she directs the deployment of work crews that provide cleaning, boarding and mowing services to vacant and unoccupied properties, street and alley cleaning, residential trash and bulk collections, fire debris and illegal dumping removal, as well as the City’s Rat Abatement program, Rat Rubout. Ms. Moore-Jackson holds a B.A. Degree in Business Management from Notre Dame of Maryland University and has over 12 years’ experience in Operations Management. She has been a city employee since 1997 and previously served as Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Code Enforcement Inspections. Ms. Moore-Jackson has been recognized by local dignitaries for her committed, dedicated and loyal service to the citizens of Baltimore.