City takes next step in cleanup campaign

July 24, 2008|By John Fritze | John Fritze,SUN REPORTER

Launching the next step in what is expected to be a larger media campaign, Baltimore officials said yesterday that they will soon emblazon trash trucks and garbage cans with new slogans intended to reduce littering.

The campaign is more edgy than past anti-litter efforts. One sign pictures a bedraggled rat hunched over text, "He loves when you put your trash out too early." Another sign, to be posted on trash cans, says, "Pick up the litter, lift up the city."

"We're going to deliver this message to the public in any way that we can," said Mayor Sheila Dixon, who has made cleaning up the city a major theme of her tenure. "Don't make your trash everybody else's problem."

Last year, the city announced that it would roll out a $2 million anti-littering advertising campaign focused around the slogan, "Don't make excuses. Make a difference."

A Dixon spokesman said the city added about 750 trash cans to Baltimore streets between March and August of last year and plans to add 300 in coming months. In June, a nonprofit fund set up to pay for the media campaign had raised about $435,000 with another $800,000 in commitments.

Dixon held a news conference to announce the campaign on North Fulton Avenue. A number of residents came out to question the mayor about specific properties in the neighborhood that they said contained trash and are attracting rats.

"We found out that this building right here is owned by the city," said Walter Morsley, pointing to a house in the 800 block of N. Fulton. "It's full of rats. They using it as a dumping ground back there."

Several city officials, including Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano, stepped off the podium to talk with the Morsley about the house.

"We're going to get on it right now," Dixon said.

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