Cleaner city requires more than a good sweep [Letter]

March 28, 2014

This week, I received my notice about the monthly street cleaning and I applaud the Mayor's office for rolling out the much needed service but is it enough ("City street-sweeping expansion to rely on cooperation, not enforcement," March 20)?

I bought my home in an up-and-coming community in 2012. I love it there and am looking forward to the growth of the neighborhood. However, I was not prepared for the rat infestation. I seldom use my backyard as I have heard them try to gnaw their way into my home. I walk up the center of the street, rather than sidewalk since the rats run from one side to another. I see backyards with open trash cans, no trash cans and bags of trash on top of the trash cans.

Today was trash day and when I left home at 5 a.m., I saw piles of trash bags on the corner placed out the night before in front of the church on top of trash cans. I see rats — and neighborhood cats —tearing the bags open and dragging trash down the street. Calling 311 is helpful but involves a 7-to-10 day response time so the trash is removed but only after sitting on the sidewalk for five days.

Street cleaning is part of the solution and trash in cans with lids closed will solve a lot of the problem. Housing inspectors should be out patrolling the night before trash day and see for themselves the mess and rodent activity.

Rick Wilson, Baltimore

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