DRC’s trash is not a treasure to some in community
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 11:06

Trash display elicits some local criticism

by Ben Boehl

    What started out as a friendly public service reminder about trash turned into another complaint about trash in the Dundalk area.
    As part of Earth Week and its “Don’t Trash Our Dundalk” campaign, the Dundalk Renaissance Corp. (DRC) decided to place a pile of trash in Veterans Park as a display until it was removed.
    “The purpose is to show all the people this is the trash found in the community. It’s about raising awareness and providing information,” said Leah Bunck of the DRC.
    Roberto Crepsco is the manager of Turk’s Cleaners and said some of his customers had questions as to why there was a trash display across the road.
    “They’ve been asking and want to know ‘what the hell is that?’” Crepsco said.
    Some pedestrians walked by the pile and called it an eyesore.    
    One woman walked by the display and was worried that it would become a magnet for dumping. Others expressed concern that the display gave the homeless material items to scavenge through.
    Old Dundalk resident John Clark does believe the DRC has good intentions, but he questions why they would leave trash in the middle of the park. He usually takes his children for a walk in that area, but took a different route.

Clark’s biggest concern was that the trash was a magnet for rats.
    “I hope [the DRC] meant the best, but putting piles of trash in the middle of not only a public resting area as the pavilion, but in the middle of Old Dundalk’s ‘Food Court’ is a major concern,” he said.
    “There is obviously a rat problem in Dundalk. Rats are attracted by food. They usually obtain this from garbage. So why would they put garbage in the middle of an area that sells food all around it?”
    Bunck responded that the DRC took the precautions to remove all items that contained food. Shebelieves the rats were not  interested in any of the trash in the display.
    “It’s only going to be there for a week. I don’t think  it will be there that long for rats to nest in it, and there is no food for them,” Bunck said, before it was removed.
    Angel Ball, manager at Dunmanway Apartments and a DRC volunteer, defended the trash display and stated that the DRC’s goal is to make people aware and motivate them to take responsibility for their own trash.
    “They are trying their best. One week of trash is not going to bring a barrage of rats,” Ball said.   
    Clark said that even if there was no food in the display, there were electronics in the pile that were dangerous because they contained mercury and lead.
    The Baltimore County Department of Public Works notes on its website that electronics have hazardous materials such as mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic.
    “My question to the DRC is exactly how does putting hazardous materials on display for the county to see making anyone aware of anything other then their lack of environmental protection?” Clark asked.
    Bunck explained that the trash display was assembled from items that various community groups collected during their cleanups on April 6 and the DRC wanted to display what was found.
    “The display is out there for a week and it would have been in our alleys and neighborhoods,” Bunck said. “We will properly dispose of the items at the end of the week.”
    According to Baltimore County, legislation was passed by the county council in 2009 that made it illegal in Baltimore County for residents to dispose of most household electronics as trash, but Ellen Kobler, spokesperson for Baltimore County, did confirm that the DRC received a usage permit for the display.
    “We are very supportive of the DRC’s effort,” Kobler said.