The initiative aims to reduce illegal trash dumping in the city.

In efforts to reduce the city's waste and empower residents, Baltimore will be testing a communitywide cleaning program.

Mayor Brandon Scott announced the initiative Monday headed by the city's Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Coldstream Homestead Montebello neighborhood (CHM). The program will enlist residents to help pick up debris throughout the city and receive compensation for their work.

“I am excited to announce this new pilot program that will hire residents in the CHM community to clean their neighborhood,” Mayor Scott said in a statement.

According to the Mayor's Office, the program will seek three residents from the CHM neighborhood to commit to reducing waste. Participants will be paid a $15 hourly wage for their efforts, as well as receive training and eventual employment with the DPW.

Additionally, both agencies will oversee the program's long-term effectiveness by monitoring the amount of trash collected and the neighborhood's property values.

Trash dumping is a prevalent issue in the city, according to Scott, who cites its impact on citizens' standards of living and property values. Since these issues affect the entire community, it necessitated the need for a communitywide response that would involve citizens directly.

"This pilot seeks to address those issues and serve as a blueprint for how the City can best collaborate with communities for a stronger, safer Baltimore," Mayor Scott said. "I thank the many partners who made this a reality, and look forward to seeing this model replicated across our city.”

For now, the program will tackle the Tivoly Redevelopment Area in Northeast Baltimore, but plans to expand it to other neighborhoods should the initial rollout prove fruitful. You can read more about it here.

What do you think of this pilot program in Baltimore? Do you have a similar initiative where you live? Leave a comment.