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Baltimore Living

Sam Holden

Best City Service: Citizen Drop-Off Centers

Best City Service

Citizen Drop-off Centers

Various locations,

Single-stream recycling pickup is great, but there are other things that don’t belong in our recycle bin that we don’t want to just chuck in the garbage: batteries, rusty lawn furniture, dead televisions and computers, the thing that fell off our above-ground pool that we can’t identify but the pool still works, etc., so in our case we head to the Northwest Sanitation Yard on Sisson Street, a transfer station for just about every kind of household refuse we’ve ever refused. One particular day this summer, we jammed a garbage can full of compacted brush, weeds, and lawn clippings into the trunk of our car, bungeed it down as best we could, and took it to the transfer station, where we were greeted by the efficient staff and were directed to a bin to empty our can, which we did, immediately realizing that the can had been sitting for weeks and had absorbed some rain, which had created a virulent, watered-and-baked-in-the-hot-summer-sun, funkified, biological, and oh-my-Lord-what-is-that-smell process going on with all that decayed plant material, the stench of which almost knocked us over and drew vociferous expressions of shock and awe from the staff around the bin, which unfortunately included one staffer who put his foot in it, but other than a few laughs and continued astonishment at the tenacity of the stink, we were neither ejected nor banned from the yard, and we promise we will not conduct any further science projects, thank you. We couldn’t get that stank out of the car for a week.

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