Illegal dumping in Upper Fells Point 'out of control'

Church members left cleaning garbage, human feces

BALTIMORE - Illegal dumping is happening in the Upper Fells Point area in an alley near Broadway and Gough Streets.

"Well, I count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 cans. Five 22 ounce cans of Bud Ice," says Jeffrey May, President of the Upper Fells Point Improvement Association. May is no stranger to the area's illegal dumping problem. He spends his mornings cleaning what others leave behind.

"I'll walk around one of the two blocks, Bank Street or Gough Street, and I'll find cans and bottles in the gutters. And I'll pick them up and take them to the corner," he says.

The alley backs up to Iglesia Pentecostal de Evangelizacion on South Broadway Street, and church members say picking up the bottles is the least of their worries.

"This looks like human waste. This has got to be human waste," May says as he strolls through the alley.

"Our neighbors. They cannot open their windows. If they open their windows they have all that smell in there," says the church's secretary, Candida Vargas. She says church members clean up human feces from the back alley almost daily.

"It's all over the place. And if you don't do it, it's just going to be staying there and nobody else is going to do it for you. So we're all just trying to lend a hand and build a better place for us," she says.

But the congregation says the illegal dumping doesn't seem to end.

"You can find dirty clothes, you can find empty bottles, you can find bottles that are not empty, they're just having human waste. You can find mattresses, you can find chairs. You can find trash all over the place. And it's kind of hard to keep up with them," Vargas says.

Church members are trying to work with the city to install a locked gate at the alley's entrance.

May says there are a number of alleys in the Upper Fells Point area with similar issues, and he'd like to see an easier process to get the gates installed.

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