Baltimore has had enough problems lately with police violence and lawlessness in the streets, so I hesitate to pile on at a bad time. But it’s hard to resist pointing out that the city’s woes stretch all the way to the garbage dump.
In one instance, over a period of more than 10 years, city employees are accused of not charging several private haulers the required disposal fee for dumping trash in a city landfill.
In a second case, another long-term operation, city public works employees allegedly were not doing the jobs they were hired and being paid to do. Instead they were looking for and stealing scrap metal dumped at Baltimore collection sites that could be resold for money that would go in their pockets.
In all, these two long-running swindles cost the taxpayers of Baltimore about $7 million.
The perpetrators of these schemes showed admirable initiative as well as persistence in running them over a period of years. However, there are some potential areas of profitability that they may have overlooked. Such as:
- Commandeer a few garbage trucks and use them as a New Age taxi service. The price, needless to say, would undercut the established local cab companies and put them out of business. Included for each passenger at no additional cost: face masks that would block the odor of rotting rubbish.
- Capture flies and sell them by the pound as the latest trendy ingredient in gourmet dining. Hire a celebrity chef such as Rachael Ray or Jacques Pepin to develop tasty fly dishes that include popular add-ins such as kale, quinoa, extra virgin olive oil, and whole-wheat pasta. The fly-based menu should ideally pair well with white wine.
- During football season, make loads of steaming garbage available to disgruntled fans who could be motivated to dump the stuff on the front lawns of area coaches suffering through losing campaigns. A sliding price scale for professional, college and high school coaches would be offered.
- Cordon off entire sections of city landfills for redevelopment. Upscale town homes could be built in those areas and sold at exorbitant prices to hedge fund magnates and high-tech entrepreneurs. Through the gentrification process, property values in the adjacent landfill would rise so dramatically that not even disease-carrying rats could afford to live there.