City officials say they've no money and besides, they've given away inexpensive trash cans before, only to see them disappear. But Bahr contends the effort is worth trying again, that the potential gain is worth the relatively small cost.
There are those who doubt that Baltimoreans can come together like that, he acknowledges. The city has a lot of other pressing problems pulling people in different directions. But he says he believes that cleaning up and greening neighborhoods not only will restore the harbor, it can help make the city safer and a better place to live and work.
"It's a challenge," he says. "But to me, it's what bringing Baltimore back is all about."
Baltimore Sun reporter Meredith Cohn contributed to this article.
Baltimore city sewage overflows
2005: 122 overflows, 4,754,828 gallons
2006: 75 overflows, 69,505,394 gallons
2007: 74 overflows, 549,564 gallons
2008: 133 overflows, 1,620,464 gallons
2009: 226 overflows, 2,167,752 gallons
2010: 181 overflows, 1,565,074 gallons
SOURCE: Maryland Department of the Environment