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Huge citywide street cleanup set for Saturday

Mayor, supervisors will push brooms as well

Photo by mikeledray/Shutterstock

Saturday is Citywide Cleanup day in San Francisco. Not the most festive sounding of local holidays, but perhaps a treat in another sense.

San Francisco’s Department of Public Works is organizing a massive street sweeping and anti-litter volunteer drive on September 8, asking that San Franciscans turn out to one of 40 designated locations at 9 a.m. to grab brooms and garbage bags for a three-hour city beautification shift.

Mayor London Breed confirmed at a Thursday press conference that she and all 11 members of the Board of Supervisors will pitch in to pick up trash and debris as well.

The cleanup drive seems to have cycled through a few different names, as the relevant DPW site links to the Giant Sweep program, while various city organs refer to it as Love Our City or just Citywide Cleanup.

Late Mayor Ed Lee established the Giant Sweep program in 2013 in conjunction with the San Francisco Giants. The name was a play on the then-recent 4-0 Giants win at the 2012 World Series.

San Francisco Bay Pollution Levels Threaten Clean Water Act Standards Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Of course, it’s the same deal regardless of the name.

“Public Works employees will be distributing trash bags at the neighborhood kickoff locations,” according to the department. “Once filled with sidewalk litter, residents should place bags on the curb at an intersection [...] then contact SF311 with the location and a crew will come out to collect.”

In reality, of course, a single day of litter policing won’t make a big difference in the condition of city streets even with mayoral assistance—DPW notes in its press release that the department removed 20,000 tons of garbage from SF streets during the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

One morning of volunteer cleanup won’t make a big dent in that number. On the other hand, the city certainly won’t get any cleaner if people opt to do nothing, either.

For the full list of Saturday meet sites, go here.