SAN FRANCISCO—SF Mayor Edwin Lee and the World Champion SF Giants indicated on Friday, February 8 that they will be implementing Giant Sweep, a Citywide anti-litter campaign that works teams alongside local schools, residents, businesses and community groups to keep the city of San Francisco clean and refreshing. City leaders and community volunteers will work together to pick up litter.
“It’s going to take a team effort to keep our City world-class, clean and green,” said Mayor Lee. “We want to create a culture of clean so that everyone from young to old can embrace their role as a City steward and reject the idea that it’s okay to litter. We all need to join the team to keep SF clean.”
Assisting Mayor Lee in the Giant Sweep campaign was SF Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, who is known for giving motivational pep talks to his team during the post season. Also assisting was Lou Seal, the Giants team mascot who helped the Giants to victory.
“The Giants learned first hand last year that challenges can be overcome. We won the World Series with determination, talent and team work. It wasn’t easy, and neither will keeping San Francisco clean,” said San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer. “But when we succeed, the effort will have been worth it.”
In 2012, the Department of Public Works (DPW) cleaned up more than 22,800 tons of litter and illegally dumped materials that included TV’s and couches. More than 6,000 volunteers assisted in the organized Community Clean Team that picked up more than 62 tons of trash.
“One of the most important jobs we have at the Department of Public Works is to keep San Francisco safe and looking good. We have cleaning crews working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a monumental undertaking, and one we and our partner City agencies cannot do alone,” said DPW Director Mohammed Nuru. “We need residents, merchants and students-all of us-to take care of the areas around our homes, businesses, parks and schools. But more importantly, we have to get to the point where people don’t trash San Franciscoin the first place.”
Mayor Lee has directed all City agencies to become involved in the campaign including the Municipal Transportation Agency that will keep buses and streetcars clean; the Department of Environmental will reach out to schools; and the Recreation and Park Department is expected to integrate anti-litter campaigns into their programs and special events that include runs, organized sports leagues and park stewardship activities for youngsters.
“We’re excited to be part of the team,” said Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Our parks are sacred places, and it takes everyone to pitch in and care for them.”
“San Francisco’s public and private schools are instrumental partners in ensuring Giant Sweep will succeed. Classroom presentations on the costly impacts of litter and what people can do to combat the problem will be offered in schools. In addition, students, teachers and administrators can sign up for the new “adopt-a-school” program in which they agree to help keep the grounds around their campuses clean. Students also can enter Giant Sweep poster and PSA competitions and win prizes for logging volunteer hours. Abraham Lincoln High School hosted the Giant Sweep campaign kickoff. Second-graders from Children’s Day School in San Francisco have been learning about how litter degrades the environment and the quality of life in neighborhoods and participated in the kick-off event,” states a press release from the Mayor’s website.
Friday marked the first day of a series of Giant Sweep events, which will take place on Fridays and Saturdays-Fridays will focus on schools and Saturdays will focus on neighborhood cleanups-during the baseball season. Giant Sweep days will be scheduled in February, April, June and September. The first event took place on Saturday, February 9 from 9 a.m. to noon in District 6 neighborhoods to pick up litter, paint out graffiti and work on greening projects starting at the United Nations Plaza.
For more information, go to www.sfgiantsweep.org.
By LaDale Anderson