FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 27, 2013
Contacts: Rachel Gordon, Public Works, 415-554-6045
Paul Rose, SFMTA, 415-601-1637
TECH WORKERS, STUDENTS JOIN GIANT SWEEP CAMPAIGN – FOCUS ON MUNI
Volunteers pitch in to clean Muni buses and a Metro station; spruce up Mid-Market
San Francisco, CA -- As part of its “Day of Service” program, Square, Inc. today teamed up with Mayor Edwin M. Lee, grade-school students, the Department of Public Works and the Municipal Transportation Agency on San Francisco’s Giant Sweep anti-litter campaign to help spread the word that we all have to do our part to keep San Francisco clean and beautiful.
More than 450 Square employees joined enthusiastic fifth-grade students from Bessie Carmichael Elementary School and San Francisco Giants mascot Lou Seal to learn more about what it takes to keep San Francisco’s heavily used Muni system clean. Volunteers, who gathered on Fulton Street across from Civic Center Plaza, participated in a bus clean-off and graffiti-abatement competition, where three teams faced off to clean buses marred by graffiti and litter. The teams won awards for various categories, including best graffiti removal. “Day of Service” participants also helped spruce up the Van Ness Muni Metro Station, giving much of the entrance area a fresh coat of paint.
“We are harnessing the spirit of teamwork embodied in the spirit of our hometown heroes - the Giants – to keep our world-class City clean and green,” said Mayor Lee. “Partnerships like Giant Sweep help us instill pride in our City and give us all a sense of shared responsibility for keeping our streets, parks and public transit system clean. I want to thank the Department of Public Works for leading this citywide event and I thank the dedicated students from Bessie Carmichael and the Squares for their commitment to our neighborhoods.”
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said he welcomes the attention on keeping Muni clean. Not only does it mean a more inviting ride for the system’s 700,000 daily passengers, but it means more reliable service.
“Oftentimes, graffiti and vandalism require us to remove Muni vehicles from service,” Reiskin said. “Keeping our vehicles clean and on the street is something we can achieve if we all chip in and do our part. The more we can encourage people to appreciate our transit system, including what it takes to create a clean, comfortable ride, the better we can ensure a more efficient Muni system for years to come.”
The SFMTA spends more than $12 million a year on graffiti abatement, draining critical resources needed for Muni operations.
“We’re excited to have a solid team of partners in the Giant Sweep campaign,” said San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “Square has joined a growing league of San Francisco businesses to involve their employees in helping achieve a litter-free and even more beautiful San Francisco.”
Launched in February by Mayor Lee and the World Champion San Francisco Giants, Giant Sweep is San Francisco’s official anti-litter campaign that partners City agencies with local schools, residents, businesses and community groups to keep San Francisco clean and beautiful.
More than 20,000 people already have joined Giant Sweep, taking a pledge to not trash San Francisco and to report problems when they see them.
Giant Sweep involves hands-on activities that team City workers with community volunteers to pick up litter and includes a major educational component encompassing classroom curriculum and a public information campaign. People can take the Giant Sweep pledge and learn more about how to help keep San Francisco’s new buses and the rest of the City clean at www.sfgiantsweep.org.
About San Francisco Public Works: The 24/7 City agency cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and nurtures City-maintained street trees; designs, constructs and maintains City-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; builds curb ramps; eradicates graffiti; partners with neighborhoods; trains people for jobs; greens the right-of-way; and educates our communities.
Find out more at www.sfdpw.org.