This morning, the Department of Public Works put out an indignant press release claiming cleanup costs for the past two Valentine's Day Justin Herman Plaza Pillow Fights totaled $35,000. And that money was not kindly slipped under the door by the event's shadowy organizers -- who, naturally, have mad Web skills but less knowledge of the city's permitting system.
SF Weekly's request for an itemized bill of the DPW's cleanup costs was speedily answered. The department's hopes of finding someone to present it to are still pending.
This year's cleanup costs totaled $16,056.46. That sounds like a lot of money -- but, like planning a wedding, getting 38 city workers out at the bewitching hour to toil 169.5 man hours through the night always ends up costing more than you'd think. Here's the breakdown:
The total costs for the 2009 pillow fight came to $19,164.87; they were slightly higher due to plumbing expenses stemming from pillow feathers and fluff clogging drains in the stormy weather. Here's the document, skip to page seven:
Estimate Detail Report22009.pdf
"People are saying they cleaned up after themselves -- and that's great," said DPW spokeswoman Christine Falvey. "No one's saying the event isn't great. But when you call a large group of people to a small area, there are responsibilities tied to that. You need to provide amenities. You need to provide trash cans."
You need to clean up your goddamn mess. And if you don't want to complain about how much it costs the city's unionized workforce to get the job done, bring in your own people to work for less. And you pay them.