Front page of Issue 16

The winter 2015 print edition is in stores now. Special report on the persistence of segregation in local public schools. Plus: 24-page insert commemorating the now shuttered weekly San Francisco Bay Guardian, produced by the newspaper’s former staff.

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Cleaning the Concrete Jungle

By Mateo Hoke, Mission Local

The idea for this story started with a single line in an article on SFGate: “The Department of Public Works has a policy to respond promptly to calls about hazardous waste such as feces and hypodermic needles.”

Immediately I wanted to embed with a hazardous waste crew from the Department of Public Works. I wanted to clean up the Mission with the people who are out there scouring the neighborhood every day. I wanted to work. I wanted to pick up trash and throw it in the back of a truck. I wanted to catch a glimpse of what it’s like to work, day after day, just to keep this city from devouring itself in a sea of hazardous waste.

What I got was a ride along with DPW’s Mario Montoya Jr., supervisor II of Zone D. Montoya is not a crew. Montoya supervises a crew. Hesitantly, I agreed, trusting the universe that there would be something to learn from this. That I would see something, experience something, worth writing about.

I did.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.