Public Press wins an Excellence in Journalism award for ‘Public Schools, Private Money,’ in the winter 2014 edition

 

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.