A Mission resident who lives on Albion called 311 Wednesday at around 8:30 a.m. about a pile of trash on the north side of Camp Street. Later, I sent a notice and photo about the same debris on the city’s 311 app. The complaint #9281971 requested street or sidewalk cleaning at the intersection of Albion and Camp St.
At 10:30 a.m. or so, the resident who made the initial call heard ranting outside his window. He looked out and saw a gentleman walking somewhat wildly on the south corner of Camp Street. He wondered if he should call someone — the police, or 311 again?
Was the gentleman on the corner a danger to himself or anyone? No, the resident decided. He kept watching.
In fits and starts, the man put on the blue gloves that sanitation workers use. He had a plastic bucket and a bottle of some spray liquid. He headed for the trash on the north side of Camp Street. The resident began to take short videos of the slow, sometimes erratic organization of the trash.
He did not see who eventually came for the trash, but he sent me the video. Clearly, he thought, there was a connection between the gentleman cleaning up the mess and the eventual collection of the debris.
To find out and to identify the gentleman, I sent the video to Rachel Gordon, the press spokesperson for the Department of Public Works.
“The fella is not one of our employees, nor is he in one of our workforce development programs,” Gordon wrote in an e-mail. “I don’t know who he is. (Our workers and workforce development partners wear identifying vests.) Our crew or a Recology crew probably did pick up the trash afterward because of the 311 request.”
I called Robert Reed at Recology and sent him the video as well. Again, he said, the man was not an employee and he did not know who he was. He said it was most likely that DPW came by for the trash.
I looked around the neighborhood thinking I might see the anonymous hero, but I could not find him.
The ticket is still open. A 311 operator looked it up on Saturday morning. It was still in DPW’s work queue and the trash should be picked up within three days. Once done, he said, the ticket would be closed.
If anyone knows who the gentleman is or how to get in touch with him, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org