San Diego, CA–With a goal of keeping San Diego clean, the City of San Diego launched a new pilot program for sidewalk sanitization that aims to help sidewalks remain cleaner, longer.
“Through evaluating the effectiveness of current efforts and creative thinking by our city and Clean Harbor crews, we’re taking cleanliness to the next level,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “These sidewalk resets will prevent the spread of bacteria, beautify our neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors.”
Dubbed a “Sidewalk Reset,” the city is now employing a deep-cleaning method to remove grime and build-up from sidewalks in downtown, beach areas, and South Bay, among other areas being evaluated. Crews developed the new approach after noticing the regular sanitizing solution beading off the sidewalks due to build-up of grease and dirt.
Regular sidewalk sanitization efforts consist of a quick spray application of a mist containing a mixture of water and bleach to kill bacteria. Alternatively, the Sidewalk Reset involves a deep power washing of the sidewalk and gutter, street sweeping and removal of the water and can take up to two hours per block. The new program, coupled with the regular sanitization cleanings, will be more effective in the long-term for overall sidewalk cleanliness and sanitation.
The City of San Diego’s Environmental Services Department contracts with Clean Harbors to provide sidewalk sanitization services, as well as remove incidental hazardous waste, primarily consisting of human waste and hypodermic needles. The city’s Stormwater Department assists with the street sweeping and removal of water runoff.
Since 2017, San Diego has sanitized sidewalks in areas across the city on a regular basis to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Recently, the city increased those ongoing sanitization efforts to seven days per week due to an outbreak of Shigellosis among persons experiencing homelessness.