The Street Sweepers

The Street Sweepers™

Tired of something you see in your neighborhood or community? Expect the City to take care of it? Consider doing something about it yourself!

Go sweep the gravel off the shoulder where it's a road hazard for everyone. Pick up litter on the beach, on the street. Bring people together, seek permission, if necessary, to correct a situation.

Here are some examples. Each example may eventually have a full page.

  • Drain Keepers — Keep a Storm Drain open and flowing — be a [Drain Keeper]
  • Path Keepers — Lobelia Path and other Southwest Trails. Coming Soon.
  • Ocean Keepers — David Suzuki says: become an [Ocean Keeper]
  • Street Sweepers — This is more than Sweeping your Street. Coming Soon.
  • Adopt-a-Highway — litter pickup. Coming Soon.
  • Green Street Steward — Maintain green street features. On [Share Oregon], on City Website].
  • Trail Keepers — Trailkeepers of Oregon enhances our Oregon hiking experience. [TKO]
  • Sign Keepers — Preserving Pedestrian Right-of-Way and Access.
  • Bus Stoppers — People piling dog shit bags on the ashcan at a bus stop.
  • Cart Shaggers — Arnie, the Hillsdale Cart Return Tsar shags grocery carts back to the Store or suitable pickup site. See longer entry below.
  • Ivy Pullers — Foot Patrollers — The Friends of River View Natural Area [FoRVNA]
  • Graffiti Removers — folks that go around and neutralize graffiti as it appears.. is there a better term than 'graffiti abatement' for this activity? [remove graffiti]
  • Litter Patrollers — The Usual Suspects meet every 1st Saturday in Hillsdale at Food Front to pick up litter for an hour.
  • Litter Grabber — Somebody's gotta to do it. Woodstock resident 'grabs' litter. We love [Barron]
  • Place Makers — people who humanize public spaces on a neighborhood scale through structures, gardening, ... [LINK]

Abandoned Shopping Carts

These carts are a huge source of visual pollution. It's also costly for businesses to lose track of them.

So, here's a phone number for calling in abandoned carts in Portland Metro: 1-888-552-2787. Leave a detailed message with the exact address of the abandoned cart(s), and the store it belongs to (eg Safeway, Fred Meyer,...).

Alternatively, make a report via []

Carry the number with you! You might make an entry in your mobile phone Address Book, so that you can make the report from the field. Don't try to take carts away from people or otherwise engage them.

Submitted by Arnie Panitch, Hillsdale Abandoned Cart Tsar.


Viral #trashtag challenge inspires bored teens — and tens of thousands of others — to clean the planet. [CBS News article]

Related Stories

  • Rick Seifert is working to put forward a city ordinance that says anyone can take down illegal bandit signs.
  • The Broken Window and Graffiti effect on SouthwestCommunity ConnectioN.
  • I-5 On-Ramp Park — A piece of Scattered Eden. Plant some [SUNFLOWERS]

About the name 'The Street Sweepers'

Vance Packard wrote a series of influential books: The Waste Makers, The Hidden Persuaders, The Status Seekers, The Pyramid Climbers, The People Shapers, but he did not write the Streep Sweepers.

In Anthem, by Ayn Rand, Equality 7-2521 is assigned his Life Mandate: Streep Sweeper.

MLK: If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. — Martin Luther King Jr., April 9, 1967.

As a teen, in the 1960's, I swept the parking lot at our family's grocery, EAST VALLEY THRIFT STORE. Using a push broom, I swept the row of 16-20 spots that got used the most, along the front of the store. The smokers would pull up to the store, and throw their butt down before getting out of the car. Sometimes, they would pull in and EMPTY their ashtray right out their car door. So, I swept it all up, every night, and put the litter into the trash, which eventually went to the incinerator out back. Eventually, my father bought a sweeping machine, like a mower, that swept it all up into a bin that I emptied. (Funny, I don't remember where the machine was kept when not in use.)


The Street Sweepers is NOT associated with the Promise Keepers or Oath Keepers!

The Trademark™ on Street Sweepers is a joke. :^)