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About 50 tons of trash cleaned up after Rose Parade

When the Rose Parade floats are gone and spectators head home, what’s left behind?

About 50 tons of trash, five tons of cardboard and 3,500 beverage containers.

A team of 80 workers swept through the parade route Monday night and Tuesday morning, cleaning up debris and scrubbing streets and sidewalks after Pasadena’s largest event, which attracted hundreds of thousands of people this year.

The Rose Bowl game, held at the stadium a few minutes walk from Old Pasadena, produced about 50 tons of trash, 30 tons of cardboard and 100,000 beverage containers.

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The figures are preliminary and are based on last year’s haul and on field estimates by the city Public Works Department, according to city spokeswoman Ann Erdman.

She said the workers manned 10 dump trucks, eight backhoes, four street sweepers, three packers and six pickup trucks. The city also used four contract street sweepers.

Immediately after the parade — and after Occupy the Rose Parade demonstrators took to the streets — crews picked up discarded furniture and cleared the streets of safety hazards such as fire pits created by campers, said Andy Torres, superintendent of the Public Works Department’s Street Maintenance and Integrated Waste Management Division.

The real work started at 10 p.m. Monday, when employees scrubbed the 5 1/2-mile parade route, finishing at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

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“It’s important to have the roads cleaned up, because we want to present ourselves to the city and community in a good light,” Torres said. “Generally speaking, it’s business as usual the next day.”

“When we’re finished and look in the morning, we feel good about being able to accomplish what we did in such a short period of time, considering how long the parade route is,” Torres said.

People walking down Colorado Boulevard in the immediate aftermath of the parade were stepping around overflowing garbage cans, piles of detritus and trampled trash and belongings.

But Phyllis Lee, owner of Prestige Jewelry on Colorado, opened the doors to her business Tuesday and said nobody would have known there had been a parade the day before.

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“They did a great job of cleaning up. We’ve been here for nine years and that’s always the case,” Lee said. “Businesses can go back to business as usual and the tourists can enjoy a clean city.”

Brittany Oatey, a stylist at Vinita’s Beauty and Threading Studio near Paseo Colorado, said the streets are cleaner than usual after the Rose Parade.

“There wasn’t even one piece of trash, like there is right now,” Oatey said.

Amber Szabo, manager of the Old Pasadena store Lather, which specializes in skin and beauty supplies, said the store always closes for the Rose Parade day, as do many others on the route.

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“We know better than to try to compete with the awesomeness of the parade,” Szabo said. “I’m actually surprised at how fast they clean up, considering how many people are out here.”

Torres said the Public Works Department checks out the route when it’s packed with spectators to get an idea of what to expect later that evening.

This year, he said, “It seemed as though the crowds were a bit larger; I’m sure the weather had a part in that.”

Crowds also are getting greener as the years go by. “People seem to be more responsible when it comes to recycling,” he said.

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adolfo.flores@latimes.com


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