SF pillow fight cleanup cost an estimated $5,000

February 15, 2012 12:47:08 PM PST
The cleanup after the annual Valentine's Day pillow fight in San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza will cost taxpayers an estimated $5,000 this year, a Department of Public Works spokesman said Wednesday.

After hundreds of people pelted each other with pillows for hours on Tuesday evening, public works and Recreation and Park Department employees went to work cleaning up the mounds of scattered feathers and pillow stuffing left behind.

The cleanup involved 12 public works employees on swing and overnight shifts, including two who steam-cleaned the sidewalk, and a mechanical street sweeper, public works spokesman Greg Crump said.

The Parks and Recreation Department contributed four employees during the swing shift.

The cleanup crew gathered dozens of bags of pillow debris and loaded them into trucks, and used a "green machine" sweeper to collect the pulverized pillows.

Costs of the cleanup effort were up from last year, when the price tag was estimated at $3,500. However, that was down from 2010, when cleaning up the plaza cost $16,000.

Last year's cost was probably so low because it rained on Valentine's Day, Crump said.

The pillow fight is not an officially sanctioned city event. This marks the seventh year that pillow fighters have appeared in Justin Herman Plaza.