Cleaning up After City's Pillow Fight

Friday, Feb 26, 2010  |  Updated 9:15 AM PDT
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Susana Bates

This group poses for a picture after being told by police to stop fighting.

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The San Francisco Department of Public Works is asking the  organizers of the Valentine's Day pillow fight in Justin Herman Plaza to help  foot the bill for the popular event.
     
It cost the department $35,000 this year and last to clean up  feathers and other debris, public works spokeswoman Christine Falvey said.  The event is now in its fifth year, she said.

Falvey said the department appreciates the spirit behind the  pillow fight and doesn't want to see it shut down, but believes organizers need to be more responsible.

The department is asking those behind the event to apply for a  permit and provide cleanup, security and portable toilets. Falvey said trash cans are also important.
     
"If you just show up at a random place and there are no  receptacles and a large crowd, there's obviously going to be litter afterward," she said.

The $35,000 price tag is for the hours employees spent on cleanup, Falvey said.

"These are crews that are meant to keep downtown clean," she said. "They're called away from what they're usually doing to clean up all these  feathers."

The department has not yet been able to identify the organizers of the pillow fight and is considering forwarding a complaint to the city  attorney's office.
 

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