602,000 lbs. of waste removed from Broadway trashcans
By: Nickelle Smith, WKRN
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — When the honky tonks close down on Broadway, another round of work ramps up.
“These guys come down here with a purpose, a sense of urgency,” said Nashville Downtown Partnership Operations Supervisor Joshua Hillen. “When we come in, we’re cleaning up the party from the night before.”
The Downtown Nashville Partnership’s Clean and Safe team starts with pressure washing alleyways and block faces at around 3 a.m. So far this year, the team has used 115,000 gallons of water to pressure wash 720 alleyways and 994 block faces.
“We blitz Broadway, make sure all the curb lines, all the cigarette butts. We want everybody to come down here, have fun, and then we’re going to come in [and] we’re going to clean everything up,” Hillen said.
Then the rest of the team starts working at 6:30 a.m.
“If for one day we weren’t here, it would be a complete mess,” Hillen said, explaining their job serves everyone on Broadway. “Not just work, not just visitors, but people who live here as well.”
He continued, “We’re getting up big trash. We’re also continuing efforts on the pressure washing, looking for graffiti. Graffiti removal is a big thing. We always want to make sure that we’re coming down here, putting eyes on it, remove it, get it out, so that by the time all the business owners get here it’s already gone.”
To date, the team has removed 1,680 graffiti tags from downtown businesses and public spaces. They’ve also removed over 602,000 pounds of garbage from downtown trashcans.
The safety aspect of their duties is vital, with ambassadors logging 7,000 miles on Segways looking for challenging situations to help visitors.
“If you need directions anywhere, we’re going to help out with that,” said Hillen. “We want to make sure, not only everybody else is safe down here, but also I want to keep my guys safe. So, we got to keep our head on a swivel.”
The Nashville Downtown Partnership deploys most of their services in the footprint of the central business improvement district. Their clean and safe services are funded through annual assessments on privately owned properties within the footprint.
“These guys are on foot. We’ve got heavy machinery down here,” said Hillen. “They’re out here bustin’ their humps every single day – seven days a week.”
After working for the Nashville Downtown Partnership for several years, Hillen explained that he appreciates their role in more ways than one.
“It’s given me the opportunity to get my life back. I got a beautiful wife, just bought a house, and if it wasn’t for the partnership, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today,” he said.