CLEVELAND - It couldn't have been a more beautiful day on Monday in downtown Cleveland. A cool, low-humidity laden breeze blowing in off of Lake Erie moved a few small plastic bags, filling them with air just before they were caught in a chain-link fence or railroad track along the municipal parking lot, south of route 2.
Eighteen hours prior, those bags had been filled with food brought by tailgaters celebrating the Cleveland Browns first regular season game. The fans’ mood before the game was jubilant, not so after the game with a 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. A sea of trash left behind caused city of Cleveland crews hours of hard work.
City of Cleveland's Director of Public Works Michael Cox said Monday that it's all part of the budget, but it would be helpful if fans would help find the many trash cans available to make it a better experience for everyone.
"We bring in a crew after every game around 7 o'clock, 7 p.m., every evening to clean up the muni lot and other areas around downtown Cleveland," said Cox. "It is a planned overtime expense that we put in our budget every year because we know we have ten home games for the Cleveland Browns that we have to clean up the muni lot."
The extra effort had to be substantial. Philadelphia resident Pat O'Donnell, who is part of the Cleveland Browns Backers Club of Philadelphia with his wife, was shocked by the amount of garbage left outside of their Lakeside Avenue hotel's view of the muni lot and Lake Erie. The morning of the game was rowdy early.
"They woke us up yesterday morning way early. I was like ‘What's going on? Oh, yeah.’ They said everyone's partying over there in the lot. It was a pretty wild scene," said O'Donnell.
"It was a sea of garbage later. This morning I didn't notice anything because all the cars were parked there, so they must have done a good job. It looked pretty much done."
The rock band Uncrowned found their way to the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame and Museum by late morning after playing on the Uproar Tour at Blossom Music Center Sunday evening. Based in Atlanta, drummer Scott Sellers had to ask his fellow band mates if the Browns game, played the same day as their concert, was a home game.
"This is our first time in Cleveland. I didn't know what to expect as going into any new city, but anytime you have a nice city along the water it's nice. The stadium looks nice, the Hall of Fame is awesome, and water looks awesome. I'm glad we're here on a nice day instead of when it's frigid and snowing," said Sellers.
"Going to a lot of venues like we do usually when the crowds leave it’s a big mess. It's a daunting task to try and get all that stuff cleaned up. My hat’s off to the people who do it. I know I wouldn't want to do it. Whoever cleaned up down here did an absolutely great job,” said Sellers.
For city crews, there are seven more home games for clean up. There are no plans for more trash cans, just more patience.
"I just hope that the word goes out that everyone helps us with containing the trash down there, everyone enjoys themselves, and behaves themselves, and everyone has a good time. When we get a winning season we hope more people come downtown," Cox said.
The city of Cleveland is also helped out with clean up after games on private properties downtown by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance.
For information on Uncrowned go to:
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