Keeping streets clean at Sturgis Rally 2020

Local News

STURGIS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s day five of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Tonight we are getting a behind the scenes look at the extra efforts to keep rally-goers safe. While most people are sleeping, the Sturgis Public Works Department is hard at work.

Sturgis Public Works crews started their cleaning last Friday when the rally started. Each day they clean from around 2 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Daniel Tammi, a garbage truck driver with the city’s sanitation department, is getting used to his new rally hours.

“We have to do it early so it keeps away from all the traffic. All the people are going home, going to sleep so that gives us the open road to get everything picked up and cleaned up,” Tammi said.

Based on the amount of garbage picked up each day, the Public Works Department can tell how many people are in town.

So far, they estimate attendance is down 4 percent compared to last year.

With the threat of COVID-19, crews are doing something different this year… literally washing down the streets from curb to curb.

“We came up with two products that work very well for us. One is Sani-T-10 and the other one is HDQ Plus. These are two hospital-grade disinfectants,” Rick Bush, Sturgis Public Works Director, said.

The Sturgis Public Works Director, Rick Bush says the mixture is approved by the CDC to kill COVID and other diseases.

Each night, the sanitation crews use about 2,000 gallons of the mixture.

“It may not completely negate the COVID it sure can’t hurt to take those extra precautions,” Bush said.

Bush says the public works department is considering making street sanitation part of its permanent rally routine.

“I think it provides a cleaner atmosphere for everybody to come to. And that’s one of our goals is for every morning when people show up it looks like the first morning,” Bush said.

While crews put in extra work to clean the downtown area each morning after the rally, they also have day-to-day jobs as well, such as: garbage pick-up for residential areas and businesses, parks and cemetery maintenance, and more.

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