If you’re just tuning in, it’s been an exciting week. We’ve been talking about theme camps, dance parties and what we the participants leave behind. Yes, there were some big messes in the front part of the city — but there were also many, many green blocks along Esplanade. All in all, it’s an impressive feat of Leaving No Trace.
Today, the Line Sweeps moved inward, off the Esplanade and into the residential blocks. Now the focus is off theme camps, and back to the community at large.
Can the residential camps match up to Esplanade’s performance? Did we, the people of Black Rock City, manage to clean up our own backyards? See for yourself:
Hey, that’s a pretty good job folks. Barring the big yellow zones in the 8:30 area, today was mostly green. The MOOP-happy line sweepers covered 20 blocks, and 88% of the turf was green and clean. 10% was yellow, and only 2% red.
On the Prowl with Special Forces
On Tuesday, I showed you how the Line Sweeps deal with “hot spots” or extra-MOOPy areas: They spend a minute or two trying to clean it up, and if it proves too tough, they drop a traffic cone. The hot spot then becomes the domain of Special Forces, the playa’s crack team.
The Special Forces job is simultaneously glamorous and maddening. Glamorous, because they cruise across the playa in work trucks and tackle whatever obstacles the MOOP gods throw into their path. Maddening, because Special Forces can’t leave an area until it’s completely free of MOOP. In the case of wood chips, broken glass and other small pieces, that means sitting in one place combing the dirt with your fingers for what can feel like forever. Your intrepid reporter once spent over an hour picking up hundreds of black beans in a three-foot radius. And if it isn’t beans, it’s wood or carpet or staples. Or a four-foot-deep pit of gray water contamination.
Yes, it’s a tough job, but Special Forces have the tools and the focus to clean up even the MOOPiest spots. What they don’t always have is time. The BLM inspection is now less than a week away, and there’s plenty of MOOP still in the red zones. They’ll clean it up — they always do — but as always, it’s gonna be a challenge.
Love Special Forces’ work? Want to know more about it? Watch this little video:
Coming up next: What was the most common MOOP this year? The answer might surprise you. Tune in tomorrow for the answer. ‘Til then, this is The Hun signing off.