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September 16, 2019

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Come rain, hail or shine, second CIIE will be fine

WITH less than two months to go until the second China International Import Expo, sanitation workers Hao Mingsheng and Shen Caihua are fully prepared.

The two are responsible for cleaning 14 streets near the expo site, the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Qingpu District.

“Our goal is to keep the streets as clean as possible, free from dust, without a single leaf, piece of paper or cigarette butt,” said 55-year-old Hao.

They work a 12-hour day from 5am to 5pm, and take the next day off. They work regardless of the weather, hail, rain or shine, and sacrifice their holiday rest.

They tend the flowerbeds and pick out garbage from the greenery with tongs. They have to remove advertisements posted on pillars and walls and keep all surfaces clean.

More than 30 barrels of garbage are taken away every day. A barrel of wet trash weighs nearly 100 kilograms, mainly food leftovers and leaves.

“In summer, there are more leftovers, such as watermelon rinds, while in autumn, fallen leaves add to our workload,” said Hao. “There are also cigarette butts, bottles and meal boxes dumped by cabbies,” he said.

During the first CIIE, more than 40 barrels of garbage were collected each day.

“The trash included paper, wooden boards and Styrofoam when the exhibitors moved out,” said 38-year-old Shen.

When Typhoon Lekima hit the city in August, sanitation workers like Hao and Shen were even busier as they needed to keep removing leaves and garbage from the drainage system to avoid it being blocked.

They will not take any time off during the upcoming seven-day National Day holiday. During the CIIE from November 5 to 10, cleaning will be conducted 24 hours a day. They have worked during the Chinese New Year for years.

“Sanitation workers like us don’t have holidays like normal people, but it is really rewarding to see the streets clean, making visitors comfortable,” said Hao.

Technology has made things easier. A street-cleaning vehicle uses hydrostatic technology to clean long-term dirt from cracks in the road. A sweeping vehicle used by the team is narrow enough to enter non-motorized vehicle lanes for cleaning.

“They are very efficient and easy to use,” said Shen.

“The target is to make the roads so clean that people could even sit on them if they wanted to,” said Zhou Yajun, deputy general manager of Meidu Sanitation Co where Hao and Shen work.

Nearly 80 percent of 2,300 public sanitation and environment facelift projects for the CIIE have been finished. About 8,100 illegal outdoor boards have been dismantled, and another 7,000 unsafe signs have been repaired, according to the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau.


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