Day 107: Clean Sweep

Street sweeper takes a break from his broom to fix the seat on his cart.

Street sweeper takes a break from his broom to fix the seat on his bicycle cart.

I had not intended on a ‘theme’ for this week’s pictures, but on my way home, today, I walked past this man fixing his bicycle seat and took this shot which seemed to fit nicely with this week’s unintended theme of manual labor; China has an untold number of street sweepers, Using brooms made of thin branches, they are everywhere, sweeping and picking up so that the streets are spotless. As someone who grew up in NYC during the 70′s and 80′s, I am familiar with dirty streets and I was pleasantly surprised when I got to Shanghai and saw how clean the streets are kept. At first, I assumed that it was a matter of people not littering, but that’s not the case, I have watched people throw all types of trash out taxi windows and drop litter 5 feet from a trash receptacle, but the army of sweepers insures that the trash doesn’t last long. If the Chinese economy ever slows to the point that they do away with the hordes of public employees, watch for the trash to pile up quickly.

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