Saviour of summer: NYE cleanup crew

Bruce Pardey on the job. Photo: Sophia PhanAfter a big night out on December 31, not many people can remember how they spent their night before, let alone how the streets have managed to be rid of rubbish so quickly. But it’s all thanks to people like Bruce Pardey, who at 46,  has been cleaning up after Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations for 25 years.
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

9.30pm: Pardey leaves home. He has to leave a bit earlier because of all the road closures around the city.

11.30pm: Pardey arrives at the Bay Street Depot in Ultimo. People are starting to arrive and are being allocated into different work teams.

12am: At midnight Pardey and his team are still at the depot. They may get a glimpse of the fireworks, but definitely hear them because of all the noise. The team wish one another a happy new year and the bursts of light and sound signal the start of the hard yards ahead.

12.30am: Pardey and his team are ready to set off into the city. They take a staff bus to The Rocks accompanied by large roadway sweepers, compactors, high-pressure cleaners and all the other equipment needed.

1am: The team starts from the top of George Street under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Most years they’ve had to wait for the police to arrive as they can’t start the cleanup until the revellers have moved on. Generally, everyone is in a good mood, shouting “Happy New Year!”.

2am: Once the people have been moved on, the mess all over the roads and footpaths is revealed. Pardey and his team sweep all the litter on to the road, then the sweepers pick it up and they pressure-clean the pavements and streets. Within an hour or so the section is sparkling.

6am-7am: Pardey and his team try to have the city nice and clean by 7am. This is when their bosses come through for an inspection. The city needs to look good before the cafes start to open and the joggers start coming by.

9am: Pardey and the night crew are preparing to be relieved by the next shift. They’ll make sure the city is maintained through the day and touch up any areas that need it. Back at the depot, Pardey and his team have a breakfast barbecue, a chance to refuel and catch up on the night’s events.

10am: It’s time for Pardey to go home to  get some well-deserved sleep and to celebrate the new year with his family.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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