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Trash piled in trash cans as Sturgis Public Works crews clean up from the rally.
courtesy photo from City of Sturgis Public Works
Trash piled in trash cans as Sturgis Public Works crews clean up from the rally.

Keeping Sturgis clean during the rally - public works sees long hours

Gary Matthews - August 8, 2019

STURGIS, S.D. – Keeping Sturgis looking good when there are half a million people visiting is a tough job.

But for Sturgis Public Works Director Rick Bush and his crew, it’s become a well-oiled machine that is no stranger to cleaning up from the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

In fact, garbage picked up during the annual rally is one way the city estimates how big the annual event is.

But for Bush and his crew, it’s just part of their daily business.

"For us, it's kind of business as usual and our daily business with the clean up and everything isn't really dependent on a large rally or not. It's kind of the same protocal each year with the exception of our sanitation crews. We saw a really heavy swing early on in the rally where our numbers were almost five percent above last year, but over the past several days we've seen that taper off a litle bit."

For Bush, and most of his crew, this isn’t their first rodeo when it comes to the rally.

"We are probably a little busier before and after the rally. Once we get set up and the rally gets going, we kind of go into the same mode each night, you know clean up happens the same way each night. I have to give kudos to all my crew for coming to work early in the morning and working several weeks in a row with no days off."

Bush says they take advantage of cleaning up Main Street in the wee morning hours – between 2 and 6 a.m.

Along with keeping Sturgis looking good during the rally, Rick and his crew also make sure Sturgis residents are taken care of by setting up signs in residential areas of town to remind bikers about dead end streets and no parking areas.

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785