On a daily basis (on an almost like Groundhog Day schedule) I make the voyage from my home on Lower Thames Street to Mokka Coffeehouse on Spring Wharf to the What’sUpNewp office on Upper Thames Street. To anyone who’s ever walked Lower Thames early in the morning, you too have experienced the disgrace that is the litter that takes over our beautiful historic streets from the night before.

How does it all get cleaned up before the cruise ship passengers, tourists and late sleepers occupy the roads? Local business owners do a GREAT job of cleaning up in front of and the are of the business, but there’s a heck of a lot of credit that needs to be given to people like Brian Garland and Clean City.

Walking back and forth from office to work today, I couldn’t help but notice the man putting some seriously elbow grease into a project on Lower Thames Street. Over the course of a few hours I saw this man scraping bumper stickers and other stickers off of telephone poles, one in front of Via Via and the other at Gidley Street. After walking by him the second time, I had to go back and find out who he is, who he worked for and commend him on his focus and hard work.

Yes, even if he was “forced” to do it as part of community service.

Brian Garland, Clean City Newport

Before introducing myself and who I was, I began a conversation with the gentleman who was scraping off stickers from the pole. The stickers that millions of people walk by every year, some may know how they got there but the majority of us don’t know how they, the gum and other ugliness disappears.

Meet Brian Garland.

Garland is as polite as they come and told me about his work with Clean City Newport, the city program oversees programs dealing with city supported curbside collection of residential recycling, residential yard debris and residential refuse. For areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, Clean City provides litter management and graffiti mitigation on a seasonal basis.

The goal of Clean City is to provide a clean and green Newport so that residents and visitors can enjoy its true beauty.

We often hear opinions of how dirty, run down, bad or wrong Newport is. There are people, like Brian, working hard to keep this city clean. Yes, Brian is a full-time seasonal employee of Clean City. But, like our great garbage men (and women!), they deserve great credit and recognition for the work that they do, let’s face it – it’s probably work a lot of you wouldn’t get caught dead doing.

In his second year working for Clean City, Garland works hard to remove graffiti, litter,  stickers and bulk furniture from the streets of Newport. Clean City is a small but mighty crew. Garland is the only full time seasonal on the street guy, he has a few other part-time helpers that assist him throughout the season.

Telephone pole Garland was working to clean at Gidley Street and Thames Street

Throughout this most recent season, Garland says graffiti has been one thing they’ve seen more of than usual. “If you go down Spring Street and Narragansett, you’ll notice a lot of it on the wall over there,” Garland said. Garland since he’s seen plenty of new stickers out there and trash, but has been surprised by the quantity of water bottles, “I’ve been sad to see a lot of water bottles.”

While Garland is a seasonal employee, he’s hoping eventually he can become the first full time seasonal on the street guy for Clean City, “my boss is working on it”.

“We get congratulated often by people walking by, people thank us. People do often think I’m only do this because its community service, I have to tell them I do work for the city. Honestly, I love what I do,” said Garland.

Let’s hear it for Brian, Clean City and all the business owners and people that are working hard to keep our city clean and beautiful.

It shouldn’t go unnoticed.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).