SXSW Cleanup Project underway

The 2016 South by Southwest festival is officially over. After attracting hundreds of thousands of people to Austin, volunteers and city workers began the daunting task of cleaning up downtown.

The renowned festival not only generated hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of visitors to the city but is also left behind thousands of pounds of trash.

"Last year south by generated at least 267,000 pounds of trash," Iby Setzer, of Austin Resource Recovery, said.

On Sunday, over three dozen volunteers and city workers spent most of the day picking up what thousands of visitors left behind as part of the 2nd annual SXSW cleanup project.

"(We are) tearing down any posters, picking up any litter that's on the ground." Setzer said, " (the A.R.R.) are running around on gators and they'll be picking up those bags once they are full."

Rob Besett and his son Bailey are two of the volunteers filling up their bags.

"There are posters plastered everywhere, the same ones too." Bailey said, "You can't go five feet without seeing the same poster being posted."

"We all really appreciate South by but we also appreciate that the city has to look as good as it was before South by started," Rob said.

Holmes Onwukaife, a Cedar Park native, is doing his part as well. Onwukaife is in town with the Florida State Alumni Club. He is not phased by the amount work that was in front him but instead happy to see the dozens working beside him, to keep the city he loves beautiful.

"This really speaks to the citizens that you have here in Austin. Everybody is committed to keeping Austin weird but also beautiful as well. So everyone is out here willing to contribute and that really speaks a lot about the community out here," Onwukaife said.

In 2015, Austin Resource Recovery collected over 879,160 pounds of trash and 190,440 pounds of recycling from Central Business District dumpsters during South by Southwest.

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