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Pittsburgh makes money but Mayor Peduto is not happy

Luke Bryan performing in Florida
Photo by Rick Diamond

Pittsburgh welcomed Luke Bryan to Heinz Field this past weekend. Now that the numbers have been added up, and the garbage has been taken away, it seems that Mayor Bill Peduto isn't really happy about netting $650 thousand.

And the garbage is the issue. Peduto is of the opinion that there's no excuse for all the garbage at a large event at Heinz Field. The city has been down this road before, and arguably this time it went much better. When Kenny Chesney came to town, there was much more than just garbage to clean up.

But, it's time to place this situation in perspective. The reason why there is a lot of garbage to pick up after an event like this is that there aren't a lot of containers for people to put it in. Even when there are, honestly they don't tend to bother. However, this garbage ends up on the ground in relatively flat parking lots, so that means it's not difficult for bulldozers to just push it along and dump it into large dumpsters. That said, a case could be made for the city to provide disposable garbage receptacles next time around, just so that some of the mess is localized.

The other issue has been adequate sanitary facilities for the people attending. This is perennial issue on the North Shore that is never truly managed with just the addition of more portable units for larger events. Of course, vandalism is a concern if the parking lot companies or the city would decide to offer permanent facilities. If there weren't stainless steel toilets and sinks available on the market for public restrooms, that might be an insurmountable issue.

The bottom line is that events like this make money for the city. The city is fully aware of the costs involved with cleaning up after them. It's not likely that anyone will be able to get large groups of people to not create a lot of garbage in a city that is known for tailgating. Complaining about the mess is just whining. Leaders shouldn't whine. If they don't like how something is, they can either work toward a better solution, or fight to keep from having to deal with it again. Since it makes money, that second choice shouldn't be an option.