Traghetto Santa Sofia (Grand Canal)
Stalking the paparazzi in Venice

Venice's street cleaners

Street cleaners and trash collectors have a tough job in any city, but in pedestrian-friendly Venice, sanitation workers don't have modern garbage trucks and street-cleaning machines to do the heavy lifting. Instead, they pick up bags of garbage and recyclable materials by hand and deposit them in pushcarts--and when it's time to sweep the streets, they rely on old-fashioned twig brooms. 

The pictures below show employees of AMAV, the Venice sanitation agency, going about their work on a foggy  morning in early March. (AMAV stands for "Azienda Multiservizi Ambientali Venezia.") 

Venice garbage collector
A sanitation worker pushes her empty cart toward an AMAV staging area near the Frari church.

Venice street cleaner with broom twigs
A colleague waits up ahead with a load of broom twigs that have just been delivered to the fondamenta along the canal by an AMAV barge.

Venice sanitation workers
The woman with the empty cart approaches the staging area, passing carts loaded with garbage that will be picked up by another barge.

AMAV worker in Venice
The woman in charge of the twigs loads her bundles into the handcart for transfer to an AMAV substation.

AMAV garbage barge in Venice
Meanwhile, next to a bridge farther along the canal, an AMAV garbage barge is receiving trash. (You can see the boatman lifting a garbage cart with a small hydraulic crane. When the cart is positioned over an open hatch, the cart's bottom is released and bags of garbage fall into the hold.)


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