"Even on the weekends, I have the tendency to actually go for a piece
of trash I see on the floor," he said. "I have to go, 'Wait, I'm not
working today.' It's just a habit."
Since January, Matallana has begun his day at 9 a.m. at the corner of
California Avenue and Brand. He heads north on Brand Boulevard, riding
his trusty Litter Hawk, which sweeps and sucks up debris.
By 5:30 p.m. when his shift his over, Matallana has covered the
sidewalks on Brand Boulevard between Glenoaks Boulevard and Colorado
Street and has even swept a few blocks of sidewalk on the intersecting
streets in between.
"I have no time to get in trouble," he said. "The hardest part of the
job is trying to keep up with the litter in the streets. You go by and
you go back and it looks like you never did nothing. You're like, 'Where
did that come from?' It's an everlasting job."
Matallana's work supplements a three-man night crew that cleans Brand
Boulevard between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. five nights a week. The three Public
Works employees clean the sidewalk furniture and clean the sidewalks
using a sweeper and a pressure washer.
Matallana and the night crew cover about 188,000 square feet of
sidewalk each day.
"I don't think people realize what it takes to keep a city of this
population looking good and keep people wanting to come back," said
Albert Lee, Jr., assistant maintenance services administrator for the
city. "We put a lot into Brand. Brand gets an awful lot of wear and tear,
a lot of use and takes a lot of looking after."
For that reason, the city hired Matallana to supplement the night crew
about two months ago, Lee said.
Matallana, a 17-year Glendale resident, said he takes pride in keeping
the downtown clean.
"I get into it," he said. "When I'm cleaning and I see people dirtying
it again, it bothers me, and I want to say, 'Hey, we're trying to keep
Glendale clean, not just me.' But what can you do?"