The cost involved in removing graffiti and chewing gum from Reykjavík’s walls and sidewalks goes beyond available revenue.
RÚV reports that the Independence Party recently submitted a proposal to the city’s Office of Management and Care calling for a “crusade” against graffiti and wads of chewing gum stuck to walls and sidewalks.
While it was decided that the budget for this operation would be 19.5 million ISK, costs have already reached 23.5 million ISK. Furthermore, the office believes it needs at least 40 million ISK to complete the project.
The office also points out that the city only has one water blaster. This means that city workers cleaning away old gum cannot simultaneously clean graffiti, and vice versa.
All told, Reykjavík’s graffiti artists are producing beyond the capabilities of the city to clean after them.
For more background on graffiti art in Reykjavík, read Kirsten O’Brien’s feature, Reykjavík’s War On Graffiti.