New Year’s tradition of calendar snowfall melts away in S.F. 

The typical weather pattern for the Financial District on the final business day before the new year included a heavy snowstorm in which no two calendar pages were alike.

That tradition of employees tossing old calendars out the window on the last day of the year appears all but dead, left out in the cold by modern architectural engineering, computers and environmentally conscious workers not looking to contribute to pollution.

Celebrated for decades, the calendar shower left The City a mess, said Christine Salvey, the director of communications with the Department of Public Works, which is charged with cleaning up The City’s streets. City officials discouraged the tradition with the threat of citations for littering.

"It’s almost a nonissue at this point," Salvey said. "It’s something we used to gear up for, but that was at least 10 years ago."

The DPW would spend more than $100,000 to clean up roughly 30 tons of calendar pages and garbage left over from New Year’s Eve revelers, said Tim Hines, the assistant superintendent of the department’s street-cleaning bureau.

"It looked like [Lake] Tahoe in a snowstorm," Hines said of the paper a foot deep throughout the Financial District after employees took to their calendars.

Many cited the use of new electronic calendars on Blackberrys or Microsoft’s Outlook, as well as the simple fact that people cannot open their office windows for the quiet extinction of the tradition..

"I think it’s a tradition that’s pretty much come to an end for a few reasons: One being so many of the new office buildings don’t have windows that open," said Carol Piasente, the vice president of communications for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

The activity does not happen at Wells Fargo, spokeswoman Michele Ashley said.

"We’re environmentally conscious and we don’t condone littering," Ashley said, adding that a majority of Wells Fargo team members have moved to electronic calendars.

dsmith@examiner.com

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