November 24, 2014

Mayor Emanuel, DSS Announce Addition of Two New Trucks to Enhance Graffiti Removal Efforts

New graffiti vehicles further enhance removal efforts Citywide

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) today announced an expansion of graffiti removal efforts with the addition of two new chemical graffiti removal trucks. These new chemical graffiti removal trucks will allow DSS to remove 10-15 percent more graffiti.

“We’re continuing to improve and enhance the City’s graffiti removal program because no neighborhood should have to tolerate graffiti vandalism,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Investments in graffiti removal are helping Chicago to continue to comprehensively and effectively fight graffiti Citywide to keep our neighborhoods safe and clean.”

Mayor Emanuel and the Commissioners of DSS and Fleet and Facility Management visited City crews testing the new trucks today at a City fleet management location. These new chemical graffiti removal trucks will improve removal performance with an enhanced pressure unit.

Nearly $1 million in the 2014 budget was added to bolster graffiti removal efforts, including the two new chemical removal trucks along with three additional graffiti removal crews. For the 2015 graffiti removal budget, Mayor Emanuel added nearly $500,000 to fund additional personnel and graffiti removal resources to further improve graffiti removal operations Citywide.

With the addition of these new trucks, DSS’ graffiti removal program will now have four chemical graffiti removal trucks. These trucks use an environmentally-friendly citric acid based solvent that is able to remove graffiti markings on a variety of surfaces. Along with the chemical trucks, the City’s graffiti removal program also uses painting trucks and blasting trucks. Blasting trucks use baking soda under high pressure to quickly and effectively blast away graffiti.

“Rapid graffiti removal is one of the best deterrents for future graffiti vandals,” said DSS Commissioner Charles Williams. “By constantly enhancing our graffiti removal efficiency through improved planning and equipment, graffiti removal crews are able to effectively combat graffiti vandalism citywide.”

DSS’ graffiti removal program removes an average of more than 250 graffiti markings each day. Through increased resources and enhanced operations under the grid removal system, graffiti removal crews have been able to eliminate the graffiti request backlog and have zero overdue graffiti removal requests.

To see graffiti removal crews in action watch a video on the City’s Graffiti Removal Program HERE.

Graffiti removal is a free service offered by the City of Chicago. The graffiti program work with aldermen, community groups, block clubs, chambers of commerce and residents to respond to reports of graffiti. Residents who would like to report graffiti can call 311, or visit