PHOENIX - February is Graffiti Free Awareness Month in the city of Phoenix, which marks a time for the Neighborhood Services Department to encourage residents, neighborhoods and community volunteers to keep unsightly graffiti at bay.
Plus, it's easier to remove the graffiti than most residents might think.
Ruben Guerrero, part of the city of Phoenix's Graffiti Busters, is always busy at work covering tagged walls with a fresh coat of paint.
"We're going out to reported graffiti -- it could be anything from a neighbor's wall, alley wall, [to] businesses," Ruben said. "It just ranges from signal poles to light poles."
On any given day, Ruben can clean up to 40 to 60 different sites. In 2020, the city used 9,800 gallons of paint to cover close to 48,000 graffiti sites across the city.
All the trucks have every paint color available so they can match the color to any wall.
"Everyday, at the end of the day, we go and reload the truck," Ruben said. "We have a warehouse full of stuff."
The city says that it's been proven that if graffiti is removed within 24 hours, it's 90% less likely to return to the same area.
"Nobody wants to see it on the way home...kids [are] out here trying to get famous," Ruben laughed. "We're right behind them."
To report tagging in your area, you can call 602-534-4444 and Graffiti Busters will contact the business owner to get permission to remove the graffiti.
More on Graffiti Busters: https://www.phoenix.gov/nsd/programs/graffiti