MOOP Map 2016: Day Four — More of Our Pieces

Finally, the weather cleared up and Resto got in a full day’s work. The line sweep crews made their way towards 10 and beyond, finshing the four back blocks of the city they started the day before, advancing from 9:45 to 10:15. They then lined up at 10:15 and worked Esplanade to C, back to 6:30. Last, C through G streets got swept from 6:30 to 7:30 before quittin’ time.

At the end of the day everyone was pleasantly exhausted and satisfied from completing a whole day’s labor on the lines.

These are the placement flags, piled neatly in Resto's commingled recycling dumpster. As the Line Sweep crews advance over blocks, they take the flags, signifying the camp's been swept and scribed.
These are the placement flags, piled neatly in Resto’s commingled recycling dumpster. As the Line Sweep crews advance over blocks, they take the flags, signifying the camp’s been swept and scribed.

Just a quick recap on what MOOP is: It’s a word in Burning Man culture that means ‘matter out of place.’ MOOP is anything and everything that’s not native to the immediate environment. And since our environment at Burning Man is the flat blank ancient alkali dust bed of Lake Lahontan, MOOP is literally everything.

Some line sweepers take their MOOP collections more seriously than others. Here we see an art project in the making. Some of us still have lunchboxes full of
Some line sweepers take their MOOP collections more seriously than others. Here we see an art project in the making. Some of us still have lunchboxes full of “special” MOOP from years ago, stored away for that someday idea.

The MOOP picked up by Resto and marked on the MOOP Map is often clear evidence of whatever happened in that spot. We find bits of food near what looks like a kitchen. Beer tabs, bottle tops, lime wedges, broken glass? Probably the bar … Firewood near the burn barrel; cool shit by the Rave Zones. But mainly, it simply looks like Burning Man happened. People had a good time and may have missed a spot during cleanup after 70,000 of their new friends danced over that MOOP and trampled it into the dust, only for it to be uncovered by the wind weeks later.

It takes extra effort to sort the good MOOP in a separate receptacle from the wood chips and carpet hairs and whatnot. Construction-minded individuals can find handy fasteners and hardware, too.
It takes extra effort to sort the good MOOP in a separate receptacle from the wood chips and carpet hairs and whatnot. Construction-minded individuals can find handy fasteners and hardware, too.

Resto is like a 130 person CSI MOOP army unearthing the forensic remains of Black Rock City. We enjoy leaving the Black Rock Desert beautiful. This is a prototypical site out here for a way of life, and Resto strives to ensure the worldwide Burning Man community can continue fostering temporary autonomous zones in which to build and burn — and do it again and again, to whatever end.

Every morning, our Line Sweep and Special Forces meetings both end with a
Every morning, our Line Sweep and Special Forces meetings both end with a “whoooaaa RESTO!” group pound.

In case you were curious, the most commonly found MOOP is wood: Wood chips, firewood bark, splinters, and sawdust. Use tarps for wood-cutting construction areas and firewood in your camps — and clean those tarps daily and often, because dust storms could be coming to blow the chips off the tarp and bury your MOOP in labor-intensive dunes.

whoooaaa RESTO!
whoooaaa RESTO!

As far as large trash goes, we’ve got good news there: Three years ago, the DPW collected five dumpsters full of abandoned items. Two years ago, we had four, on the post-event special DPW op we lovingly call the Trash Train. And this year we — Black Rock City — reduced our abandoned-items waste another 30-yard dumpster to three. Only THREE dumpsters this year, people, for a city of 70,000 and change.

“There’s usually a couch mountain every year, too,” Jedi says, “and there’s NO couch mountain this year.” ::applause::

Flo from France warms up before the day's sweeps.
Flo from France warms up before the day’s sweeps.

MOOP is also down. 2016 appears to be one of the cleanest years ever (knock on wood because you never know what’s out there). Highway trash for the Litterati is also down by half. HALF. That’s good burnin’. Community cleanup effort means everything to us. We can’t do this without y’all.

We need to stay this Good At It and get better — and the best way to do that is MOOP and clean when you get to BRC, throughout the week of Burning Man, when you’re out in the city with your special little good-citizen MOOP bag … and again as you’re packing for home. Think of the dishes in the sink metaphor — do you want to rinse them off now while they’re freshly dirty, or wait ‘til they get all crusty and piled up? Yeah.

And only dirt, we hope.
And only dirt, we hope.

What about the people who believe some MOOP flew away down to the open playa? Well, we’ve heard that one before, and here’s the deal: By the time Resto begins (two weeks after Burning Man ends), most any MOOP light enough to blow around the playa floor has made it to the trash fence and is cleaned up there. The DPW leaves the trash fence up until every bit of infrastructure is gone. Then on De-Fence day, we take the fence down and kick through the dunes and MOOP them at the same time. There’s usually not much MOOP in the fence dunes.

Why wouldn’t there be much in the fence dunes? All the windblown MOOP during Burning Man already made it to the trash fence long ago, and got scooped up on a daily and maybe hourly basis by either the Earth Guardians, DPW Fence crew members, or the numerous volunteers in the community who walk the trash fence when Black Rock City is in operation. We thank you for that!

Perrier and Edelweiss from DPW Fleet maintain vehicles on the shoreline with the mobile Auto Shop rig.
Perrier and Edelweiss from DPW Fleet maintain vehicles on the shoreline with the mobile Auto Shop rig.

Collectively, after De-Fence, the Resto crew does enough random-location driving on the city site to spot and collect the errant pieces of larger (two-three-inch) MOOP, which are easily visible now in the harsh sunlight on our blank desert canvas. One of D.A’s jobs is to get eyes on the playa, and be everywhere before the crew is. If he doesn’t catch it, one of the Special Forces, Rangers, Medics, or Fluffers crew will get it on their missions ’round the city site.

There’s a reason we keep passing this BLM Site Inspection test — and it’s not an easy test. It’s not about us in the DPW, it’s about the community. If Burning Man weren’t this arty enlightenment apocalypse training city, and just a regular ol’ festival with 70,000 people not committed to Leave No Trace, our record wouldn’t be anything like this. We wouldn’t be allowed to play here.

Scribes pore over the MOOP map and color in their sections during the daily MOOP Map Coloring Party in the Black Rock Saloon in Gerlach.
Scribes pore over the MOOP map and color in their sections during the daily MOOP Map Coloring Party in the Black Rock Saloon in Gerlach.

We can look at the MOOP map and understand exactly what kind of time we’re having with a section of town: If Resto progressed quick and easy, we call the area green. Sure, there’s still MOOP here and there, but nothing enough to break our stride.

If Resto’s progress is stop and go, we call it yellow. Proceed with caution. If Resto’s progress is slow-going and sluggish pace or at a dead stop, we call it red. Then we mark it on a map.

The city intersections and flags are all still up, so we know exactly where we are at all times. Additionally we have GPS units that we use to make waypoints, photos, and notes to support our coloring process. To the Resto crew though, the MOOP map is less about which camps did well or poorly in the cleanup game, and more about the pace we’re going through the city — where we’re cruising and where we hit a brick wall.

Can you spot the 120-person Line Sweep and fleet vehicles on the distant horizon?
Can you spot the 120-person Line Sweep and fleet vehicles on the distant horizon?

The MOOP Map isn’t rocket science. It represents Burning Man’s cleanup effort and Resto’s progress through Black Rock City as we pick up what everyone else missed. We’re not about shaming people or camps — only showing the map so everyone can see how much green there is and talk about making it solid green everywhere in the future. The important thing to remember is: Each year the map gets greener.

Here’s the MOOP Map for Day Four.

Read 'em and sweep
Read ’em and sweep

Follow Summer Burkes on Twitter.

About the author: Summer Burkes

Summer Burkes has been rousting about at Burning Man since 1998. She first met her dusty DPW / Cyclecide / Bike Club fam-dambly on the back of The Bucket. A Cacophony Society enthusiast, Summer loves explosions and cake.

30 Comments on “MOOP Map 2016: Day Four — More of Our Pieces

  • Gab says:

    You guys are amazing! Thanks for all this work!

    Report comment

    • Blue Ball says:

      I’m so greatfull for all you do, all of you.
      Thank you!!
      Now, I spent hours sweeping our entire camp and our neigbors camps , and left them moopless. As we were pulling away , I saw a big dust storm and I saw crap flying in it towards us. I think our zone got yellow, boooo!! Hours spent . And still got spanked. I’m glad I did what I did. Even though my work and efforts will go un noticed. Sending y’all love

      Report comment

    • Lenerdo says:

      Our camp does a night club every year called Planet earth. Every year I’m last off playa and we spend last day moop sweeping. I just assumed our red spot last year and this year was moop blown in. We take great pride and effort to leave no trace and its kind of a kick in the nuts to get a red spot when we for sure moop sweeped, raked, re mooped sweeped, returned random bikes to bike collector’s. Grabbed garbage bags passer bys leave in our area as they drive out.. etc. How can we dispute the red dot? We have pictures of area of course. I don’t know if its pride or ego that causes those red marks upset us. We run a terrific camp, and have a great burn, then weeks later… a red mark to make us all feel bad after we know we did it right. Your post was great, but it verified that no, its not moop blown in and that we are getting dinged inappropriately. How can we fix this?

      Report comment

  • Mr. Jan Nichols says:

    The work the MOOP machine does can not be underestimated. As a member of the BRC community, I can not tell you how much I appreciate your work long after the rest of us have gone home to clean up, and begin thinking about next year. Thank you.

    Report comment

  • Charles Wheeler says:

    Lovely work you all do out there. Is there a higher res image available, so I can read my camp name? I’m sure we (Camp Conception, 7:15 between E & F) are in the green, but I wanted to check.

    Report comment

  • MtWoman says:

    This is just plain awesome. The MOOP teams should meet with…well…everyone in the world, and teach how to PICK UP and LEAVE NO TRACE. Imagine if the world was kept the way BRC is left. Thank you.

    Report comment

  • shyn says:

    Is there a way to see details on the map?

    Report comment

  • Michelle Geil says:

    We love and appreciate all you do! It’s important in so many ways, and I look forward to the time I can join you for post-Burn mooping and time in the desert, putting it all back together, someday.

    Report comment

  • HellYeah says:

    I helped de-moop our MN regional Burn this year and was pleased at how our community takes Leave No Trace with us where ever we go. We even left the place cleaner than when we found it. Cudos to All You BRC hard workers and to the community at large. I can proudly say as a result of becoming a Burner, i now drop zero cigarette busts and pick up moop almost everywhere I go (difficult while one is driving). Love this way of life. Oh…and the hugs! Big hugs back at’cha!

    Report comment

  • 666isMONEY says:

    What’s the story about the accommodations for the resto crew, is there a trailer park in Gerlach for them, is anyone still camping out on the playa?

    Report comment

  • Grog says:

    What happened to the high-resolution large copies of the Moop map? It’s just too granular to actually read anything.

    Report comment

  • Pooh Bear says:

    Too much red. Boo moopers…but yeah to you guys…

    Report comment

  • rev1will says:

    well I bet their is a huge under ground base about 1/2 mile under the burning man grounds.. They come out of their base every year and walk around.. You don’t even know who they are because they look like us and talk like us.. They have live under black rock neveda for 14,000 year or better.. They do support the festive and what the earth movement is doing.. They do have their own spaceship to leave earth to go to moon.. They do that in oct or nov and come back with thier supplies.. They are really good people that don;t mess with human life. They are highly advance in technology. The trade with the Men in Black so they can stay in this area. This another reason area 51 is in area..S 4 is in area.. Nevada has huge tunnels and under ground old city for million years. I few miner back in the day found the under ground city to find the gaints.. Black rock mountain is were the last of them went.. Most of them are not giants now more.. They evil one on the tops side kill most of them off.. I would love to go burning man after the show to clean up. I love garbage and the smell. I love fine clean ways to make safe and clean.. Man report i have had come in of real UFo durning the festive.. They love to show support when the event happen. Some in you crew knows about the life under the desurt he wouldn’t of built out their if their was a way to contact the tall whites or the chrons that live out their.. They live a simple life and some time they will take to land walk like you have.. I had a man that know them really well and has been out their once in 1999 i think.. I have seen him now for long time.. I think he join the crew or the aliens.. The life that lives their is for peace.. They love when you do clean up the place..

    Report comment

  • Stephen says:

    Your work is outstanding. People, these are the REAL burners. The real commitment. I am in awe of their commitment to making it work, the whole shebang. This is WORK. This isn’t “partying”, goofing around, chilling, drinking, smoking, screwing. THIS IS FREAKING WORK – hard work !! Thank you so much !!!!

    Report comment

  • Magic Kristian says:

    Looking good folks. We are with you from afar!

    Report comment

  • ScrewDrop says:

    PLEASE!!!…provide a link to a higher-res copy of the map instead of this tiny, low-res jpg. How many people have to ask?
    Especially important to someone like me who A) raked our entire camp plot AFTER our all-hands-on-deck sweep line and still appear to have a combination of green and yellow on our 8:45/Esp address. Thanks!

    Report comment

    • Summer B. says:

      ScrewDrop – We have heard the requests and are working on it. When a higher-res map comes out tho, please be aware it’s still a first draft, and the coordinates of the city have yet to be overlaid to the scribes’ gps information before we can get a totally accurate assessment of what exactly was green / yellow / red and where. Also, questions about your score go to placement at burning man dot com, but at this point, until we complete the overlay and collate all the data, they won’t have much information either. BLM inspection is soon and we’re goin’ as fast as we can!

      Report comment

      • ScrewDrop says:

        Thank you, Summer B. That’s all good to know. We fervently hope that, once the coordinates are overlaid with the scribes’ info, that little yellow corner of our otherwise all-green space will also go green. We so dearly appreciate our Esplanade address and we do all we can to earn it. That includes a meticulous cleaning by all camp members, as well as being a welcoming space to all burners all week long (over 200 tutus made by and proudly worn by passing guests, about 100 capes the next day, and multiple music events, and respite in our playa-front shade for burners in need of a break.)
        Thank you very much for your reply.
        ScrewDrop

        Report comment

    • David says:

      Open image in a new tab and then maximize it. The map isn’t so low-rez. Just scaled down to the page.

      Report comment

      • ScrewDrop says:

        Thanks, David. Tried it, but no go. It’s a jpg. The more you zoom in, the grainier it gets. It is comprised of x number of pixels. The closer you look, the bigger the pixels get. The yellow part of our camp, at 8:45/Esp, is comprised of just 16 pixels. And, at that zoom level, I can’t even read the names of the camps.
        If you have a step-by-step on how to zoom in and see high-res, do tell!

        Report comment

  • Sparkplug says:

    THANK YOU for all you do to clean up after us, even when we’ve already spent HOURS cleaning up after ourselves already!!! Y’all are amazing!!

    Report comment

  • Fight club says:

    When mooping our camp it was ash from various burns floating on to our camp. You couldn’t pick it up as it would disintegrate when touched. We got Green.

    Report comment

  • Geniusbutmodest says:

    So grateful to you guys!
    You make the adventure possible.
    Many thanks!

    Report comment

  • nantz says:

    My friend’s camp raked, mooped and raked, mooped, raked …..left thinking they would get a green, and now see it marked as part of an area of red. Will this count against the camp’s placement next year? The camp was very interactive and super popular….they are worried and really depressed after a fabulous burn. I am consulting with you for them as they are really distraught.

    Report comment

    • hey nantz,

      a common refrain. there was much wind. things blew around a little. and this is only the first draft of the map. it still has to be overlaid with the city grid which may have data updates and things may shift a bit.

      tell your friends to relax and please don’t be depressed; thanks for their efforts, and chances are they haven’t been fired from burning man lol … this scenario has happened to me personally before, so i sympathize. sometimes grades change; sometimes wind blows moop a little. … they should wait and chill for the final moop map to come out in a couple months. and then* get with placement at burning man dot org to get the story. we’re all doing our best!

      Report comment

  • Comments are closed.