Honolulu's Kleen Sweeps, Inc. Keeps Oahu Sparkling
In 1991, Gabriel Marchado started his company with an FMG sweeper and one contract. About ten years ago his wife, Shellee, took over. Today, Kleen Sweeps is the major sweeping force on Oahu.
by Ranger Kidwell-Ross
When Shellee Marchado took over Kleen Sweeps, Inc. from her husband a decade ago, the company had one sweeper and one account. Today, the company has become the dominant sweeping force on the island of Oahu, with a fleet made up mostly of TYMCO sweepers, including a new 500 SX, as well as an Elgin broom machine.
The company is in charge of sweeping the island's entire perimeter once each five weeks, as well as many of the military installations that dot Oahu. In addition to their scheduled sweeping -- for environmental reasons and because Oahu is such a big tourist destination -- they also sweep prior to large rainfall events. This keeps the red-colored mud that tends to cascade from roadbanks from going into the Pacific during the island's notorious downpours.
One positive Shellee cites is the great team they've put together, most all of whom are of Hawaiian or Samoan descent. "We're a great melting pot," she says, "and I truly enjoy all the different cultures that are a part of the area we live in." Another strength is her Master mechanic, who she credits with keeping the vehicles in the company's fleet in tip-top condition, no matter what the actual age of the sweepers might be.
As you'll hear in the accompanying audio interview with Shellee, the company does what it takes to comply with the strict security and other issues that surround sweeping at the wide variety of military property in the area. "We have all the branches represented," Shellee says, "including the Commander of the Pacific. We not only want all those areas to look great, but there are a number of permits we need to keep up with and so forth. It's a challenge, but after all these years we pretty much have it down."
Listening to Shellee Marchado speak so matter of factly about her company, it's clear that she runs a competent, professional operation. From coordinating with military landscapers so they can keep grass clippings from spoiling an excellent job of sweeping, to how they handle getting recyclables out of their waste stream -- on an island that basically doesn't have any more landfill space -- makes for an enjoyable listening experience.
Note: The following audio interview with Shellee Marchado is approximately 15 minutes in length, and will play without downloading any files onto your computer. If you hear the interview at 'chipmunk speed,' you will need to download the latest version of Adobe's free Flash player.
If you have questions or comments about this interview, please, let us know and we can add it in as an addendum to this article.
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