by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor
Re-Requiring Car Removal for Street Sweeping Enters New Territory
In what is currently the midst of an ever-increasing spread of the COVID 19 pandemic, cities across the United States and elsewhere are trying to get back to their routine street sweeping programs. This includes, for many municipalities, going back to previous vehicle removal requirements. However, the wildcard of the moment is that many more people are currently working from home than has ever before been the case.
Since most all locales still do not employ a software-based citizen notification system but, rather, require vehicles to be removed for up to four hours for the sweeper to pass, chaos is already ensuing for those who park on the street. And, it won't get better before the situation worsens significantly. According to U.S. Census data, in 2017 5.2% of those with jobs worked from home at least some of the time.
Currently, according to Global Workplace Analytics, 56% of the U.S. workforce holds a job that is at least partially compatible with remote work. Further, the company estimates that we will see a whopping 25-30% of the workforce working at home on a multiple-days-a-week basis by the end of 2021.
Given the current lack of parking in most urban areas – as well as any prospects for increasing it significantly – that factor will be posing a big problem in cities requiring vehicle removal prior to sweeping. And, as any up-to-date municipal sweeping manager should know, the best way to increase the removal of both 'regular' and polluted pavement-based material is to keep vehicles out of the way of the sweeper.
I encourage all of those in the public sweeping sector to give this situation the planning it deserves. In our recent article about the studies by University of Florida's John Sansalone, we learned that street sweeping was found to be nearly seven times more cost-effective for removal of phosphorus and nitrogen, as well as regular street dirt, than catch basins, the next most cost-effective method. For that reason, street sweepers have to retain access to the curb line in cities that now mandate vehicle removal and more cities need to adopt the practice in the near future.
In future issues we'll be investigating alternatives to the current methods of car removal requirements and ticketing. To keep the process happening as well as to stem a revolt from car owning citizens, this process needs be updated with 21st century technology.
As always, if you have any news of potential interest to the power sweeping community, please let us know. Between this publication, the WorldSweeper.com website, and the World Sweeping Association, we'll be sure to get the information passed along to interested readers.
Executive Director, World Sweeping Association
Member, PAVEMENT Hall of Fame
PS If you're a contractor I urge you to check out the many benefits of membership in the World Sweeping Association. Also, if you haven't 'liked' our WorldSweeper Facebook page, what are you waiting for? That's where we offer a variety of industry previews and updates on an ongoing basis.
July Newsletter Contents
(Scroll down to read stories or click on links below.)
- Elgin No Longer Selling Odra's Broom Badger
- C&J's Rod Moore Offers Great Business Tips
- Webinar on Insurance Gaps for Sweeping Contractors August 5th
- Cameron Crews: WSA's 2020 Memorial Scholarship Winner
- SCA Enters Indiana Via EnviroSweep Purchase
- This Newsletter Wins 8th Consecutive Award for Publication Excellence
- Not Exactly Sweeping: Street Cleaners Swim Neck Deep in Rubbish to Clean Bangladeshi Canals
Elgin No Longer Selling Odra's Broom Badger
This year marked the ninth season in which the Broom Badger mechanical broom sweeper has been sold exclusively through the Elgin dealer network. We know when Elgin initially set up the arrangement it was expected that, if everything worked out, at some point Elgin could acquire the product. After eight years the companies found they were unable to come to an agreement in that regard after trying for an extended time period to do so.
This past June, the relationship between the two companies, which was established in the spring of 2012, was mutually ended. Going forward, we were told the machines will be called the 'Odra MT4H' and that they, along with any service parts, can be purchased directly from Odra while they establish their new dealer network.
We held our July newsletter as long as possible to get this evolving story right. That's because, after writing the story – including a podcast interview with Alex Byczynski, VP of Odra – as the month has come toward an end we learned the two organizations are, once again, in negotiations to work together in some form or other. As of this moment, though, the Broom Badger has been removed as a product from the Elgin website, even though a 360-degree 'product tour' of the machine remains inexplicably available. We'll be sure to bring you the outcome in our August newsletter.
C&J's Rod Moore Offers Great Business Tips
Awhile back our editor, Ranger Kidwell-Ross, found himself in Michigan near the location of WSA Advisory Board company C&J Parking Lot Sweeping. While there, Ranger had an opportunity to ride along with Rod Moore, C&J's General Manager.
During their afternoon together visiting customers, Ranger asked Rod to talk about the business concepts he feels has made C&J so successful over its more than 40 years of operation. What Rod has to say about the concept of providing outstanding customer service is food for thought for most any type of service business. Use the link shown below to check out the resulting 17-minute video compilation (will open into a new browser window).
Watch what Rod Moore has to say about professionalism.
Webinar on Insurance Gaps for Sweeping Contractors
Mark Logsdon grew up in the construction clean-up business, so he is experienced in the parking lot sweeping and pavement maintenance industry. Since joining CoVerica in 2018 he has been working to identify commercial risk in those sectors, as well as where insurance gaps might exist with coverages placed by agents who don't understand the industry.
On August 5th, from 11-11:30 Central Time, the World Sweeping Association is joining with WorldSweeper to sponsor a half-hour seminar with Logsdon, in which he will explain some of the pitfalls / gaps that he has uncovered in some current contractor policies. There is no charge for the Zoom-based webinar but registration is required. Use the link below to find out more as well as to sign up for the event.
Find out more about the webinar and sign up to attend.
Cameron Crews: WSA's 2020 Memorial Scholarship Winner
The World Sweeping Association only had one applicant for its two Memorial Scholarships this year. However, the applicant, Cameron Crews, would have been a strong contender in any year. Cameron was involved with two different sports, track/cross country and football. He was also active in the Junior Civitan high school community service organization and the Young Life Christian organization. Cameron was a member of both the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society; further, he received the 'Certificate of Award for Academic Excellence' from his high school principal. Finally, Cameron's ACT score is in the 94th percentile for all test-takers nationwide.
Cameron's father, Chris Crews, is a long-time sweeping industry sales person currently with Victory Sweepers. Since he worked with the late Carl Austin while at Schwarze Industries some years ago, this year's Scholarship was presented in Carl's honor.
You can use the link below to view WSA's award page for its 2020 scholarship recipient. It includes a portion of the recommendation written for him. It also includes this link to Cameron's essay for the Scholarship, which he wrote in response to the question "If you could go back in history and change one decision that was made, what would it be and why?" His answer is a worthwhile reminder for all of us.
Read about this young 'industry achiever.'
SCA Enters Indiana Via EnviroSweep Purchase
On July 16th Sweeping Corporation of America (SCA), the largest self-performing power sweeping company in the United States, acquired Indianapolis, Indiana-based Envirosweep, LLC. This transaction broadens SCA's geography into Indiana.
SCA's President and CEO Christopher Valerian said "Envirosweep is the largest and fastest-growing sweeping company in Indiana. This contiguous location will allow SCA to better service our customers while continuing Envirosweep's tradition of excellence."
The owners of Envirosweep, father and son Rob and Jeremy Pitman, will continue with the business. Jeremy added, "Combining forces with SCA brings greater resources to our employees and customers while continuing our growth trajectory."
Check out the SCA website.
This Newsletter Wins 8th Consecutive Award for Publication Excellence Award
In 2013 the WorldSweeper team was thrilled to win an international APEX Award for Publication Excellence for our monthly e-newsletter. So much so that we entered the publication into the prestigious contest the next year... and then the next. We are proud to report that WorldSweeper's monthly e-newsletter has been judged worthy of winning the coveted Award every single year since.
This year, only eight other publication entries from around the world received the Award in our category of 'Electronic Media – Education & Training.' We shared the Award with three companies from India, two from the United Kingdom and two other U.S.-based organizations. We couldn't be prouder of our unbroken string of Awards for excellence in reporting on the power sweeping industry!
Take a look at WorldSweeper's Award page.
Not Exactly Sweeping: Street Cleaners Swim Neck Deep in Rubbish to Clean Bangladeshi Canals
The Dhaleshwari, Bangshi and Turag rivers and canals under municipal jurisdiction have been polluted by rubbish for years. Municipal cleaners have dumped domestic, plastic, medical, industrial and e-wastes at 50 spots mostly on, or feeding into, canals and rivers.
Last year, in a landmark verdict, the Bangladeshi High Court declared all rivers in the country to have the same legal status as a human being. Since then, municipal officials have removed at least 200 tons of waste daily.
The street cleaners tasked with the cleanup have one of the worst jobs in the world as they swim neck deep in rivers of rubbish to help clean Bangladeshi canals. The extraordinary photographs in this article by the U.K.'s Daily Mail shows volunteers cleaning up the riverbanks surrounding a canal in Savar, Dhaka. The water used to be a canal before heaps of urban waste made a land mass in the region, which is 24 kilometers to the northwest of Bangladesh's capital.
Take a look at what the U.K.'s Daily Mail termed "perhaps the worst job in the world."