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Environmental Information for Sweeping Professionals

Toronto, Canada's
'Clean Roads to Clean Air Program'

The City of Toronto is successfully implementing a street sweeping program that significantly contributes to meeting clean air and stormwater standards. Dr. Morgan discusses Toronto's process in developing a methodolgy for evaluating sweeper efficiency and operational best practices.

by Dr. Christopher Morgan, Senior Air Quality Scientist,
City of Toronto, Toronto, ON

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The City of Toronto's "Clean Roads to Clean Air" initiative was conceived as a potential means of cleaning the city's air of a citywide and year-round health-based problem linked to 'invisible' fine particulate matter, which is defined as particulate matter less than 10 microns iin diameter (PM10). This also includes particulates less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5).

The City's recent purchase of 'new technology' sweepers has been determined in large measure -- but not exclusive of regular operational and economic considerations -- by a performance standard that was incorporated into sweeper purchase requirements. This was done to ensure particulate matter was both removed from the streets being swept, and was not redistributed into the air Torontonians breathed.

The 'new technology' sweeper purchases are being subjected to citywide and street-specific ambient air quality monitoring to confirm that such new sweepers do indeed 'clean the air.'

The audio interview includes a discussion of the air quality problem identified in Toronto, as well as the thought processes surrounding development of a testing protocol for determining sweeper effectiveness.

Link to Audio

Dr. Morgan and co-author, Vesna Stevanovic-Briatico, Transportation Coordinator for City of Toronto, also wrote an article on this topic for the September 2007 edition of the magazine of the American Public Works Association, APWA Reporter. By permission of its editor, a pdf version of this article is also available here on the website.

Further, this subject was presented at the 2007 APWA Congress and Exposition. We also offer online a pdf version of the speaker's PowerPoint presentation.

You may reach Dr. Christopher Morgan by calling 416-392-6903. His email address is

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