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April 2024

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2022 Editor's Overview Logo

Earth Day Logo 2024

This year the theme of Earth Day is "Planet vs. Plastics," which aims to increase public awareness of the detrimental effects that plastic pollution has on both human and environmental health. As previously reported, WorldSweeper's Editor is currently involved in an effort by the City of Santa Barbara to determine power sweeper BMPs for removal of pavement-origin microplastics as well as the larger 'trash' material also being targeted.

Make Earth Day = Earth Month = Earth Lifetime Commitment

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross,
Editor, WorldSweeper.com

As the impacts of climate change become more frequent and increasingly severe, they will create – and in many cases are already creating – crises for people and nature around the world. Many types of extreme weather, including heatwaves, heavy downpours, hurricanes and wildfires are becoming stronger and more dangerous.

Average temperatures are increasing; rainfall patterns are shifting; snow lines are retreating; glaciers and ice sheets are melting; permafrost is thawing; sea levels are rising; and, severe weather is becoming more frequent. Can sweeping combat all of this? Of course, the answer is no.

However, the impact that 'BMP street sweeping' can have on the ever-increasing pressures of pollutants in our air and water deserves much greater recognition. Stormwater runoff pollution, consisting of a wide array of chemical substances including microplastics, has become a very serious problem in the U.S. and around the world. Recently, microplastics were for the first time identified in almost every part of the body, including lungs, stomach and even the heart, doubling the risk of heart attack or stroke.

The Environmental Working Group's top suggestion for combating plastic exposure is to "dust and vacuum regularly." In the macro environment, that translates into a call for more pavement sweeping that also needs to include BMP methodology. For many decades, pollutants had the opportunity to diffuse into the landscape so as to reduce their ability to run off in a concentrated fashion. On today's paved surfaces they instead become concentrated in their runoff pattern. Pavement sweeping has been shown conclusively as the best way to address the problem of runoff pollution.

The pavement sweeping industry needs to find ways to increase the central role required to advance sweeping's pollutant removal capabilities to government and industrial entities of all sizes. Any organization tasked with addressing air and water pollution needs to be educated on the well proven competitive advantage BMP pavement sweeping has over all other removal methods. Environmental groups also need to be apprised of the extraordinary capabilities of street sweeping.

In my opinion, this could best be done by a national/international association of sweeper manufacturers and major suppliers. The joint financial strength of such an organization would be best positioned to provide information targeted to increase the understanding of stormwater professionals and others about the need for more frequent sweeping; increased understanding of what type of sweeper(s) should be used for which types of pavement situations; and, of the paramount importance for street sweeping programs to require vehicle removal prior to sweeping.

As our planet comes under rapidly increasing stress from pollutants, sweeping has an opportunity to seize its rightful central role. Without the formation of a manufacturers' and suppliers' association, though, that type of unified effort to gain the expansion – to which data show street sweeping is entitled – will remain mired in the lack of recognition to which the industry has long been relegated.

If you are one of WorldSweeper's advertising sponsors, thank you for the critical part you play in supporting 'Earth's Largest Power Sweeping Resource.'SM I am honored by your collective votes of confidence in what this organization provides to the power sweeping industry.

Likewise, if you are one of the industry suppliers providing WSA Members with savings on your goods and services, thank you for providing those WSA Member Benefits. Finally, if you sell to the sweeping industry but don't yet advertise with us, please consider doing so.

Good Sweeping,
Ranger Signature
Editor, WorldSweeper.com
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.

April Newsletter Contents
(Scroll down to read stories or click on links below.)

  1. The Passing of David McCaskill, Noted Industry Contractor
  2. The Crucial Role of Air Sweepers in Combating Stormwater Runoff Pollution
  3. Combating Distracted Driving and Inattentional Blindness in the Street Sweeping Industry
  4. Lake County, Illinois is Rebranding Sweeping Program to Community
  5. Sky's the Limit: AI-Powered Sweeping Drones Set to Revolutionize Urban Cleanliness!

The Passing of David McCaskill, Noted Industry Contractor

David E. McCaskill

It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of David E. McCaskill, Jr., long the head of one of South Carolina's ACCUSWEEP Services, Inc. David was constantly involved in promoting professionalism in the sweeping industry. He was long a leading figure at the National Pavement Expo, where he was ready to answer questions from any of the other contractors. David was active in NAPSA and his ACCUSWEEP organization was a Founding Member of the World Sweeping Association as well as an industry supporter in so many other ways.

In 2011 ACCUSWEEP was our World Sweeping Companies Featured Contractor and you can read the story, as well as hear David's sage advice about how to increase professionalism by promoting a team operation, at this link.

To access David's obituary page, where you can send a condolence or share a memory, use this link.

The Crucial Role of Air Sweepers in Combating Stormwater Runoff Pollution

Air Sweeper Combat Pollution

Street sweepers play a crucial role in protecting the environment by removing pollutants, including microplastics, from urban streets before they can enter the stormwater system and eventually end up in waterways. This makes street sweeping arguably the most effective best management practice (BMP) for stormwater pollution control.

Make sure that street sweeping and stormwater managers understand just how effective sweepers – particularly regenerative air and vacuum sweepers – are at removing fine particulate matter, including microplastics, from street surfaces before small micron particles can entrain into the air or run off into storm drains.

Check out the article.

Combating Distracted Driving and Inattentional Blindness in the Street Sweeping Industry

April Distracted Driving

The power sweeping industry faces unique challenges, including the critical issue of distracted driving and inattentional blindness. These phenomena not only endanger the lives of drivers and pedestrians but also lead to significant financial losses, reduced efficiency and potential legal consequences for businesses.

This article by WorldSweeper's Editor discusses how distracted driving can best be identified and countered by managers of all types of sweeping operations.

Check out the details.

Lake County, Illinois, is Rebranding Sweeping Program to Community

Lake County Logo

The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) conducts street sweeping as part of its commitment to clean water initiatives and in compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act. When officials recently took delivery of a new single-engine Elgin Whirlwind, they decided to rebrand the County's sweeping program so as to better educate citizens about the value of street sweeping when it comes to maintaining water quality.

In part, this included the information that: "Street sweeping is recognized as a stormwater management best practice due to its effectiveness in removing harmful substances such as sediment, bacteria, chemicals, and metals from the urban runoff before they can reach and pollute rivers, lakes, and streams."

This article has been included to provide other street sweeping programs – including those of sweeping contractors – impetus to embrace this type of branding to its constituents so they might better understand the extraordinary value of sweeping when it comes to reducing stormwater runoff pollution.

Check out our article on the topic.

Sky Sweepers Logo

Sky's the Limit: AI-Powered Sweeping Drones Set to Revolutionize Urban Cleanliness!

On the first of this month WorldSweeper offered a bulletin about the advent of drone street sweepers, primarily for emergency cleanup operations. In case you missed reading about this new development in pavement debris removal, we are reprising the information here in the April newsletter, as well.

The timely industry update provided information about Sky Sweepers, a pioneering company in urban sanitation that announced the imminent deployment of a fleet of AI-powered sweeping drones. According to the news bulletin, these high-flying helpers have been designed to take on the task of keeping our cities spotless, reaching new heights in the battle against litter and debris.

Read about the drone street sweepers.

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Thanks for reading WorldSweeper.com's April 2024 Newsletter!

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