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March 2024

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2022 Editor's Overview Logo

To commemorate today, which is World Water Day 2024 , we offer this editorial article that details many of the ways pavement sweeping supports the UN's World Water Day initiatives.

Are You Promoting the Extraordinary Value of Street Sweeping?

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

Street sweeping might not always be in the spotlight, but its value in maintaining clean and healthy communities is truly extraordinary. Beyond just tidying up streets, this often-overlooked service plays a crucial role in preserving our environment, safeguarding public health, enhancing safety, and contributing to overall well-being.

Despite its undeniable importance, street sweeping often doesn't receive the recognition it deserves. Many people may take clean streets for granted, unaware of the meticulous efforts required to keep them that way. It's essential to raise awareness about the invaluable role of street sweeping and the dedicated professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to uphold community cleanliness and safety. By acknowledging and appreciating the significance of street sweeping, we can foster greater support for this essential service and ensure the continued enhancement of our urban environments.

In this issue you'll find a number of examples of others considering the significant value street sweeping provides. My hope is that the videos from the cities of Independence and Goodyear are an inspiration for readers who manage sweeping and/or public works and stormwater abatement to do the same. It's so very important that your citizens are aware of sweeping's extraordinary value.

Kansas City, Kansas, is educating its area about sweeping by choosing a very colorful wrap for the city's new Elgin Pelican machine. Knowing the Day of the Dead has a large following in its region, that's the wrap they chose. What a good idea.

Our 84-year-old 'Noteworthy in Sweeping' recipient, James Raven, is clear about his job: He's there every work day and, while there, he's doing the very best job he can do. If only everyone in power sweeping – as well as people spanning all other job functions – would follow his lead!

As we are learning, one of the important and very toxic pollutant that street sweepers are helping to remove from the runoff stream are tire particles. These are being found to be one of the worst types of debris on the roadway. One specific compound is considered to be the primary factor causing a serious decline in the Pacific NW's coho salmon population. Sweepers can make a dent in that pollutant's runoff ability.

Finally, when you and/or your employees go on your appointed rounds in your sweepers and other rolling stock, do a walkaround to make sure all is well. Your machines will last longer and need maintenance less often when that sort of diligence is practiced. If you wonder if you know about all the items to check on your heavy-duty vehicles, you're in luck; we have that info for you in this issue!

As always, if you have questions and/or 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.

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.

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

  1. Are You Promoting Your City's Sweeping Services?
  2. Street Sweeper Logo Wrap Taken to New Level
  3. FullBay Offering Heavy Duty Equipment Maintenance Checklist
  4. Sweeping Can Help Save Washington's Salmon From Toxic Tire Dust
  5. Noteworthy in Sweeping: Street Sweeper James Raven, age 84, is Known Throughout Richmond, TX

Are You Promoting Your City's Sweeping Services?

Sweeping Tales

Educating citizens about the value of the city's sweeping program is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility among residents toward their community's environmental health. Understanding that street sweeping is significantly more cost-effective at removing phosphorus and nitrogen from stormwater runoff encourages citizens to support and participate in the program.

This increased participation can lead to cleaner streets and water bodies, ultimately benefiting public health and ecosystem resilience. Additionally, informed citizens are more likely to cooperate with sweeping schedules, ensuring maximum effectiveness of the program.

Moreover, raising awareness about the environmental benefits of street sweeping can inspire individuals to adopt environmentally-friendly behaviors in other aspects of their lives, contributing to broader sustainability efforts within the city. Therefore, by effectively communicating the importance of the sweeping program, cities can engage citizens as active partners in their environmental stewardship initiatives, leading to tangible improvements in water quality and overall urban livability.

Independence Logo To publicize the City of Independence's street sweeping operation, city officials took the tack of giving its citizens the opportunity to 'meet' one of the individuals who runs the essential service. Juan Rodriguez has worked in the city's public works department for over nine years, was raised in Independence, and continues to call it his home.

As part of a team tasked with keeping the city's streets clean, including a multitude of other duties, Juan is in no short supply of important work to do. When asked what his favorite part about his job is, he maintained a hometown response. "My favorite part is I live here," said Juan. "I take pride in keeping the city clean."

Click below to view the short video that Juan and the City of Independence made about the importance of street sweeping and how it's done.

Independence Video

City of Goodyear Logo The City of Goodyear, Arizona, is also proud of the cleanliness of its city and how the city's street sweeping program helps make that happen. The City's sweeping is showcased in a segment of the "On the Job with Julie." The City's Manager, Julie Karins, is the person going out onto different city jobs to educate the public about municipal services.

"They are out before most of us ever wake up! Street sweepers hit the roads by 2:30 a.m. in Goodyear and collect everything from candy to shoes. Watch as City Manager Julie Karins goes on the job sweeping streets," says the promo for the video. The City of Goodyear, with a much larger population base, has received nearly 15,000 views of the entertaining three-minute video.

Click below to view the City of Goodyear's segment on sweeping its streets.

Goodyear Video

Street Sweeper Logo Wrap Taken to New Level

Day Of Dead Sweeper

Here's another way to promote your sweeping department: Located in Kansas City, Kansas, the Unified Government (UG) of Wyandotte County Public Works Department unveiled its new Elgin Pelican® broom sweeper sporting a very unusual wrap. As shown in the photo, the new sweeper is wrapped with a vibrant Day of the Dead theme.

As part of its ongoing initiative to enhance local streets and environments, the Public Works Department partnered with the local Central Avenue Betterment Association and the Elgin dealer, Key Equipment & Supply on the project. The unique design honors the Central Avenue Betterment Association’s (CABA) contribution to the community through its Day of the Dead celebration and underscores the practices of commemorating local culture and landmarks on municipal equipment, especially sweepers.

Previous sweeper themes have included local sports teams, schools and other community programs, each telling a story of local pride and unity. Say's CABA's Executive Director Edgar Galicia, this vibrant Day of the Dead theme "showcases the vibrant community spirit and cultural richness of Kansas City, Kansas.”

Check out a brief article on the topic.

FullBay Offering Heavy Duty Equipment Maintenance Checklist

Full Bay Logo

FullBay is a company that sells repair shop software for heavy-duty trucks and trailers. According to the FullBay website, its concept is to create a "rewarding environment for its employees and customers."

If your sweeping organization doesn't currently have a comprehensive checklist for operators to utilize in evaluating your machines prior to operation, you'll find you can use the three-page PDF linked below. Even if you do have one now, you may find added checkpoints that your team will find helpful.

In addition to the checklist, linked below as a pdf file, using this link you can get a free copy of what FullBay calls "a definitive report on the commercial vehicle repair industry, full of benchmarks, insights, trends, best practices and more!"

Download/print the pdf checklist.

Sweeping Can Help Save Washington's Salmon From Toxic Tire Dust


As far back as the mid 1990s, American Sweeper magazine, the precursor to WorldSweeper, the declining salmon population and how high efficiency street sweeping might well hold the answer to helping save the species was discussed. Seattle-based Gary Minton was a professional in that particular water quality area and he posed the problem, along with his ideas about tire particles being the culprit. He also articulated his proposed solution in this article.

Now, nearly 30 years later, the specific chemical responsible for the die-off of coho salmon has been identified as one that's central to tire dust. Called 6PPD-quinone, the chemical is added to tires as an 'anti-degradent.'

With a culprit identified, the hard work of reducing contamination from something as widespread as tire dust is now underway. Alongside tribal governments, interest groups, and federal, state, and local organizations, Washington State Ecology officials have begun planning the most effective ways to reduce the amount of 6PPD-quinone going into the water. Street sweeping has been shown to be 5X more cost-effective in removing Nitrogen and Phosphorus from the runoff stream. That makes it highly likely that street sweeping would have the same ability with tire dust particles.

Check out what the Department of Ecology has found.

James Raven

Street Sweeper James Raven, age 84, is Known Throughout Richmond, TX

In 2009, somebody told James Raven about a street sweeping position in his Richmond, Texas, hometown. Now, 15 years later at age 84, Mr. Raven is known up and down the main street for his work ethic as well as his dedication to keeping the area looking as nice as can be.

City managers say things like "He's here every day. I don't think he's ever taken a day off being sick," and "We don't take him for granted. He's part of the family. We enjoy his company, enjoy his wisdom and his dedication to what he does."

Go to the article about James in our Noteworthy section.

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

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