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May 2024

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2022 Editor's Overview Logo

Industry Heading in Oppositionally Diverse Directions

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

An analysis of our May issue brings thumbs up to some organizations and thumbs down to others. Sad to relate, both the City of Los Angeles and Walmart are in the latter category.

The positive environmental benefits of moving from fossil fuels has been well documented. That the City of LA would showcase that in starting to move its sweepers to EV units is applaudable; however, we encourage better recognition of applicable sweeping technology. The city reportedly chose an Elgin Broom Bear for cleaning city streets – just because it is one of the earliest street sweepers to be available mounted onto an electric chassis.

Regenerative air and vacuum sweepers have historically been shown to have a better small-micron pickup ability than mechanical broom machines, and that's what's called for when it comes to most all urban sweeping situations. Although the Broom Bear is a fine sweeper, especially capable at highway and construction sweeping, without an air-based pickup component it can't remove the same level of the 250-and-under-micron material that has been shown to contain a higher level of pollutants. Urban streets are better suited to air sweepers.

Walmart's decision to try and claw back previously authorized payments made to contractors as many as four years ago also seems inexplicable. The Walmart organization has several onerous layers of app and other reporting requirements contractors must navigate in order to get paid in the first place – including the store managers having a week to stop payment – yet Walmart has now hired an audit company to try and get money repatriated from contractors. In my opinion, this represents an inexplicable, very negative, action; no wonder Walmart management hasn't consented to letting us interview anyone on the topic.

On the kudos side, though, we applaud New York City's effort to get cameras onto its street sweepers for ticketing those who don't move their vehicles prior to sweeping. Doing so seems obvious, given today's technology. However, it appears the City is having to get a statewide law onto the books to allow it to proceed to do so.

I encourage NYC and other municipalities to also see the 2023 Stormwater Workshop presentation done by Roger Sutherland and myself. In addition to cameras on sweepers, it contains a variety of other tips on how to bring a street sweeping program into the 21st century.

Speaking of tips, this issue includes Elgin Sweeper's five tips on spring cleaning, good ideas all. Finally – last but not least in importance – is our link to the National Safety Council's June Safety Month resources. Now is the time for contractors and municipalities alike to plan for next month using materials from the NSC and elsewhere to develop targeted safety programs. Look at and download the materials now to be ready to show your employees how much you value safety in your organization.

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.

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

  1. LA Purchases Mechanical Broom EV Sweeper for City Streets: Is it the Right Technology?
  2. Walmart-Directed Audit Activity Called Into Question
  3. Street Sweepers Could Nab Illegally Parked Vehicles Under State Bill
  4. Elgin Sweeper's Five Tips for Spring Cleaning
  5. Not Exactly Sweeping: Take Advantage of NSC's Safety Month Resources

LA Purchases Mechanical Broom EV Sweeper for City Streets: Is it the Right Technology?


On May 11, 2024, Los Angeles City officials Thursday unveiled a "first of its kind" electric sweeper, Elgin's EV Broom Bear, in an effort to reduce the impact of climate change and electrify the city's equipment.

However, in the linked article WorldSweeper's Editor questions whether choosing a mechanical broom sweeper because it was an all-electric machine – rather than procuring an air sweeper for city streets even if it isn't an EV – was the overall right choice.

Check out the article.

Walmart-Directed Audit Activity Called Into Question

Walmart Auditec Logos Handshake

We have received a number of reports that Walmart has connected with a company called Auditec Solutions to audit previously approved contractor payments. Although approved at the time of service under Walmart's extensive requirements for sweeping contractor payment, Auditec has sent notices that payments for up to four previous years must be repaid to Walmart.

On April 8th Mark Graham, Walmart's Sr. Exterior Services Manager, said WorldSweeper would have to contact Walmart's media group so as to interview him or another manager on the topic. This was done the same day, as well as follow-up done, but there has been no contact back from Walmart's media team.

For several months, our affiliated World Sweeping Association has been pursuing this topic on behalf of its members. Linked below are explanation and response letters from two of the contractors who have had to navigate as a result of Auditec notices.

Walmart also recently cancelled an Arkansas sweeping contractor who has provided uninterrupted, 'no complaint quality' services to Walmart for 30 years. The reason stated for the cancellation was the “desire for more vendor consolidation."

Although Walmart has long been and remains the gorilla in the retail marketplace, some reports indicate the retailer may be have financial trouble due to competition and other factors. If you have more info to share on the ongoing sweeping related changes at Walmart please let us know.

This first PDF is the outline of the situation previously provided to WSA members only, and it also includes a contractor narrative. The second PDF shows the pushback from another Texas-based WSA member.

NYC Sweeper

Street Sweepers Could Nab Illegally Parked Vehicles Under State Bill

New York City would be able to put enforcement cameras on street sweepers to catch illegally parked cars under a state bill that fulfills the NYC's Sanitation Department's longstanding ask for help in getting vehicles out of the way of road-cleaning operations.

The proposal would give the city the power to catch and fine the all-too-many motorists who don’t move their cars during street cleaning hours – just as bus-mounted cameras nab scofflaws in the way of bus lanes, according to Assembly Member Brian Cunningham, the Brooklyn lawmaker behind the legislation.

The newly proposed law would phase in after a year and expire again by mid-2029, which Cunningham said will allow officials to evaluate whether they need to make any tweaks. Cunningham hopes to pass the proposal in the Albany legislature before the end of this session, which wraps up at the end of June. "It’s a priority to me this upcoming session," Cunningham said.

Read the article at STREETSBLOG NYC.

Elgin Sweeper's Five Tips for Spring Cleaning

Elgin Logo

Street sweeping is a year-round job, but spring is the time for heavy-duty street sweeping. This is especially true in climates where winter includes cold, wet weather and snow. Sand, salt, silt and gravel accumulate to put street sweepers through an arduous run.

With a line street sweepers for various applications, the Elgin Sweeper team has extensive knowledge on spring street sweeping. Some tips to accomplish that are compiled into a PDF archived in our 'Street/Best Practices' website section. If you're still doing spring cleanup; had problems this year; or, want to archive the info to better prepare for next spring, this PDF will help.

Check out the direct link to the PDF.

Not Exactly Sweeping Logo
NSC Safety

Take Advantage of NSC's Safety Month Resources

June is National Safety Month – the annual observance to help keep each other safe from the workplace to anyplace – and we encourage our readers to work together to make people safer this June and all year long!

NSC Safety Topics
Since 1996, NSC has provided a month’s worth of free safety resources to highlight leading causes of preventable injury and death. This year NSC is providing four weekly safety topics, as shown in the graphic above.

Register at this location to receive the weekly safety topics as well as access to a month's worth of free resources to help prevent leading causes of injury and death among your colleagues, community, family and friends.

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

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