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Welcome to our April 2009 newsletter!

More reasons than ever for keeping up with the latest industry news.

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross

Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

Spring cleanup is well under way for most areas of the country, though the folks in Michigan and Colorado have to be wondering if the snow is done falling yet! Still, it was a tough winter and that spells good news for the sweeping contractors cleaning up the sand and other detritus. However, for both contractors and municipal sweepers the forecast calls for caution ahead.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing by General Growth a few days ago marked the largest non-financial company failure in U.S. history. Depending upon the outcome of General Growth's reorganization process, it will mean upheaval--at the very least--for a number of sweeping contractors. With help from contractors around the country who are alerting us to bankruptcies in their areas, we're keeping an updated list of chain store and large company foreclosures across America.

So far, no other sweeper manufacturers appear willing to reproduce Elgin's sweeper testing process. As reported in our last issue, noted sweeping expert Roger Sutherland performed an exhaustive test on several Elgin sweeper models. The data collected shows that Elgin's newer sweeper models should be able to sweep well enough to make a difference on stormwater runoff pollution. It also shows that, as long suspected, sweeping without use of water for dust suppression leaves less small-micron debris in a sweeper's wake.

In our view, this testing should replace that done by South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) a few years back. In this issue we link to the complete test procedure and protocol for Sutherland's testing process. If you want to be able to compare "apples to apples" when it comes to buying sweepers, start lobbying the other manufacturers to get this test done on their sweeper models, as well.

As I said in the last newsletter, this brave step forward by the Elgin organization will result in at least two positives for sweeping. For one, it should mark the beginning of an independent, industry-driven test to allow better comparison of sweeper makes and models. That, combined with a statistical basis showing pollutant removal, may provide a 'shot in the arm' for street sweeping in general. Also, armed with test results that show a higher environmental benefit of sweeping than is generally thought, EPA, DOT and other officials may start down the road of placing sweeping higher up the food chain of storm water runoff pollution solutions.

The other big news in sweeping has to be that the management of Clean Streets Insurance program have chosen to part ways with the initial developer of the program, Scott Cerosky. Although business is business, Cerosky has long been the sweeping industry's leader when it comes to providing information targeted to sweeping. He's been a speaker at NPE and is a Board Member with NAPSA. In our opinion, Clean Streets will have difficulty replacing that level of commitment, longevity and expertise. We wish them well in doing so, as we wish Scott well in whatever is next for him.

We had the most expansive coverage ever at this year's National Pavement Expo. Our coverage featured over a dozen vendor videos, 'live' video from the presentation of our annual Award of Excellence in Power Sweeping, and a host of articles from show speakers and others. In case you missed any, we have linked those individual stories within this newsletter.

At we're trying to bring you information you can actually put to use in your sweeping company or municipal sweeping operation. If there's something you'd like us to report about, please let us know. Our goal is to write about what you want to read.

As always, if you have a sweeping-related need please tell us about it. We'll try to assist in any way we can. I routinely reference articles and studies, provide information from my "Fundamentals of the Power Sweeping Business," manual and put contractors and city officials in touch with others who may have answers to their information needs. By the same token, if you have a story you can provide, additional information on any of the topics we've covered – or need more details – please let me know. I'll be glad to help if at all possible.

Good Sweeping!
Ranger's Signature
Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

By the way, if you don't have a listing yet in our Contractor Locator section, you are missing out on what is arguably the best advertising value in sweeping. At the same time, you'll be helping to keep online and active. If you're a contractor who uses this website, please help support the site and, at the same time, increase the exposure for your company, by getting a Contractor Locator listing.

If you like what you read in this newsletter or on the website, be sure to thank the advertisers who sponsored it. The only way for them to know you appreciate their support of is to tell them!

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