Power Sweeping – Weird Things People Do With Street Cleaning

Power Sweeping – Sometimes It Gets Weird Out There

power sweeping - fallen leaves belong in bags
Fallen leaves belong in bags — not in the street!

Never underestimate how creative people can be when they do bizarre things.

I’ve seen very crazy situations when conducting power sweeping projects and I scratch my head trying to understand why people do such odd things.

So, what are some of the weird things that people do relating to Power Sweeping?

Power Sweeping – People Throw things into the street

For some reason, people think that power sweeping days are wonderful opportunities to dispose of debris.   So rather than sweep it up and throw it in the trash like normal people, they dump things into the street.

Now these are not usually large items, however the most common item is lawn debris such as leaves and cut grass.

Power sweeping is designed to pick up this type of biological matter, but not in huge quantities.

power sweeping party garbage - sweeping.com
The street sweeper has a big job ahead!

The other common type of trash is party trash. Debris such as beer bottles, beer cans, red party cups, party favors, and all types of leftover party junk.   

This type of waste can be swept up by a power sweeper but is better off in a trash bag sold for this type of garbage.

Power Sweeping – People Dump chemicals and pollutants into the street

Another common problem is people who disposing chemicals into the street expecting the street sweeper to “sweep it up” or “spray it down”.   

Now many people don’t realize that the chemicals that they dump into the street end up directly in the waterways that we use for our drinking water.  

And one of the most common types of chemicals that end up on the street is antifreeze.

People park their cars in the street and flush their cooling systems into the street where the chemicals flow into a storm sewer.

If the car has a copper radiator or heater core, the waste coolant is also contaminated with lead.

In the United States it’s illegal for professional mechanics to dispose of used coolant, so dumping onto the street to be swept up by a power sweeper is a BIG no-no.

Crash Into the power sweeper

The vehicles used for power sweeping are not very fast vehicles.   And yet people crash into them quite frequently.

Perhaps the fact that power sweepers are usually not there all the time and then they slowly appear still makes them a bit of a surprise, but an accident can still be quite serious if you crash into a power sweeper.

Motorcyclist dies after crashing into street sweeper

Also it appears that being inebriated near a vehicle that is power sweeping can be deadly.   Here’s a report about a man who made the wrong step into the path of a street cleaning vehicle and got swept into the undercarriage of the street sweeper. Power sweeping vehicles may be slow, but they are still contain powerful brushes and vacuums that can be quite dangerous.

Man Falls Under Street Sweeper After Ballgame

Makeshift Power Sweeping

Power sweeping vehicles are quite expensive although very necessary for the cleanliness and environmental upkeep of the community.

In some countries, enterprising entrepreneurs who can’t afford a traditional street sweeper build their own makeshift power sweeping machines to provide street cleaning services.   

Here’s a good example of power sweeping creativity in action:

Power Sweeping Music

For those of you who are fans of rap rock, have a listen to the Street Sweeper Social Club.  This band hails from Los Angeles and consists of guitarist Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and vocalist/emcee Boots Riley of The Coup.  They classify themselves as more of a musical social club…but why street sweeping?  Beats me.

Check them out here – Street Sweeper Social Club – Paper Planes

Power Sweeping – Let Us Not Be Weird

If you need power sweeping, let us deal with the weird stuff.

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been sweeping and servicing shopping centers, commercial properties and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include parking lot sweepingmunicipal sweepingconstruction sweeping, and garage scrubbing.

We can help you keep your property in excellent condition with reliable, dependable, cost-effective services. If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to speak with an experience company that can meet your needs for power sweeping.

Residential Street Sweeping | It’s in the Details

residential street sweeping - sweeping.com

Residential Street Sweeping – The Public Notices the Difference

residential street sweeping - sweeping.comThe public wants an environment which is clean and attractive. It is not just for the health benefits; a clean environment also has a positive psychological impact.

Studies have shown that people who live in clean surroundings are usually happier, more relaxed, and less stressed than those in disorganized, messy, or unhygienic environments.

This is why communities want to have their environments cleaned often. The challenge, of course, is that – though people keep their own properties clean, it is unlikely that they have the time or capacity to clean the streets in their neighborhoods. This is where residential street sweeping proves its value.

Residential Street Sweeping – The Two Benefits

Residential street sweeping not only makes the neighborhood look attractive and appealing, it also removes debris and pollutants from the environment.

This makes the environment healthy and safe – especially for children who play in the streets and people who walk their pets in or near the streets.

These benefits arise from the detail that residential street sweepers employ when cleaning a neighborhood.

Not only does residential street sweeping pick up leaves, trash, and debris; it also picks up small particulates such as grit and metals that would wash into streams, rivers, and lakes.

This interrupts the pollution cycle which causes the contamination of drinking water sources.

Residential Street Sweeping – The Process

Street sweepers employ a number of techniques which are designed to perform thorough cleaning with minimal interruption to the residents. In most cases, they begin by spraying the street with water to prevent the dust from blowing. They then use cylindrical brushes to sweep the debris onto a conveyor belt. This belt then deposits the dirt and debris into a container for proper disposal at a later time.

In a typical residential street sweeping, the sweeper operator begins by spraying the street with water to prevent dust from blowing. The sweeper then uses cylindrical brushes to sweep the debris onto a conveyor belt. This belt then deposits the dirt and debris into a container for proper disposal at a later time.

The entire exercise is carried out in a thorough and professional manner. The end result is that the entire neighborhood ends up looking clean, free of debris, and tidy.

Despite being called “street sweepers”, residential street sweeping operations typically go beyond merely sweeping streets. In many cases, they also clean gutters and public spaces like parking lots and public entries.

Here’s a brief but very accurate video of how a street sweeper operates:

Street sweeping demo – courtesy of Strathcoma County

Residential Street Sweeping – The Details of Efficiency

Residential street sweeping plays a critical role in ensuring that residential neighborhoods remain livable. Therefore, local municipalities coordinate a schedule that allows residential street sweeping professionals to accomplish their work with minimal interruptions and delays.

Residential street sweeping companies require cooperation from residents in order to ensure that their operations are smooth.

This cooperation typically involves asking residents to remove their parked cars from the streets during cleaning hours.

To ensure this, most residential street sweepers work on a schedule provided by townships and municipalities. The local authorities publish the schedules on their websites to inform the residents of the scheduled cleaning operations.

It is in the interest of every resident to keep up-to-date with the cleaning schedules within their neighborhood. This will minimize inconvenience and interruptions of both the residents and the street sweepers.

To stay up to date with the sweeping schedule for your neighborhood, check your township or city website. Resident cooperation is essential in ensuring that your environment stays clean, hygienic, and safe.

Are you looking for an experienced, knowledgeable residential street sweeping service?  Give us a call at 736-886-1940.  Well be glad to guide you in the details of coordinating, scheduling and conducting residential street sweeping.

Street Sweeping – One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

street sweeping trash - sweeping.comStreet Sweeping for a Messy World

As a professional street sweeping company, we’re actually glad that the modern world is a messy place.  Here are some startling facts about the trash:

  1. Our modern society produces an enormous amount of waste. And that waste production is increasing. By 2030 the amount of household waste will almost double to 3000 million tons annually.
  2. Every bag of household waste has produced approximately 70 bags of waste from the production process used to produce the goods that we used and then throw away.
  3. Most waste goes to landfills or is burned. Burning waste creates the world’s largest source of dioxins, which is one of the most toxic chemicals known to science.

And as a responsible street sweeping company, we would like to see waste disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.  We like to believe that we’re leading the way with effective street sweeping practices (we’ll list those in another post) and by using environmentally safe cleaning solutions in our street sweeper and garage scrubbing equipment.

In our opinion, the best way to help with effective waste management is to pay attention to up-to-date practices, keep equipment in tip top shape and constantly measure our street sweeping practices.

Street Sweeping Trash – Different Types for Different Places

One of the most interesting forms of measurement (at least to us) is the different types of waste that are generated by different environments.  That is, what type of trash, garbage, and debris does our street sweeping find in the different areas that we sweep?

We conduct street sweeping throughout New Jersey.  Depending on the different areas, we have to plan and prepare our equipment for different types of materials.  Here’s some interesting statistics based on our equipment management and reports from our street sweeper drivers.

Urban Trash

We are contracted to provide street sweeping in cities such as Newark, New Brunswick, Trenton, Princeton, and Freehold.  Ok, some of those locations are smaller, but interestingly, produce similar items for street sweeping.

Here are the common types of trash and debris we sweep up in urban (city) environments:

  • Paper – newspapers, flyers, brochures, menus
  • Aluminum cans – people drink a lot of soda
  • Cigarette butts – we’re seeing fewer and fewer as time goes on, but there’s a lot of butts
  • Food wrappers – people like eating on the run
  • Seasonal items – People in a rush leave these behind
    • Hats
    • Gloves
    • Umbrellas (mostly broken)
    • scarfs
  • Plastic bottles – Mostly water. Cities have lots of thirsty people
  • Overflow from poorly contained trash – Sloppiness is everywhere
  • Car parts – People are not aware when something falls off
  • Oil – Old cars
  • Grease – All cars

Jersey Shore Trash

We also have contracts with many different New Jersey shore towns.  The NJ shore areas we cover include Stafford township and street sweeping in Long Beach Island, Surf City, Harvey Cedars.

We cover some of the beaches in Monmouth County as well including Cliffwood Beach and Laurence Harbor.  The debris from street sweeping in shore locations is quite a bit different in type and quantity from our urban street sweeping and includes:

  • Sand – of course
  • Cigarette butts – the beaches are the world’s biggest ashtray. The butts get blown from the beach onto the roads
  • Food wrappers – Many picnics and tailgates at the shore
  • Plastic bottles – Both water bottle and lots of ice tea bottles
  • Plastic bags – stores all those picnic items
  • Cups, plates, knives, forks, spoons – Again for the picnics
  • Straws, stirrers – People like straws
  • Glass bottles – Mostly beer
  • Aluminum beverage cans – Beer again
  • Paper bags – It’s funny, people put all their trash into a paper bag and then don’t throw away the bag!

Suburban Trash

Moving from the cities to the suburbs creates trash challenges as well.  We’re contracted by many municipalities in New Jersey such as Edison, Woodbridge, Old Bridge, Hamilton, Middletown.  Here some of the street sweeping goodies we find there:

  • Grass – Must keep our lawn looking nice, but you shouldn’t throw the grass in the street (many do)
  • Leaves – Lot of trees, lot of dead leaves
  • Cigarette butts – Nobody’s allowed to smoke inside anymore
  • Food wrappers – A lot of people eat in their cars and throw the wrapper out of their cars
  • Plastic bottles – Mostly water
  • Paper bags – The leftovers from fast food
  • Bugs – Ick, can’t be helped
  • Dead birds – We feel bad for this, we love birds
  • Household waste – Lots of people don’t use a cover on the trash cans. A little breeze and there’s trash all over.
  • Dead shrubs – Guess what…garbage trucks don’t pick up this type of trash in many towns

Rural Trash

We have a few very rural areas where we conduct street sweeping.  Not as many as cities and suburban areas, but we perform street sweeping in areas including Monroe Township, rural parts of Freehold, Old Bridge and many others.  Here some of the things we find with street sweeping in these rural areas:

  • Leaves – Where’s there’s trees, there big piles of them
  • Dead vegetation – Why does it seem to end up on roads?
  • Tree branches – Where there are leaves, there are lots of branches
  • Animal carcass (birds, rodents, squirrels, etc.) – Sad to find these
  • Plastic bottles – What…are the squirrels drinking bottled water too?
  • Sand – Mostly from rain runoff
  • Pallets – Yes..the wood pallets you find in warehouses.
  • Pine cones – We have lots of pine trees in New Jersey

Construction Trash

And finally, we have street sweeping contract for many different commercial and residential construction sites throughout New Jersey.  The street sweeping debris from a construction site is our biggest street sweeping challenge because some of it is so large (and potentially dangerous).  Here’s what we find in construction street sweeping jobs:

  • Dried mud from runoff – Generally big chunks of it
  • Sand from runoff – Similar to rural areas
  • Concrete pieces – All different kinds from cinder block to drips from a concrete truck
  • Asphalt pieces – From road pavement
  • Wood pieces (shims, 2×4 edges, trim, fypon) – Most wood is disposed of properly, but smaller pieces blow into the road
  • Vinyl shavings (from siding) – Same as small wood pieces, it blows into the road
  • Asphalt shingles – From roofing
  • Beer cans – Beverage of choice for construction professionals
  • Food wrappers – They have to eat lunch too
  • Uneaten food – No need to throw it the trash, let’s just throw it on the floor!
  • Chunks of grass, earth, and gravel – Can’t be helped, it’s a construction site
  • Cigarette butts – Does everyone in construction smoke?

We Care About Street Sweeping

Well, there you have it, probably the most comprehensive list of different types of street sweeping trash that you’ll ever encounter.  Do you care?  Probably not…but we do.  We care very much about street sweeping trash.  We need to have the right professional with the right equipment for the right area to do the most effective and efficient street sweeping job.

It’s what we do.  Yes, we care about street sweeping.  Give us a call at 732-886-1940 if you care about street sweeping too.

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