Most people don’t think a whole lot about the processes that keep their cities and streets clean. They might not wonder about the street sweeping companies their city has employed or how often city workers change the bags in public trash cans. These little details, however, can sometimes have a big impact on the city’s environmental footprint. Street sweeping, in fact, can actually provide a lot of help to the environment.
Those giant street cleaners are not only good for making people late to work, but they’re also actually helping preserve some states’ land by re-purposing the debris they collect. For example, some cities in Florida strain through the debris collected by street sweepers and take the usable bits to a facility that turns trash into fuel. The debris is burned and the energy powers thousands of homes. In other countries, there are facilities that actually wash and sort the debris picked up from the roads so they can correctly recycle each piece.
Ocean pollution is steadily rising, which means some beaches can become littered with trash that washes ashore on the beautiful waves. In these towns, street sweepers can help to preserve the wildlife and ocean life by removing both large and small debris from the beaches and streets. Cleaning up the streets helps less debris make it to the ocean, and other machines are used to collect the large pieces of trash that wash ashore and pose a threat to birds and fish. Street sweepers can also pick up the fine particles on the streets that might end up in the water system and in the waterways otherwise. This keeps dangerous chemicals, contaminants, and pollutants out of the water system for both people and animals.
Even though you might not have considered the profound impact a street sweeper can make on your community, its services are something that can benefit us all greatly.