A street sweeping service is an often overlooked, but no less essential, part of maintaining a city’s sanitation and good looks, whether on a busy main street or through a neighborhood or parking lot. Without them, paper, metal, and organic waste can quickly build up, which is not only very unsightly (and can turn away people looking to move into an area), but the trash can also attract wildlife such as rats, cockroaches, raccoons, and more, which is also a hazard in itself. A street sweeping service, then, can do a lot of good to keep an area attractive and prevent problems due to trash buildup.
Street sweeping is a more robust industry than many may give it credit for. It dates back to the 1800s, when machines built for street sweeping were first used, and in particular, C.S. Bishop developed and patented the very first street sweeping machine in 1849 and ever since, street sweepers and parking lot cleaners have kept roads looking clean and fresh. Today, a street sweeping service is done when sweepers are mounted on a truck body, and vacuums can also suck up debris as the vehicle moves. In fact, mechanical brooms make up 90% of the devices used in the street sweeping service industry, possibly in part because sweeping does not make a lot of disruptive noise.
The street sweeping service is a part of the United States’ road and highway maintenance industry at large, which itself is huge. This industry employs approximately 134,714 workers, and every year, the road and highway maintenance industry makes roughly $42 billion with all kinds of work from filling potholes to putting down new blacktop to moving sweeper trucks across dirty roads. In this industry, a total of 9,224 companies offer road maintenance type services in the United States today.
Parking Lot Cleaners and Road Sweeping
In the larger road and highway maintenance industry, street sweeping is a significant slice of the pie, and for good reason. If roads and parking lots go without sweeping work, debris of all kinds will build up, which is a health, driving, and real estate hazard all in one. For example, real estate is largely based on appearances, and a neighborhood or apartment parking lot cluttered with trash will be highly unappealing to potential newcomers. After all, many people will consider exterior cleanliness just as important as interior cleanliness, and if the outside is dirty, the customers might not even bother to view the interior, which harms business. A street sweeping service can help with that.
Other hazards of trash involve water flow. Sometimes, enough buildup of trash will clog storm drains, which can lead to a lot of standing water, and even worse, pesticides and other pollution can build up on road surfaces and get washed around by rain or melting snow, as well as other surfaces like rooftops and bridges. Street sweepers will clean up toxic materials and stains from roads as needed and help prevent the spread of toxins that can harm nearby residents and wildlife alike. Other pollutants such as heavy metals, road salts, and harmful bacteria from malfunctioning septic systems. However, street sweeper trucks can remove multiple tons of trash and other debris from the streets every year, and help prevent the buildup of unsanitary conditions. Excess trash, especially with organic matter, can attract opossums, raccoons, and rats, which not only carry rabies and other diseases but may even attack people or pets nearby, and these animals’ presence can further damage an area’s image, driving away potential tenants looking for a place to live.
Different cities will have their own local street sweeping services to keep the roads looking good. DC street sweeping, for example, can be found in the city of Washington, D.C., and Maryland street sweeping services may be found operating in Baltimore and other urban areas.