You see them on the road and in your neighborhood all the time, but have you ever wondered what street sweepers do? Obviously street sweepers sweep the streets, but if you think their sole purpose is to clean up dirt, you are mistaken. Street sweepers also provide many civic and environmental benefits.
They Protect the Public
Although street sweeping does add to a community’s cosmetic appeal, it also provides the community with significant sanitation benefits as well. For starters, it prevents automobile accidents by clearing debris, garbage, tree limbs, or other hazards from the street.
More importantly, street sweeping clears debris from gutters. Clear gutters can properly direct water into storm drains. But if it weren’t for street sweepers, debris would build up and eventually lead to flooding in the road, which would disrupt the flow of traffic or cause accidents.
Street sweeping doesn’t just prevent car accidents though. This sanitary service helps keep people healthy. After all, dirty gutters are unsanitary and can attract pests and disease.
If you and your neighbors have children who play in your yard and street—or if you enjoy taking a morning jog or afternoon bike ride, you probably appreciate having clean streets for these reasons and more.
They Protect Pets
You may not have realized it, but having a street sweeper in your neighborhood keeps your pet safe. This is because animals, including house-pets, gravitate to the scent of rotting food and debris in your gutters.
Unfortunately, the debris that gathers in your gutters could contain sharp objects, toxic chemicals, or hazardous materials. It could also contain mold and bacteria. And since animals don’t know any better, it falls to you to keep them from eating or touching hazardous waste.
Having dirty gutters also creates problems because animals will wander into the road to investigate them. Drivers might not see an animal snooping around in the dark, and then a tragic accident could happen. Street sweeping removes the temptation so animals have less reason to go into the street.
They Clean Our Environment
So . . . what happens to waste if it doesn’t get cleared from the gutters?
Unfortunately, waste washes downstream and can leak into streams, lakes, and even our water supply. And just as this waste is hazardous for your pet, it is hazardous for humans and wild animals as well.
Street sweeping keeps hazardous material like metal particles, bits of glass, road construction materials, and cigarette butts out of our water supply. The debris ends up in a treatment plant or landfill instead of in our soil, water, or atmosphere.
If it weren’t for street sweepers, you would breathe toxic air, grow toxic food, and drink and bathe in toxic water. Thanks to their hard work, you not only avoid these problems, but you’ll get all the benefits listed above as well.