Celebrating 25 Years Keeping Florida Clean!

2014 is a big year at USA Services. We are proudly celebrating our 25th year in business.

Back in 1989, we started as a small, one-truck operation in Orlando, sweeping shopping centers and other parking lot facilities. Over the years we’ve grown to provide other maintenance services – street sweeping, waste services, roadside mowing, tree care services, guardrail and handrail repair, sign repair, asset maintenance and so much more. 

We’ve also expanded to new markets like Jacksonville, Tampa, Ft. Myers, the Space Coast and beyond. We’ve worked hard over these years to earn our customers trust and they’ve rewarded us greatly with their business and friendship.

We want to thank everyone who has helped make USA Services a successful part of the community and trusted us to take care of their maintenance needs.  We promise to never forget that is our staff and customers who create our success and it is to them who we owe our commitment and gratitude.

Thank you.

Providing Public Education Through Our Custom Truck Wraps

If you’ve been reading our blog you’re already well aware of the environmental benefits of street sweeping.  Street Sweeping removes potential pollutants at the source before they have a chance to enter the storm water system and flow the our rivers and lakes.  Street sweepers are by far the most cost-effective way to prevent storm water pollution – particularly in Florida where lakes and other water bodies are such a large part of our environment.  Street sweeping should be a key best management practice (BMP) to developing any storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPP) as well as meeting the stringent requirements of the NPDES & TMDL programs. 

The general public is less aware of these benefits though. The average citizen only notices the aesthetic and safety benefits that come from street sweeping. 

To help educate our communities, we’ve developed a program of wrapping our sweepers with custom designs. Every vehicle in our fleet features a different, distinctive wrap. These wraps highlight street sweepings role in protecting the environment in a subtle eye catching manner. 

In each wrap we try to highlight a water body in our communities. Examples are Lake Eola and Lake Monroe near Orlando, the Tampa Bay, the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, the Daytona Beach Pier and more. Along with this visual clue on both sides and the rear of the sweeper, we also provide our slogan “Protecting Our Waterways and Keeping Florida Clean…One Mile at a Time.” In addition, we provide our website address so people can visit the site and learn more about street sweeping’s role in the community and environment. 

If you have more questions about street sweeping’s place in protecting the environment or how we can help your community, please contact us.

Using Proper Etiquette Around Your Neighborhood Street Sweepers

Each year millions of pounds of dust and dirt whirl away thanks to street sweepers. These divert tons of debris, keeping the air and water free from contamination. Although their service is valuable, it goes with little recognition.

It’s time to clear up exactly how to prepare your street for cleaning and how to properly navigate around a sweeper while driving in your car. Use these lessons in etiquette and show your local street sweepers your appreciation for the hard work they do.

Benefits Street Sweepers Provide

People are more likely to show courtesy to street sweepers if they understand and appreciate the advantages of their service. Keep these benefits in mind and feel motivated to repay your neighborhood street sweeper.

  • They keep streets clear from debris, so our streets safer to drive on and safer for our children to play on. Clean streets are safe streets.
  • Clean streets enhance the look of your neighborhood and promote community pride. They also increase property value. Neighborhoods with clean streets show a direct correlation to homes that sell faster and at a higher price.
  • Removing dirt and debrislimits wear and tear on asphalt, lowering the cost to repair or replace streets and sidewalks.
  • Street sweepers clear the street of dirt that contaminates the water we drink and the air we breathe.

Debris in gutters moves downstream to land in storm drains. This water flows to rivers and canals and pollutes the water system. Street sweeping clears these pollutants by catching them before they ever enter the water cycle.

Sweepers operate with advanced technology that swallows up the smallest and most dangerous pollutants. These pollutants include yard clippings, fertilizers, shards of glass, and small bits of garbage.

Driving Etiquette

It’s never fun getting stuck in traffic when you are running late. It’s frustrating to wait behind a line of cars wanting to pass someone who is slowing things down a bit.

But remember, garbage collectors, mail carriers, bus drivers, and street sweepers have to work in traffic. Street sweepers follow the same traffic regulations as all other drivers. In order for them to do their job, they need to drive slowly and make several stops.

Following proper driving etiquette with regard to street sweepersis a serious matter. In August 2014, a driver was killed after crashing into a street sweeper in Gardena, California. The driver was attempting to pass a street sweeper going too fast and cutting too close. The driver clipped the street sweeper, lost control of his vehicle, and crashed into a light pole. These kinds of accidents are rare, but the danger is real.

Treat local street sweepers with the same courtesy as you would anyone else. Leave plenty of room between your car and their equipment. By doing so, you will avoid receiving any damage to your car from flying debris. Once you have adequate space in the opposing lane and in front of the sweeper, move out and around, always passing on the left.

Limit passing to one car at a time. If you wait mere seconds for the car in front of you to pass, you won’t distract sweepers with several cars passing all at once.

If there is not enough room to pass, be kind and allow plenty of room for the sweeper to work in front of you. Refrain from honking and yelling at street sweepers. They realize they are moving at slow speeds. The maximum speed a sweeper can drive is about 15 mph.

General Etiquette

Once you learn the schedule of your neighborhood street sweeper, plan for their arrival. Your preparation helps sweepers do their job to the best of their ability. It is not advantageous for sweepers to sweep curbs blocked by parked cars or other obstructions.

Street sweepers will not clean in front of houses with parked cars, low hanging tree limbs, garbage cans, or other barriers. Understand that their equipment is not meant to pick up large debris like branches, garbage, or piles of leaves. Street sweepers will avoid driving through anything that might clog their equipment. Pick up garbage and leaves and put them in the trash, so they can better clean the dirt and dust left behind.

If you and your neighbors do your part to be courteous and helpful to those who serve our community, the world will be a brighter, cleaner place.

10 Famous Streets Around the World

Whether they draw people for the sites or they are the site to see, here are the 10 famous streets to fly to, drive on, or run down on your next vacation.

Streets that Make a Spectacle

Some streets are just famous for being famous. Here are the streets that are home to tourist attractions that skyrocketed their fame.

Broadway, one the oldest streets in the United States, cuts down the island of Manhattan, passing right into the world’s greatest theater district. This major thoroughfare was nicknamed The Great White Way after a headline in the New York Evening Telegram. The nickname referred to the theater marquees and billboard advertisements that illuminated the street.

Although this street runs 13 miles through Manhattan, most tourists come to see the commercial intersection of Times Square and Midtown Manhattan, where most of the famous Broadway theaters are located.

Abbey Road was made famous thanks to the iconic image on the cover of the Beatles final and best-selling album, Abbey Road. Photographer Iain Macmillan only had 10 minutes to snap the photo of the boys crossing the road. This shot has become the most imitated album photo in history.

Hollywood Boulevard, also known as The Walk of Fame, is a star-studded tourist attraction. The street itself is paved with the names of celebrities, directors, musicians, and producers of the past and present. People gather here to see all those who have been commemorated for their contributions to the world of entertainment.

Over 2,500 brass stars stretch down 15 blocks, including fictional characters like Donald Duck and Kermit the Frog. Every year nominations are submitted for success in motion pictures, broadcast television, audio recording, broadcast radio, and theater performances. A few honorees have received more than one star for their success in multiple categories, but famous singing cowboy Gene Autry is the only person who has a received a star for all five!

Wall Street is home to the world’s largest stock exchange, which is headquartered in the heart of the historical financial district of Lower Manhattan. This street is not even a mile long, but has become a significant landmark due to the volume of trade done daily at the New York Stock Exchange, located here. The name Wall Street is now a synonymous term used to describe the United States financial markets as a whole.

Las Vegas Boulevard, usually referred to as the Las Vegas Strip, this is home to the world’s largest hotels and casinos. Full of bright lights, billboards, rides, and recreation. This spectacle is tailored to adult tourists who come to gamble, dance, dine, drink, and be entertained. And the city lightheartedly promises that whatever happens there-stays there.

Gravity Hill isn’t a specific road, but the phenomenon has people so mystified that it’s still worth noting. These sloped streets appear to defy the laws of physics: the land creates an optical illusion that makes a slight downhill slope look like an uphill slope.

Objects that surround the streets, like leaning trees and obstructions to the horizon, contribute to the optical illusion. Tourists can spot gravity hills in several countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, and Mexico.

The World’s Most . . .

Some streets are tourist sites in and of themselves. Here are some streets that hold world records:

Lombard Street is the world’s most crooked street. Located near another famous road in San Francisco, Hyde Street, this steep road has 7 sharp turns, keeping cars from going above 5 mph. This bizarre red brick-paved street is lush with flowers and offers a breathtaking view of the San Francisco Bay.

Bayshore Boulevard is a gorgeous waterfront road in South Tampa, Florida. It’s home to the longest sidewalk in the world, stretching over 4 continuous miles, with a 3 mile bike lane, and scenic views of the city of Tampa. Many locals and tourists use this sidewalk for exercise and recreation-enjoying a morning jog by Hillsborough Bay.

Ebenezer Place is the world’s shortest street, not even 7 feet long. Located in Scotland and built in the 1800’s, this street is home to only one house . . . Number 1 Ebenezer Place. You wouldn’t have any neighbors living in this pad, but no one will get lost trying to find you.

Pan-American Highway is the world’s longest highway, linking 15 nations together! It stretches from the top of Alaska, through most of Canada, crosses the United States into Mexico, over the Panama Canal, all along the coast of South America until reaching the very tip where it ends in Ushuaia, Argentina. No road is quite like this one. You can pass every ecological climate and be exposed to dozens of different cultures on a trip down this 30,000-mile highway.

The way is paved; all you need is your map. Grab some friends and set out to make your next stop at one of these famous streets!

You’ll never forget these sights.

The Cleanest and Dirtiest Beaches in the US

When you go to the beach, you don’t want to look at mounds of trash or smell mildew and rotting food. You want to look at the pretty white sand, the bobbing surf, and the blue horizon, and you want to smell the ocean-or maybe a barbecue or a seafood restaurant somewhere else on the beach. However, not all beaches provide the kind of idyllic environment you’ve dreamed of for your vacation.

You don’t want to go to a dirty beach. Not only does it look and smell disgusting, but it poses a pretty hefty health risk too. The contaminated water could cause serious illnesses, and you don’t want that for you or your family. Take a look at the list below to know which beaches to visit and which to avoid.

The 5 Dirtiest Beaches in the US

Want a beach vacation? Stay as far away from these beaches as you possibly can:

1. Doheny State Beach, CA

This popular surfing spot comes with a lot of health risks. Even with the tide creating a constant flow of water, the water at Doheny State Beach regularly exceeds California’s maximum bacteria limit. So if you come here to catch a few waves, you’ll probably catch something extra as well.

2. Ontario Beach, NY

This beach also has a significant bacteria problem, so if you decide to visit, don’t play in the water. Amuse yourself and your family by visiting other attractions in the area, like a menagerie.

3. Beachwood Beach, NJ

When nearly a third of water samples come back filled with unsafe levels of bacteria, you know you have a dirty beach. Trash, pollution, and human and animal waste all contribute to the bacteria levels on this beach. Find a vacation spot elsewhere if you want to stay healthy-or at least stay out of the water.

4. South Shore Beach, WI

Although this location has a vintage bathhouse from the 1930’s, you should probably avoid the area. An abundance of waterfowl and the usual concentration of human trash and waste make this beach one of the most contaminated in the country, with nearly 40% of samples coming back with unsafe levels of bacteria.

5. Cowell Beach, CA

Although researchers and city officials have made efforts to clean up this beach, Cowell Beach earned the title of California’s most polluted beach in 2014. Contaminated storm drains and human waste are the main contributors to Cowell Beach’s pollution problem.

The 5 Cleanest Beaches in the US

You don’t have to give up your dreams of a beach vacation just because a few beaches don’t have great sanitation. The US has many beaches where you can surf and sunbathe without worrying about catching a strange disease.

Visit any one of these beaches if you’d like to have some fun in the sun:

1. Gulf Shores Public Beach, AL

For wide, clean beaches, clean water, and a spectacular view, visit this beach. You won’t have any trouble accessing it either there’s plenty of trails and parking. The locals and visitors just take very good care of it.

2. Ocean City Beach 6, MD

Visit Ocean City in Maryland to enjoy more clean beaches and water. Volunteers and companies frequently work to keep this beach clean.

3. Bolsa Chica Beach, CA

If you want to go to a beach in California and avoid contaminated beaches like the ones listed above, you can always go to Bolsa Chica Beach. Not only will you enjoy the cleanliness, but you can go surf fishing for all kinds of wildlife as well. And despite the wildlife, this beach is still completely safe.

4. San Clemente State Beach, CA

Catch some waves in clean water by visiting this beach. You won’t have to deal with very many rocks or trash either, making this beach ideal for many relaxing activities.

5. Wallis Sands Beach, NH

Come for a swim in these clear waters, and enjoy views of islands and clean, sandy beaches. Your family can safely play in the water here without fear of catching any weird diseases.

The Secret to Keeping Beaches Clean

Want to keep your favorite beaches clean (or clean up your local beach)? Use these tips:

• When you visit, only take recyclable materials, and pick up after yourself and your pets (including feces).

• Take a day to round up volunteers and pick up trash/rocks/debris on the beach.

• Support beach restoration programs.

• Petition your city to hire a cleaning service. The services should include trash removal and street sweeping. Trash removal will remove trash from the beach itself, but street sweeping will remove trash from the areas around the beach, ensuring that people, animals, wind, or high tide will not sweep the trash onto the beach or into the water. It’s important to clean all these areas.

If you use these tips, you could turn your local or favorite beach into a top vacation destination in no time. Just make sure you clean around the beach in addition to on the beach. Happy sunbathing!