Dirty sidewalks or parking areas are unsightly in any town or city and often suggest to passerby or potential customers that the businesses or homeowners in the area simply don’t care about the way their property leads. It can be a huge turn off and have negative connotations for the area, giving it a bad or run-down reputation. However, the debris that’s not removed also has a significant impact on public health and the environment. A street sweeping service or parking lot cleaning services can make a big difference in keeping public areas looking their best and minimizing the amount of pollutants that run off into water sources. Road sweeping services may also reduce the amount of vermin or animals that feed off the trash laying around. For areas that see a high amount of traffic, such as urban areas, shopping centers, and parking lots, looking into street sweeping services is an excellent way to keep the area clean.
The Danger of Leaving Debris
Debris left on streets and parking lots will eventually be swept away by rain or melting snow as runoff. Runoff pollution can also come off roads, bridges, parking lots, rooftops, and other surfaces that don’t allow water and its pollutants to sink in. This type of pollution is also highly toxic, especially when it comes from roads and highways, which contains heavy metals or pesticides. These sink into the ground or get swept into water sources, which can be lethal and requires further filtering by water plants.The National Water Quality Inventory recently reported that runoff from urban areas was the top reason that estuaries had water quality impairments.
Urban areas contribute the following pollutants to the environment: oil, grease, and other toxic chemicals from our vehicles, pesticides or boosted nutrients from gardening or managing turf, viruses and bacteria that leak out of septic systems, heavy metals, and road salts. These are made worse if street sweeping services aren’t routinely cleaning up the streets we walk and ride on daily.
Furthermore, street debris can block facilities that are built to control stormwater, which can lead to flooding if heavy rain sweeps through. This only exacerbates the pollution issue, as stormwater often sweeps up anything and everything in its path.
The Low Down on Street Sweeping Services
Street sweeper trucks are responsible for cleaning streets and keeping them well maintained. You most often see these in urban areas that are highly populated and experience high traffic. Today, most street sweepers are on truck bodies and vacuum debris up as they roll down the street. However, they were first used in the 19th century, as more rudimentary machines. In 1849, C.S. Bishop was responsible for inventing and patenting the very first street sweeping machine. Today, mechanical broom type sweepers are around 90% of the street sweeping machines used in the United States.
What Do Street Sweeping Services Offer the Public?
There are over 9,000 companies that offer services that help maintain roads in the United States to help minimize pollution. Well run street sweeping programs can get rid of literal tons of debris every year from city streets, which help keep pollutants from entering stormwater runoff. They remove large and microscopic pollutants from the streets and dispose of them responsibly. Paper, leaves, and other visible debris like wrappers and cigarette butts are removed from curb gutters and disposed of.
Given that parking space related pollution costs the United States between four billion dollars and $20 billion every year because of health and environmental damage, the hope is that parking lot sweeping services and street sweeping services can make a significant reduction in that cost as time goes on.
Furthermore, businesses may see an uptick in customers if their space is kept clean. Keeping the exterior of a building, its sidewalk space, and parking lot is just as important as keeping the inside of the store clean.
Everyone likes walking in a clean space. Skirting litter (or worse) is irritating and the smell can become noxious in hot weather and pose serious health problems. By employing street sweeping services and parking lot sweeping services, we can work towards finding a solution for urban pollution and associated health problems.