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What are Street Sweepings?

“Street sweepings” is the term used to describe all the debris that a street sweeper picks up.

Anything you see on the street has the potential to be swept or vacuumed up by the street sweeper while it’s cleaning.

Street sweeping is the #1 way to reduce the amount of trash in our waterways and reduce the amount of particulates in our air.

Where are the street sweepings disposed of?

In most cities, street sweepings are disposed of in the trash bin. Sweepers are capable of dumping their debris into large trash bins that can be hauled away.

On some occasions the sweepings are taken directly to the dump or the landfill where they’re disposed of.

What makes up street sweepings?

Street Sweepings Trash

Anything you’ve seen on the street has the potential to be picked up by a street sweeper. (Assuming it’s small enough to be swept or vacuumed up inside the truck and the truck is able to access it).

This is why important to move your vehicle on the designated street sweeping schedule so that all this debris can be removed from your street.

Sweepings include:

  • Dirt
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Litter
  • trash bags (small or empty)
  • Dead animals/Road kill (yes really!)
  • Cigarette butts
  • Hypodermic needles
  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Small volumes of water
  • Brass shells
  • Spare change
  • batteries

How are the sweepings picked up?

There are 2 main types of street sweepers

  1. Broom sweepers- Broom sweepers operate just like a large broom and dust pan. The broom rotates quickly across the ground and flicks up loose debris onto a conveyor belt (like a big dustpan). The conveyor belt dumps the debris into the sweeper’s hopper. The hopper is emptied later into a dumpster or landfill.
  2. Vacuum Sweeper- Vacuum sweepers are like large house vacuums. They have a “pickup head” that gently touches the ground and creates a vacuum inside of it. Loose debris is picked up and flown into the hopper.

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