by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor
The Sweeping Industries Place on Earth Day #49
Today marks the 49th anniversary of Earth Day. It may be hard to imagine that before 1970, a factory could spew black clouds of toxic smoke into the air or dump tons of toxic waste into a nearby stream and that was perfectly legal. They could not be taken to court to stop it.
How was that possible? Because there was no EPA, no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act. There were no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment.
This changed in the spring of 1970, when Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day as a way to force this issue onto the national agenda. Twenty million Americans demonstrated in different U.S. cities – and it worked! In December of 1970, Congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency to tackle environmental issues, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts spurred the advocacy for pavement to be cleaned as a component of Best Practices strategies to foster improvement in air and water quality.
Today, those educated on the topic know that street sweeping is the most cost-effective start to improving water quality degradation due to storm water runoff. More and more, city managers are recognizing the importance of having a vibrant street sweeping program rather than relying on end-of-the-pipe solutions that may miss 100% of water-soluble pollutants that are running off into catchbasins.
Still, the sweeping industry has a long way to go in providing education about the value street sweeping provides. Sweeping is an industry without even a manufacturer's council or any dedicated lobbying efforts. As a result, many city managers around the U.S. are uneducated about the "first line of defense" value of pavement sweeping and, thus, unwilling to undertake the political battle of requiring vehicle removal on sweeping days. Others still sweep "as the budget allows," rather than combining storm water removal budgets with that of their sweeping program in order to more easily develop the most overall cost-effective manner possible for removing airborne and runoff pollution.
In our next issue we will focus on what several large U.S. cities are doing in terms of their street sweeping programs. Slowly – way too slowly – street sweeping is gaining its rightful place as the first line of defense for keeping pollutants out of the air and water not only in the U.S. but throughout the world.
If you are involved in the sweeping industry, take pride in the work you do for the environment. It was also in April – April 9, 1967 – that Martin Luther King, Jr. is immortalized as saying:
|"If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, like Shakespeare wrote poetry.
"Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well."
For a reminder of the value of the work you do, click here to access a copy of MLK's words on an 8.5" x 11" certificate suitable for framing.
As always, if you have any news of potential interest to the power sweeping community, please let us know. Between this publication, the WorldSweeper.com website, and the World Sweeping Association, we'll be sure to get the information passed along to interested readers.
Executive Director, World Sweeping Association
Member, PAVEMENT Hall of Fame
PS If you're a contractor I urge you to check out the many benefits of membership in the World Sweeping Association. Also, if you haven't 'liked' our WorldSweeper Facebook page, what are you waiting for? That's where we offer a variety of industry previews and updates on an ongoing basis.
April Newsletter Contents
(Scroll down to read stories or click on links.)
- Investigating New Jersey's Requirements for Sweeper Solid Waste Carrier Licensing
- Elgin Sweeper and RoadBotics Offer Sweepers Equipped with AI-Based Pavement Assessment Technology to Florida Municipalities
- Snowek Ltd. Introduces First Finnish Sweeper to U.S. Marketplace
- Curbtender Sweepers Adds Coverage in 15 New States
- Pennsylvania's Washington Township Billing Walmart for its Trash
- Not Exactly Sweeping: Earth Challenge 2020, A Citizen Science Initiative
Investigating New Jersey's Requirements for Sweeper Solid Waste Carrier Licensing
In early April 2019 WorldSweeper received an alert from Michael Nawa, a member of the Advisory Board of the World Sweeping Association. He had learned that significant fines had been levied against at least three New Jersey sweeping contractors. Their violation: operating without a New Jersey license for transporting solid waste, commonly known as an 'A-901.' All of the currently affected contractors are located in Morris County, New Jersey.
We then conducted an investigation of the situation, including speaking with two of the affected NJ contractors, and concluding with an in-depth conversation and information exchange with Bob Gomez, Manager of New Jersey's Bureau of Hazardous Waste Compliance and Enforcement. Although, strictly speaking, the information is only applicable to contractors doing business in New Jersey, the article provides insight into what can happen as a result of operation without compliance to all applicable laws.
Take a look at the investigation results.
Elgin Sweeper and RoadBotics Offer Sweepers Equipped with AI-Based Pavement Assessment Technology to Florida Municipalities
According to Mike Higgins, vice president and general manager at Elgin Sweeper, the company's new partnership with RoadBotics will enable many of the company's municipal customers across Florida to receive important data about the conditions of their roads as they sweep. The aim is to help local government officials managing road maintenance budgets – while facing mounting pressure from citizens to address potholes and other poor road conditions – to make data-driven road improvement decisions.
Check it out.
"By applying RoadBotics' technology,"" said Higgins, "we turn each sweeper into a mobile data collection platform that generates a detailed pavement assessment for our customers' entire road networks. Street sweepers have always been essential tools for improving water and air quality, and with the RoadBotics partnership, our sweepers will now also help Florida communities improve the streets themselves.
Snowek Ltd. Introduces First Finnish Sweeper to U.S. Marketplace
Finland-based, Snowek, Ltd., presented its flagship waterless Trombia sweeper attachment at the 2019 National Pavement Exposition. According to Antti Nikkanen, Managing Director of Trombia Sweepers, the company's machine makes it possible for municipalities and contractors to use available front end loaders for full-scale city and industrial sweeping of dust and debris. Trombia sweepers are PM2.5/PM10 certified in the EU to the highest, 4-star, rating within the most advanced self-propelled vacuum sweeper category.
Find out more.
Nikkanen said that "inside Trombia's sweeping chamber the sweeping process is fully waterless, which enables contractors to clean and sweep with higher accuracy and perfection in the sweeping result. For pavement contractors, Trombia delivers a one-pass solution by leaving a dry surface that is ready to pave. Since the Trombia has no filters to clean and, because the Trombia is operated via the loader's hydraulic system, there are also no conveyor belts or auxiliary engines to maintain."
Curbtender Sweepers Adds Coverage in 15 New States
The Curbtender management team said the growth in network size will allow the company to expand sales and service of its street sweeper products into 15 new states. In total, the company is now represented by 25 businesses with service locations across 27 U.S. states and 4 Canadian provinces.
Curbtender Sweepers' Vice President, Bartt Weichers, says the company's business expansion occurred rapidly over a six-month period stretching from late 2018 to early 2019. The positive development is attributed to "newly introduced products that are highly durable and provide a lower total cost of ownership." In addition to the company's lineup of mechanical broom street sweepers and the Sentry regenerative air sweeper, Curbtender has recently introduced a combination leaf collector, litter collector and refuse truck called the VacPak.
Check out the information.
Grand Opening of the Bucher Municipal Center of Excellence
Bucher Municipal has announced the grand opening of the Bucher Municipal Center of Excellence. The event is slated for May 8th and 9th in Ontario, California. The announcement says the Bucher Municipal Center of Excellence in Ontario, CA is the first of its kind in North America; as well as a brand new concept to Bucher's North American business partners.
The Bucher Municipal Center of Excellence is a brand new concept." says John Sullivan, Country Manager at Bucher Municipal, Sewer & Drainage, "It's a full-service location with a range of upscale amenities ready to service all Bucher Municipal products. We will offer our business partners traditional service products, but also training, demonstration and showroom facilities as well as spare parts and accessories Shop-in-Shop. Just to mention a few.""
Check out the information.
Pennsylvania's Washington Township Billing Walmart for its Trash
Pennsylvania's Washington Township Board of Supervisors has decided to bill the local Walmart Supercenter for trash it produces that blows into surrounding areas.
It's time for the Walmart Supercenter off Washington Township Boulevard in Waynesboro to pay up, according to the Washington Township, PA, Board of Supervisors. The supervisors said the township's crews have been cleaning up Walmart trash that blows into the surrounding areas. The supervisors want to recoup the costs.
Check out the story.
Not Exactly Sweeping: Earth Challenge 2020, A Citizen Science Initiative
April 22, 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In recognition of this milestone Earth Day Network, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the U.S. Department of State are launching Earth Challenge 2020 as the world’s largest coordinated citizen science campaign.
Earth Challenge 2020 will engage millions of global citizens to aggregate and collect more than one billion data points in areas including air quality, water quality, biodiversity, pollution, and human health. Through Earth Challenge 2020, citizen science volunteers will learn about their local conditions, and leverage information to inspire collaborative action and influence policy decisions.
Go here to view the Earth Challenge 2020, where you may also view a one-minute video discussing the worldwide project – and much more.