Sweeping Against the Odds: The Women Street Sweepers of Lagos
This article, posted on 2018 International WomenÕs Day, is being provided to showcase the plight of many in the international sweeping industry. WorldSweeper is proud to celebrate these Nigerian women in their occupation of sweeping despite the many difficulties the job presents in Nigeria.
Article includes an embedded video that showcases the type of situations these brave sweeping industry workers face on a daily basis. Among them are elderly and young women, exposed to road hazards and rewarded with meager wages. Because of the extreme hardship these women face daily, this story has been catalogued in WorldSweeper's 'Noteworthy in Sweeping' category as well as in our International Sweeping section.
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Shang Wuyi: Sweeping with Noteworthy Dedication
Despite having one of his legs amputated and being born deaf and mute, a hardworking Chinese man won the hearts of people and inspired others with his incredible passion for work – which he has done at 4am every day for 12 years – be it rain or shine, snow or sleet.
Now, with this feature article at WorldSweeper.com and installation into our 'Noteworthy in Power Sweeping' hall of fame, there's no doubt those in the American and world sweeping industry will be amazed and impressed, as well.
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Richard Scott: Celebrating a Career Repairing Sweepers
Richard Scott was the Northampton, Massachusetts, DPW's 'go-to' mechanic. In 2017 he retired after 40 years of keeping the city's Elgin broom sweepers, as well as other vehicles in Northampton's fleet, in great running condition.
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Steve Young: Looking Back Over a Life of Sweeping
Steve Young was a fixture in the power sweeping industry for nearly 30 years. From his start as a contractor to selling Schwarze sweepers at the company's California office to founding Sweeper Parts Online, Young's story is one embedded within the power sweeping industry.
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Mandaue Street Sweeper Returns Lost Bag to Seafarer
HONESTY is a virtue that 59-year-old street sweeper Avelino Sumagang swears by even if he earns barely enough to support his family. "Kita nga nanarbaho, be honest ta. Kay makatabang man na sa atong pagpanarbaho" (We employees must exercise honesty in doing our jobs because this will benefit us), says Sumagang.
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Kasey Tarnow Promotes Sweeping in San Clemente, California
Kasey Tarnow has a simple solution for anyone who wants to make a difference for the coastal environment in her hometown, San Clemente, California. Her Girl Scout Gold project is to convince people to move cars or other obstructions so the city's street sweeper can do its job.
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Suu the Street Sweeper: Keeping Her Section of San Francisco Clean
The video of Suu the Street Sweeper is the most-watched video every posted by the San Francisco Chronicle. In one week's time, well over 10 million people watched the video featuring 67 year-old San Francisco street sweeper, Suu Ngo.
See the story and/or video.
Sunil Yadav: Getting an Education in Order to Make a Difference
Beating all odds, 36-year-old Sunil Yadav, a street sweeper employed with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has swept his way to success by securing an MPhil degree from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai, India. Yadav, who is deployed at Nana Chowk in Central Mumbai for the cleaning job, now aims to pursue a PhD degree to understand the problems plaguing the sweeper class and wants to find solutions to it.
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U.K.'s Pearly Kings and Queens Charity Has Street Sweeper Origin
Henry Croft, who was born in May of 1861, grew up in an orphanage after his musician father died when he was 10 years old. To support himself, he took a job as a municipal road sweeper in the City of London at the age of 16.
In the late 1870s he began to decorate his clothes with mother-of-pearl buttons and, ultimately, this led to him founding the working class tradition of 'Pearly Kings and Queens.'
Read about it.
Award-winning Street sweeper Plays Critical Role for City
Roderick Bell rides a street sweeper through town as the sun rises over Macon. He is headed to Fort Hill Street in East Macon at around 20 miles per hour. Some people honk. Others just glare, but Bell knows why his job matters.
Bell, a Parks & Beautification Department Crew Leader, won a state street sweeper competition at the annual American Public Works Association Georgia Chapter Conference in Perry at the Public Works Equipment Show, according to a news release on the Macon-Bibb County website.
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McKinley Page, Sweeper Connoisseur Par Excellence
Following his passion, McKinley Page has swept the streets of Newark, New Jersey – in his personal Elgin White Wing sweeper – simply because they needed sweeping. And, he found enjoyment in the doing of it. Unlike so many humans, Kenny appears to have led a life of authenticity.
He has followed his dreams – even though portions of it have been outside the box and then some. For example, how many of you 'sweeper people' reading this can say they lost their first girlfriend because their stronger love was for a machine – a street sweeper...
Read the story about McKinley Page. Also, in early 2017 an 18-minute video of McKinley Page was completed. You can check out the movie in Worldsweeper's History section.
Darlington, UK, Celebrates 'Pete the Sweep's' 80th Birthday
People from across Darlington, UK, got involved to throw a huge celebration in honor of street sweeping superstar Pete Woodmansey. 'Pete the Sweep,' as he is affectionately known throughout the area, has diligently cleaned the various communities across the town since retiring from his work as a council street sweeper in 2001.
Read the story about Peter Woodmansey.
Mike Webber Left Mark on Australian Sweeping Industry
The late Mike Webber brought a new era of power sweeping into Australia in the early 2000s when he introduced the regenerative air sweeper onto that continent. Allying himself with the Schwarze Industries organization, which at the time was still owned by the Schwarze family, Webber formed Schwarze Australia for the venture. Not only did he utilize Schwarze's current regen design, Mike also was responsible for significant changes that improved the Schwarze air sweepers for the Australian marketplace. Mike passed away in April of 2016.
Read the story about Mike Webber.
Kieron Gordon: Making a Difference by Keeping his Community Clean
An English teenage schoolboy, Kieron Gordon, is passionate about his hobby – working as volunteer street sweeper. The eighteen-year-old is a resident of the town of Widnes, which is in the U.K. and borders the Mersey River, has been cleaning the area surrounding his local neighbourhood for three years.
Kieron, who lives with his grandparents, said of his chosen task to improve his community: "I care about the environment. I take great pride in seeing the area clean and tidy. It is satisfying. I'd love to do it full time." Read the story about Kieron.
Renato Sorriso, The 'Samba Sweeper of Rio'
The 'Samba Sweeper of Rio,' Renato Sorriso has spent his entire career sweeping the streets and collecting the trash of Rio de Janeiro's Madureira District.
Sorriso started combining sweeping with doing the samba back in 1997 and hasn't quit. He was even included in the Olympics introduction of Rio as the upcoming site of the 2016 games during the closing ceremonies in London back in 2012.
Read about Renato Sorriso.
Jerry Smith, Lafayette's Street Sweeper Extraordinaire
For more than 25 years, Jerry Smith cleaned the downtown core area of Lafayette, Indiana. On a daily basis, he used a broom, dustpan and collection barrel – what he called 'pushing the bucket' – to remove debris. About 10 years before Jerry ended his sweeping work, it was calculated he had picked up more than 15,000 container loads of material off the sidewalks and curblines of Lafayette by hand.
Through the years, in addition to keeping the downtown core of Lafayette spic-and-span, Smith became an icon and ambassador of goodwill of the city who became widely known for assisting visitors with information about the area he served. The city Jerry Smith served for so many years even developed a fitting memorial to the man who came to represent the reason Lafayette's downtown area was so clean.
Read about Jerry Smith.
Norwegian Town Honors Beloved Street Sweeper with a Statue
For more than 20 years, Kjetil Paulsen has been cleaning the streets of Sortland. Now the citizens of Sortland would like to honor him and his relentless dedication for the city, by erecting a statue in honor of his retirement. Read about Kjetil Paulsen.
Sexy Brazilian Street Sweeper Using New Fame to Change Stereotypes
Rita Mattos is a street sweeping employee in Brazil who has been getting a lot of online buzz for being "too sexy" for the job. And while she relishes in the attention, she has instead decided to use it as a platform to change the stereotypes of people in her job.
"People get scared when they see a pretty girl working as a street sweeper," the 24-year-old from Rio de Janeiro told Brazilian news outlet Extra. "They say that I could find a better job than sweeping and weeding. Why do street sweepers have to be ugly, necessarily? These exists a preconception. But, despite the fact that it's a heavy workload, I have a lot of fun. I'm proud of what I do." Read about Rita Mattos.