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Sweeping Stories From China

How is sweeping done around the world?

Ranger Kidwell-Ross, our webmaster and Editor of, in 2001-2004 completed intrepid trips to Asia, Australia, and Europe to bring us news of how pavement sweeping is done in some of the countries around the world. The Asia portion of this travelogue won an APEX Award of Excellence in Online Journalism for 2002, while the European travelogue won an Apex Grand Award for 2004.

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In late 2022 a next generation autonomous street sweeper and modular smart rest station were unveiled in Shenzhen, China, in the city's highly popular Xiangmi Park.

Chinese Street Sweepers Work Hard for Little Money and Lack Protection

  • Being a street sweeper in China is not much fun. Their salaries are usually poor, and places for them to shelter from the elements are seldom available on the ground. Pictures of sanitation workers in northeast China eating snow to quench their thirst surfaced on the Internet in January of 2015, provoking a widespread 'dewy-eyed' online response.

    Then, in February, when street sweeper Ding Quan, 58, paused to warm himself at a roadside fire after putting in a hard shift in driving snow, little did he suspect that it would cost him job – or that the power of the widespread internet response would gain it back for him.Read the story.

China's Unique 'Double Main Broom' Concept

  • Although invented in Germany, where these unique double main broom sweepers can be seen at work is in China and Taipei. Instead of collecting debris via conveyor belt systems, these mechanical broom machines have double main brooms that work together to convey material into the sweepers' hopper. Read the story.

Mr. Sun, Chinese Sweeping Entrepreneur

  • Our interviewee, Mr. Sun, is one of the new breed of Chinese entrepreneurs. Already a builder of police cars, among other interests, he decided to start importing street sweepers and sell them to cities in his area of China. Here's the story of that venture. Read the story.

China's Great Wall: World's Biggest Sweeping Opportunity?

  • Our editor visits a section of the Great Wall of China that's located near Beijing. This story relates that visit, complete with some information on how the Great Wall is swept. Read the story.

The Manual Cleaning of the City of Hong Kong

  • With 2,300 workers on the job each day, all wearing a distinctive blue outfit with a reflective vest and accompanied by a broom and debris cart, scheduling and management of the manual sweeping effort in Hong Kong is a Herculean effort. Read the story.

The Mechanical Street Sweeping Program of the City of Hong Kong

  • Although the air was, when this interview was conducted, anyway, somewhat thick with pollution, the pavement everywhere was cleaner than in most American cities. Here's your opportunity to read why. Read the story.
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