Environmental Impacts of Street Sweepers

It’s not hidden knowledge that preserving our environment is important. New research has shown that plastic in the amount of one dumpster truckload is being dumped into our oceans every minute of every day. Those are pretty harsh numbers to take in.

And with this, we see our environment deteriorating. We depend on our oceans to thrive on Earth. The oceans provide more than half of our oxygen supply and they hold around 97% of the Earth’s water. 

So, it’s no surprise why we need to keep the land and ocean clear of debris. But how do we do this? One important step in keeping the streets clean is having street sweepers come in. 

Here are 7 ways that street sweepers not only keep our streets clean but our entire environment clean.

1. Prevent Harmful Algal Blooms

Street sweepers actually help to lower the chances of harmful algal blooms. When an excessive amount of green waste builds up on the land and is not swept up by the street sweepers, it ends up in the stormwater systems. Green waste can be hedge trimmings, fallen leaves, grass clippings, and more. 

Green waste contains high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen. When too much of it is accumulated in the streets, it flows into the water systems and creates an algal bloom. This bloom is caused by the excessive levels of the nitrogen and phosphorus that are too high for the ecosystem to handle, thus creating excessive algae. 

Algal blooms are extremely harmful to the environment. It harms many ocean creatures, ocean life in general, and even animals and humans on land. 

2. Prevent Plastics from Reaching the Oceans

Street sweepers are also great for keeping plastics and other unnatural debris from entering the oceans. We’ve all seen the heartbreaking commercials about what happens when our trash and litter ends up in the oceans. Whether it’s a bird with its beak stuck in a plastic ring or a fish caught in a plastic bag, the result of plastics and debris in the ocean is never good. 

But litter and trash aren’t the only things that street sweepers keep out of the rivers, oceans, and beaches. Street sweepers also pick up metals and other hazardous waste materials that may have been left over from car accidents and such.  

3. Keep Local Water Source Clean

The oceans aren’t the only places where all of this metal, chemicals, debris, and plastics end up. These harmful materials are also making their way into our water systems. This includes not only our water that we wash and bathe with but our drinking water as well.  

Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that cannot be seen by the naked eye. And they are finding their way into our drinking water! Street sweepers do an excellent job of picking up these products off of the streets and keeping them out of our water supply. 

4. Prevent Flooding 

When gutters and drain systems are backed up with green waste or unnatural products, proper drainage cannot be conducted. This means that the roads and streets of a neighborhood will flood. Although we might not realize it, flooding is harmful to the environment. 

Nasty bacteria and chemicals flood out of the drainage system and onto our streets. Animals and nature are both affected by this. Some plants and trees may also be uprooted due to excessive flooding. 

Some street sweepers come equipped with catch-basin cleaning equipment which can clean out the storm drain inlet. It’s essential to learn more information on street sweepers with this capability for the cleanest streets and drains.  

5. Keep Our Pets & Wild Animals Safe

The use of street sweepers is a great way to keep our pets and wild animals safe. Trash found on the sides of the road contains food items and other items that attract animals. Sadly, a lot of these items are harmful to animals. 

An animal that consumes this type of debris can be infected with an illness that may result in death. 

6. Collect Waste That Is Burned for Electricity

Some cities are using the waste that’s collected by the street sweepers to produce energy. The waste and debris are collected and burned for electricity. Although the percentage of waste used for this purpose is still quite low, it is a clever way to recycle all that unneeded trash.

Some street sweepers are even working on creating models that work to eliminate debris that is lost in the air during the process. This will help keep the air clean as well. 

7. Keep the Beaches Clean

Once any type of debris reaches the ocean or once algal blooms are formed within the ocean, it affects the beach. A lot of the algae and waste products end up washed up onshore. The materials that end up on the beaches still have a harmful effect on animals. 

Birds, turtles, and other creatures that live on land or both land and water can still run into these harmful items. Not only that but once the beaches become polluted, tourist will no longer want to enjoy the beach. And because of this, a city may experience a decrease in money. 

Street Sweepers Help Save the Planet

Street Sweepers may not be able to save the planet single-handedly, but they are an important factor in keeping the streets and oceans clean. The more we do to keep our atmosphere clean and free of litter, the more productive we’ll become. There are many ways to help keep our environment thriving, and using street sweepers is one of them. 

Oceans, water supplies, drainage systems, animals, beaches, and much more benefit from the use of these powerful cleaning machines. But for more ways on how you can make an impact, head over to our blog.  

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