As part of my job I scour the Internet for items of interest to the power sweeping community. Too often, I find quotes on the order of “from the highest official to the lowly street sweeper.” No doubt some of that comes from the famous Martin Luther King Jr. quote that paraphrases to doing the best job possible even if you’re a street sweeper.
The fact of the 21st century is that those who perform the duty of power sweeping are at the absolute forefront of removing the parking lot and roadway pollutants fouling the water supplies in so many of the communities in America and around the world.
In a 2000 study of best management practices conducted by Caltrans, the cost per pound of removing total suspended solids (TSS) was $10 to $60 ($14 to $83 in 2015 dollars), and that was before the cost of purchasing real estate for necessary settling ponds, grassy swales, etc. By contrast, street sweepers reduce TSS for as little as $3 per pound for air sweepers and $14 per pound for broom sweepers. In addition, unlike a solution such as a retention pond, sweepers also remove a large quantity of larger debris.
Parking area sweeping contractors, because they remove debris large and small from commercial properties, further assist greatly in this process by removing pollutants before either a) street sweepers get to it, or b) it can run off into streams and waterways.
So, if you are a sweeping contractor, make sure both you and your team understand the value of what you are providing toward keeping the water in our streams, lakes and ocean cleaner than it would be otherwise. Position your company and the valuable service it performs as the environmental leader it is and don’t accept any of that ‘lowly street sweeper’ malarkey.
Education is a key to understanding just how valuable a service you are providing, whether by sweeping the pavement in the U.S. or in Timbuktu. Take the time to educate your customers and prospects about the value in sweeping. You’ll find they will better understand – and thus pay more for – the services you offer.