Trending Up: Municipal Sweeping

Cities looking to private contractors for sweeping


As a part of assisting representatives of a city in Texas with coming up with an RFP for sweeping, I spoke recently to a number of high-level representatives of U.S. sweeper manufacturers. Several points that emerged from these two processes should be of interest to PAVEMENT’s readers.

For one, there is an increasing movement by public works departments to contract out their city street sweeping, either completely or in part. For sweeping contractors, this points to an increased likelihood that an unsolicited proposal to take over in-house sweeping may now receive a better reception than in times past.

It also means the same contractors — if they currently do street sweeping or are looking to enter that segment of the industry — should make sure they’re on the bid list for all of the municipal agencies in their market area.

In addition, more cities are now recognizing that sweeping can make a significant difference in stormwater runoff pollution compliance. This has several implications.

For one, in the future expect fewer awards to be based exclusively upon bid price. Also, the contractor review process will probably include a member of the municipal agency’s stormwater team. These are people who have become informed via reading the studies, comparisons and relative abilities of the different types of sweepers available at and elsewhere.

To compete as a contractor, you will also need to be up-to-speed on this topic. Expect increased consideration to be given to contractors who are informed, educated and can “talk the talk.”

If you want to be, and/or remain, competitive in the arena of street sweeping, you need to become an expert in this area of the industry. My prediction is that those who are able to provide value-added information to the street sweeping proposals they receive will find an increasingly warm reception as time goes by.

WSA contributor Ranger Kidwell-Ross has been providing information to the power sweeping industry since 1988. He is editor of, an information resource for power sweeping, as well as founder and executive director of World Sweeping Association. For more information about WSA visit or contact Kidwell-Ross at