Street sweepers cannot eliminate all garbage and pollutants completely. People and businesses contribute such a significant amount of waste to the environment every day, over 250 million ton each year according to the EPA, that there are simply not enough street sweepers to keep up with the volume of work.
Studies have shown that the majority of sediment and gathered pollutants congregates within 3 feet of street curbs. You may live in an area that uses street sweepers, and so you’ve experienced the obligatory “No Parking” days on your street. You may even be the unfortunate victim of a parking ticket for not observing street cleaning days. Of course, it can be a pain to move your car one day a week, and it’s certainly annoying to get a ticket, but the benefits of street cleaning days far outweigh the inconveniences. But did you know that one parked car on the street leaves three car lengths un-swept on the street? Even the most skilled street sweeper drivers can only maneuver so well around a parked car.
And since the curbs hold the majority of dirt and debris on the road, street sweeping in that section of road won’t help prevent debris from entering the air and water.
So the next time you see a street sweeper, remember to move your car from the road on street sweeping days.
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