This large amount of concrete and asphalt collects thousands of tons of debris.
This debris contains asbestos form brake pads, oil and solvents form cars and trucks, and phosphorous from leaves. If we do not get this nasty material picked up, it will be washed into our storm sewers and from there make its way into our lakes and streams.
Last year, the Streets Division collected 11,114 tons of debris. That material was hauled to the Dane County Landfill. The landfill uses the street sweepings as daily cover for the trash. By providing the sweepings for use as daily cover, the City of Madison does not pay a disposal fee. By using the sweeping, the landfill reduces its need to remove clay soil from other properties.
In the fall, when the the vast majority of the material the sweepers collect consists of leaves, the material is taken to the Dane County Compost sites and composted.
As part of this program we conduct a night sweeping operation with each of our nine street sweepers working from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. The night sweeping program is in operation for one month. This allows us to sweep every street in the City twice during this period when our sweepers are in operation a total of 18 hours per day, 10 hours on the day shift and 8 hours overnight.
Each spring we remove 7,000 tons of debris from our streets.
Beginning May 1st of each year daytime parking restrictions are in effect in the 2nd, 6th, and 13th Aldermanic Districts. The Clean Streets/Clean Lakes Sweeping Program is a special environmental program that is designed to keep pollutants from washing into our lakes and streams with storm water. The program has been in effect since 1995.
The Clean Streets/Clean Lakes Sweeping Program uses special daytime parking restrictions to get cars off the street and allow street sweepers to get to the curb to remove debris. The special daytime parking restrictions are posted on street signs in the participating neighborhoods.
During the special sweeping program selected streets are posted with special no parking restrictions. Vehicles parked in violation of these restrictions WILL BE TICKETED AND TOWED.
Avoid an expensive ticket and the inconvenience of having your vehicle towed. Obey the posted restrictions and check the schedule of streets on the list for special sweeping.
Because street sweepers need water to work effectively, they are not used when temperatures drop below freezing to avoid damage. Street Sweepers are very complex pieces of equipment that require lots of preventive maintenance throughout the year.
During the winter, the sweepers are taken out of service and sent to be refurbished. Once the annual overhauls are complete the sweepers are brought back to the Streets Division ready for another year protecting our lakes.
If the weather cooperates we will do some street sweeping in winter. We need to above freezing temperatures and curb lines free of snow.