Street sweeping is one of those things you probably don’t think about — until it’s not there. And considering that sweeping services have been around for a while, it’s understandable that we might forget that there was a time when streets and parking lots were not automatically cleaned.
But street sweeping services actually aren’t that old. The very first street sweeper was invented by C.S. Bishop in 1849, and ever since the 19th century, sweeper trucks have been working to make our roads a bit more pleasant.
Modern road sweeping services effectively remove debris from streets and parking lots, but they’re even effective for removing microscopic pollutants from roads that we can’t see. We have a tendency to focus on pollutants like carbon dioxide emissions from cars, but there are many other pollutants that tend to accumulate in urban areas which go unnoticed — but are, nevertheless, still potentially harmful: grease and oil from passing cars, chemicals and pesticides from garden management, bacteria from failing septic systems, and seasonal pollutants like road salt. These pollutants not only become harmful to the environment, but they also pose serious health risks by affecting the cleanliness of the air.
You probably didn’t realize that you have you local power sweeping services to thank for your health, did you? It’s okay to forget every now and again that these services are here — but next time you run into your local sweeper, make sure to say a big “thank you” for protecting your environment and your health.