Go Green And Save Green With Regenerative Air Street Sweepers

Street sweepers from companies like USA Services of Florida help cities keep their streets clean and free of debris, but operating them is not cheap. Municipalities often purchase new street sweepers to help their city go green, only to find themselves spending a lot of greenbacks to use the vehicles. If you're in charge of finding street sweepers for your city to invest in, go green and save green by opting for regenerative air street sweepers.

Three Types of Street Sweepers

There are three main types of street sweepers:

  • broom models sweep debris into a large dust pan with brooms
  • vacuum models use brooms to direct debris towards a vacuum
  • regenerative air models first blast air to stir up debris, and then they vacuum up the disturbed waste

Going Green with Clean Streets

Of these three types, regenerative air street sweepers are the best at cleaning roads and sidewalks. They will keep your city greener than either vacuum or broom sweepers.

As TYMCO explains, broom-style sweepers will brush up large debris that is on the surface of streets, but they will press smaller particles of dirt and dust down into the cracks of your city's roads.

Vacuum sweepers, like broom models, will remove large debris, and they suck up small particles from cracks in the road. A vacuum only covers 34 percent of the surface that a street sweeper goes over, though, so only about one-third of the street is vacuumed. The rest is only swept, and dirt is left in the unvacuumed crevices.

Regenerative air models have closed systems that span the entire width of the street sweeper. As the closed system passes over a section of road, the entire section is blasted with air and vacuumed. Both large debris on the road and dirt in its crevices are removed, and the system's coverage is 100 percent of the area that the sweeper goes over. Thus, regenerative air models are the only ones that thoroughly clean every part of road that the street sweeper drives on.

According to David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington, for every mile street sweepers cover, they remove:

  • 10 pounds of grease and oil
  • 3 pounds of phosphorus
  • 3 pounds of nitrogen

Alpert doesn't break these figures down by type of street sweeper, but regenerative air sweepers will collect more grease, oil, phosphorus and nitrogen than vacuum- or broom-style models.

Saving Green on Maintenance Costs

Regenerative air models will also help you save green, because they have lower maintenance costs than the other kinds of street sweepers.

The brooms on mechanical broom sweepers must be replaced regularly. For instance, the Public Works Agency of Oakland, California replaces their street sweepers' gutter brushes every three days and main brush biweekly. The costs of purchasing and installing new brushes quickly add up when they are replaced this frequently.

In contrast, newer regenerative air street sweepers don't have brushes that must be replaced. While their upfront price may be equal to, or even more than broom sweepers, your city won't have to spend money on new parts every few days if you choose a regenerative air model.

Regenerative air models are also cheaper to operate and maintain than vacuum sweepers. To start with, vacuum sweepers still have brushes that will need to be replaced frequently. Additionally, the suction tubes on regenerative air models tend to be larger than vacuum tubes. The larger tubes on regenerative air sweepers get clogged less than vacuums' tubes, so your city's public works employees can focus on cleaning roads, not clearing lines.

If your city's public works department has money for new street sweepers, choose the type of sweeper that is the best at cleaning and cheapest to operate. Purchase regenerative air street sweepers, and you'll be glad you did for many years to come.