City releases Mechanical Broom Assessment
City Piloted program due to Street Sweeping demands and resident complaints to move cars.
City officials revealed a report of the 2019 Mechanical Broom Street Cleaning Evaluation and showed survey results from pilot areas. The report consists of a data collection and review of the program in six areas.
The report cited that residential street sweeping was discontinued in Philadelphia in 2008 due to the recession. Instead, the city created a pilot to hire mechanical brooms, train crews and create a new program. The program also included a walking crew with leaf blowers, brooms & rakes, which stirred groups lobbying against the program, groups citing environmental, safety and health concerns.
The City Findings include trash collected/miles traveled, resident satisfaction, and litter index distribution in the report. Here are the key findings.
2019 Mechanical Broom Street Cleaning Evaluation Findings:
- Amount of trash collected per day was reduced, which indicated cleaner streets. Also, the miles spent from mechanical brooms expanded and increased, indicating improved efficiency.
- 96 percent of residents in each pilot area supported expanding the program across the city.
- Over 91% of residents supported moving their cars (!!!!) and the backpack blowers to remove dirt along the curb.
- The average Litter Index rating decreased in pilot areas and surrounding areas.
The Streets Department hopes to apply the data from the report to expand its service; they will reach new areas and require cars to be moved during the process. A more detailed plan about the 2020 program will be released in the spring.
The mechanical sweeping services were created by the Sanitation Division, which is part of the Streets Department. The Sanitation Division received $2.3 million from the City’s Budget Office in 2019. The pilot ran from April 2019 to November 2019. The Streets Department selected neighborhoods with high Philadelphia Litter Index ratings for its pilot program.
Photo: City of Philadelphia website