When is the last time you thought about the sweepers that clean the parking lots and streets of America – if ever? Yet a fleet made up of many thousands of pavement sweepers, operated by dedicated contractors and public works professionals all around the U.S., have long been America's first line of defense for removal of pavement-based pollution.
Today a new and novel type of infectious pollutant is stacking up in parking lots throughout America. There is now a widespread issue of people discarding used gloves, masks, packaging and other potentially infected detritus as they leave retail stores. Because of this, the prospect of furthering the spread of COVID-19 via leaving this material on the ground is very real. At the same time, due to increasingly tight budget constraints, many 'essential' retail businesses have slashed their frequency of parking lot cleaning.
As someone who has been involved with the worldwide power sweeping industry for the past 30+ years, I can tell you that the U.S. power sweeping industry has the unique ability to clean and sanitize the affected parking areas nightly while they sweep; however, government agencies need to mobilize industry efforts in order to make that happen.
Please take a look at an information page we developed to spotlight the problem. The link also briefly outlines a solution the power sweeping industry can bring to bear, as well as suggests the course of action that needs to be taken to make vitally needed mitigation a reality. Here also is the link to a one-page PDF handout on the topic.
The chain of best management practices needed for us to emerge as quickly as possible from the COVID-19 crisis is like all chains: only as strong as its weakest link. Allowing potentially infected material to lie around in public areas, be blown around by the wind, picked up by children, etc., exposes a link to infection that can cost us even more lives in this worldwide pandemic. I welcome any questions you may have about how America's power sweeper fleets can help to eliminate pavement-based COVID-19 pollution before it can provide an additional route to infection.
You can reach me via text or call on my cell phone, 360.739.7323 (Pacific Time Zone), or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ranger Kidwell-Ross, M.A.
Principal, The World Sweeping Companies
World Sweeping Association and WorldSweeper.com