With just three street sweepers, the Macon-Bibb Parks & Beautification Department picked up 491.84 tons – or 983,680 pounds – of dirt, trash, and debris off of our roads in FY2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018). A single street sweeper can collect about 3.6 yards of material on a single run, and each sweeper can get about three collection runs per day, for a total of nine per day. The weight of the 3.6 yards varies depending on what is collected, but a good average is about 3,000 pounds per load.
“It’s an uphill battle for sure, but it’s one we have to keep fighting,” says Parks & Beautification Director Sam Kitchens. “The cleanliness of our community is so very important, and between our sweepers, community service program, and crews in the Public Works Department, we’re all focused on getting as much as we can.”
Sweepers can work on all roads in Macon-Bibb County, but they are scheduled based on calls from the public and requests made through SeeClickFix, the county’s mobile and online service request system. Additionally, they sweep the streets before and after major community events like the Pan African Festival, Cotton Avenue Revival, Bragg Jam Macon Beer Festival, Magnolia Soap Box Derby, the Christmas Parade, and more.
Once a sweeper is full, it has to make the return to the offices on Lower Poplar Street to dump it out to later be put in a dump truck for the landfill. A sweeper, in order to collect the most off the roads, travels between four and eight miles per hour with its brushes down. Once full, it brings the brushes up and drives back to the office at about 15 – 20 miles per hour.
“We do get calls about sweepers not working because people see them driving with the brushes up, but that just means it has a full load,” points out Kitchens.