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Residential Sweeping FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
• Why are we sweeping?
To remove accumulated winter abrasives and other debris. This provides safer streets, cleaner drainage systems, lower maintenance costs and reduces Chesapeake Bay pollutants.
• When will you be sweeping my street?
The systematic street sweeping will begin the week of March 28, 2011 and will continue until completion in August 2011 (depending on the weather).
• When specifically will my street be done?
With approximately 4017 road miles of sweeping to complete, it is very difficult to provide a precise date. You may wish to access Highway Maintenance's scheduling map which is updated frequently.
• How is it decided who will be swept first?
We rotate the starting point each year by maintenance districts based on recommendations from the Department of Environmental Protection to protect our most vulnerable watersheds. This year the Colesville area will be done first, followed by Silver Spring, Bethesda, Gaithersburg West and the Gaithersburg East areas.
• Signs were not posted on my street.
We will post signs a few days before street sweeping begins in the more densely populated areas. Signs are not posted on every street in a neighborhood but at major intersections.
• Will my car be towed?
Although some signs indicate towing, we do not tow cars for sweeping.
• What is done with the swept up sand?
The most practical use is trash cover at the landfill. We investigated the possibility of recycling the debris, but found the organic content is too high to make the process cost effective.
• The sweeper missed an area in front of my house.
Each street is inspected after completion. If an area was missed, our inspectors usually spot it and will have it swept the following day. However, we typically do not send sweepers back to sweep areas after parked cars are moved.
• The sweepers keep going by my house but they are not sweeping the curb.
The sweepers may go by several times in order to clean the intersection near the resident’s house. The sweepers prefer to go around the block instead of backing up. This is a safer procedure.
• The sweepers are speeding.
We do all that we can to ensure the safety of the operation. The contractor’s supervisors and the County inspectors closely monitor the operation of the equipment. The size and noise of the machine help to give the appearance that the vehicle is moving faster than it may be. However, if you believe the sweeper is going too fast, please give the street name, time and truck number, if possible, so we can follow up with the owner of the company.