Examples of Street sweeping tracking methods in various municipalities

Link to this table

Municipality Tracking methods
Forest Lake, Minnesota GPS tracking is conducted with proprietary software. Route completion status is recorded by software with mileage calculated internally. Operators record debris load weights which are input into an Excel spreadsheet.
Lakeville, Minnesota GPS/AVL tracking is used for street sweeper fleet and snowplow fleet. The city uses ESRI’s GeoEvent server to connect and record data online with a publicly accessible interface. Drivers do not record mileage manually since it is digitally logged and stored in a SQL database. Sweeper loads are not screened, but total tonnage amounts are provided via invoice from the landfill after disposal. City staff log the total count of hopper loads of fall leaf litter, but individual load weights or volumes are not measured. Some of the biggest challenges have been related to software reliability using the GPS/AVL system.
Rochester, Minnesota Rochester uses GPS/AVL tracking with the proprietary software system PreCise (same system used for snowplow fleet). Web-based software runs reports, tracks sweeper progress, and live exports to ArcGIS for mapping for residents theoretically (no current GIS team capacity for this last item). Sweepers were recently equipped with GPS, so they are using paper logs and electronic logs to compare tracking results. They log paper records in an Access database, but its less supported, so they are looking for a long-term solution. It is too labor and time intensive to ask drivers to manually track sweeper broom engagement, which the GPS tracking input can track. The biggest challenge is that the electronic tracking cannot currently track the kind of sweeping performed, but the city categorizes its sweeping by time of year as “spring sand” or “fall leaves”. Sweeper staff tried using iPads installed in cabs, but it was too cumbersome. They perceive volume/weight of material hardest to track. The iPad tracking counted hopper dumps. The Pelican sweeper allows users to raise/shift the hopper to get more space while sweeping, so counting hopper dumps was not providing a consistent metric. In addition, the hoppers are emptied opportunistically when the collection dump truck passes by leading to uncertainty in how full each hopper is. Rochester tracks the number of hopper dumps and swept mileage but believe they should weight material for accuracy in the future.
St Cloud, Minnesota Street sweeper operators of 3 broom-style and 2 regenerative air sweepers do not manually log miles swept but manually log full loads dumped directly into larger dump trucks for disposal. No GPS system is currently used for tracking, but the city hopes in the future to use an AVL system to track areas swept each day. Tracking at this time is detailed with the following process: All sweeping full loads are counted and tracked, but methods vary seasonally. In fall, leaf sweeping loads are not screened, but total loads are weighed prior to composting (averaging 3 tons per load). Load counts are kept and recorded by sweeper operators. Spring/Summer sweeping loads are counted and tracked, with a total seasonal pile that is stored until end-of season screening of “spoils” (swept material is weighed as it is screened using a scale on the loader) and the non-recyclable trash component is sent to the public landfill (approximately 2% of loads), while remaining waste is recycled or composted. The city keeps statistics on sweeping including annual averages: 2,000 lane miles of streets and alleys, 4,500 staff hours, 500 pre-screened dump truck loads of waste, 3,000 tons of material removed, and an estimated 1,500 pounds of TP removed.
Bloomington, Minnesota The city conducts its own street sweeping with 3 Pelican sweepers and 2 regenerative air sweepers. Sweeper drivers do not manually log miles swept or full loads of sweeper waste dumped; however, sweeper trucks are tracked using GPS routed to PreCise software. Sweeper waste loads are weighed at the disposal location, lumped together from all sites. The city is working on a process to accurately weigh subsets of swept material to identify sweeping load mass associated with designated zones around the city.
St. Anthony, Minnesota The city uses a single street sweeper vehicle for which the operator uses paper logs to manually record miles swept. Sweeper data logs are input into an Excel spreadsheet, documenting miles swept, estimated material volume collected (count of full hopper loads dumped), and the associated watershed where the material was collected.
Durham, North Carolina Durham uses a hybrid approach to tracking street sweeping based on North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality methods. In 2020, the city conducted a pilot study to weigh their sweeper trucks (with full gas and water tanks) with and without full sweeper waste loads at the city’s Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling Center truck scales. Loads were dumped onto a fresh plastic drop cloth, photographed, tallied for observable items, and composite representative subsampling of the pile was conducted for laboratory analysis of dry weight, particle size distribution, metals, nutrients, etc. This detailed sampling method was completed once per season due to spring impacts of grass clippings in sweeper debris. The city then developed seasonally specific relationships of pounds of TP removed per curb mile swept based on their data which they use moving forward (and to back-calculate previous years) to estimate pounds of TP removed by only tracking curb miles swept.
Salt Lake City, Utah Salt Lake City uses real-time GPS tracking on its snowplow fleet which can be organized using the SnowPaths application for fleet management. SnowPaths records truck types, names, locations, starts and stops, percent of planned route completion, whether plows were engaged or not, idle times, and generates reports. The app can also indicate how many hours it has been since a particular road was last plowed for prioritization. While not a specific street sweeping example, this demonstrates that an GIS/AVL app like SnowPaths could be utilized during non-snow seasons for street sweeping, since much of the same data are needed for tracking both activities.

This page was last edited on 20 December 2022, at 22:37.