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District of Columbia Department of Public Works Street Sweeping Program Evaluation

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The District of the Columbia Department of Public Works (DPW) provides street sweeping services throughout the District via its Mechanical Street Sweeping Program. In 2007, when the EPA and the District negotiated a new Municipal Separate Storm Water Permit (MS4), DPW was given the mandate to expand the District's street sweeping program to incorporate environmental sweeping for storm water quality. The expansion required a paradigm shift within the organization: previously, aesthetics, not storm water quality, was the focus of the mechanical street sweeping program. Now, under the new mandate, the Department was required to use street sweeping as a storm water Best Management Practice (BMP).

Without receiving an increase in financial resources or human capital, DPW staff and management streamlined the mechanical street sweeping program; freeing resources to operate an entirely new environmental street sweeping program and making its standard program more efficient and effective. The project produced several positive outcomes for DWP including:

• Mechanical street sweeping division increased curb-miles swept by approximately 24,000 per year without increasing man-hours.

• Washington, DC became the first US city to dedicate an entire day to environmental sweeping.

• The redesign of the signed routes reduced the service time from five (5) days to approximately three (3) days, which free resources for environmental sweeping.

• The proposed configurations for the signed routes and environmental sweeping will decrease the mechanical sweeping operation cost from 63 per mile to 42 per mile, a savings of roughly 21 per mile.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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