The city of Santee will soon have the cleanest fleet of street sweepers in San Diego County.
Beginning in October, Santee’s 135 miles of public streets will be cleaned by mechanical sweepers powered by either propane or compressed natural gas. These same sweepers will also use reclaimed water rather than drinking water.The greener street sweepers are part of a citywide effort to embrace sustainable practices that simultaneously help the environment and reduce costs for electricity, water and other resources.
Vehicles powered by natural gas are cleaner than diesel vehicles and produce 80 percent fewer ozone-forming emissions than gasoline vehicles.
Other California cities that use street sweepers powered by natural gas include Beverly Hills, Anaheim, Palo Alto, and Los Angeles.Santee was able to get the greener street sweepers by asking for costs comparisons of alternative fuels versus traditional fossil fuels when it solicited bids for street sweeping services this summer. The firm with the lowest bid, Gardena-based CleanStreet , said it could provide sweepers fueled by natural gas or propane at the same cost as sweepers that use gasoline or diesel. The City Council awarded contract to CleanStreet on Sept. 25 that runs through June 2015.
The benefits of street cleaning are more than you may realize. The sweepers not only pick up unsightly paper and plastic from our streets, they also clear debris that can block storm drains and remove tiny metal particles and other hazardous waste that pollute rivers and streams.