The environmental benefits of street cleaning in Seychelles |30 October 2023
Street cleaning is the process of sweeping and collecting solid waste from public streets, parks and other public areas and cleaning of surface drains/trenches. It helps to eliminate the number of plastics and litter that end up on the sides of roads and end up harming local wildlife. Street cleaning removes particles and associated pollutants, including toxics that could otherwise be transported in air.
Street cleaning services serve a variety of functions from villages to build up cities. Keeping our roads clean is important. When we see a people cleaning our roads, our minds often assume their purpose is solely aesthetic – but there are many environmental advantages too. Through everyday use by pedestrians and cars in addition to their exposure to a variety of climates throughout the year, roads can easily become hotspots for dirt and debris. In addition to looking unkempt, excess dirt and debris can also have a variety of environmental impacts. Removing dirt and dust from the streets can significantly reduce traffic noise levels, allowing people to enjoy their neighbourhoods in peace. Overall, street cleaning is an important part of keeping our communities clean, beautiful and safe.
Regular use and weather conditions can make it easy for excess materials to accumulate on our roads. The debris collected by street sweepers contains a variety of different materials. These materials include sediment, rubbish, metals, petroleum products and green waste to name a few. When large amounts of debris build up on our streets, it can make them more hazardous for pedestrians and drivers, and have a variety of environmental implications. For example, the accumulated debris can impact air quality, and even make their way into rivers and marine environments.
Regular cleaning of roads reduces the quantity of accumulated materials that enter storm water systems. When storm drains become overfilled and blocked up, the risk of localized flooding increases and cause issues for drivers, pedestrians, and animals. A more specific issue related to storm water is the accumulation of algae forming materials. Green waste is a common example of road debris. Green waste comprises items such as grass cuttings, hedge clippings, and leaves. Too much of this green waste and its composite chemicals results in increased production of algae – with large quantities of algae having disruptive effects on ecosystems. Algae can influence water quality, food chain, and the behavioural habits of fish and other aquatic life. An excess of algae in an aquatic environment can modify the chemical balance of the water which can deplete the oxygen from the water, resulting in the death of all aquatic life. In addition to posing issues for aquatic life, large quantities of algae can also impact human health. If humans come into contact with water contaminated by high volumes of certain types of algae, whether that be through swimming, drinking, or even consuming fish products that have been contaminated, they may become unwell. In some instances, contact with contaminated water can even be fatal.
When assessing air pollution, dust is one of the biggest factors to consider. Dust can cause a host of both environmental and health problems, so implementing systems to effectively combat excess dust has numerous benefits. Regular street sweeping reduces the likelihood of dust accumulating and causing such issues, by controlling its distribution in the atmosphere.
Cleaning our streets isn’t just for appearance reasons. When dirt and debris build up in the streets, gutters and curbs, there’s a risk to the general public. Once our streets have been cleaned, all it takes is a regular maintenance plan to keep them that way. Keeping our streets clean also creates a positive impression of our communities and neighbourhoods.
Our community deserves safe and healthy streets free from garbage, dirt and debris. It is important that we maintain our bins and emptying them regularly. Landscape and Waste Management Agency (LWMA) is imploring to the public to respect our bin sites by avoiding vandalism and illegal dumping of waste and garbage in the streets and within the community.