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Re: street sweeping

Please don't recycle those street sweepings!  For projects I have
conducted in regards to highway runoff, I have reviewed quite a bit of
street sweepings data.  Depending on the type of sweeper you have
(vacuum type collect small particles more efficiently) and the season,
you might be collecting relatively high concentrations of metals--you
might even be collecting hazardous waste in your street sweeper.  

Metals from vehicles (copper from brakes, zinc from tires, lead from
historic use in fuels, chromium from plating and parts) tend to collect
in roadside particulate matter, primarily in the very fine particles. 
If you have a vacuum-type sweeper, you probably collect a good deal of
those particles (the study Bruce Suits referred to in Cincinnati
documents this improved collection efficiency for pollutant-laden fine
particles). Even larger particles contain significant quantities of
pollutants. Things like leaves and grass clippings can, of course,
dilute the metals in the sweepings.  Some samples of street sweepings I
have seen have exceeded California's standards for hazardous waste due
to elevated metal content.

Landfilling is probably the safest plan, unless your recycling plan is
metals recovery.

Kelly Moran
TDC Environmental

Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention wrote:
> Hi everyone
> We have a client interested in street sweepings.  They would like to know if
> anybody is recycling their street sweepings and if so what exactly is being
> done with them?  The sand that street sweepers collect is high in salt
> content and at this time it is being landfilled.  Does anyone have any
> information or contacts for alternatives to landfilling the sweepings?
> Deb Foster
> Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention
> 100 Charlotte Street
> Sarnia, ON  N7T 4R2
> 519-337-3423
> Fax: 519-337-3486
> Email: c2p2@sarnia.com
> http://c2p2.sarnia.com