Street sweeping spruces up roadways, diverts runoff from water bodies, and saves City $250,000 in sand costs

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Spring rain isn’t the only force washing away the remnants of winter. The City’s street sweepers are also helping to brush the bloom back into Barrie’s roadways.
An annual rite of passage from winter to spring and summer, street sweeping is underway. The schedule follows the City’s Source Water Protection plan, which requires crews to prioritize sweeping the roadways in the city’s drinking water protection areas, then moving outward.
Sweeping takes about 10 weeks to complete, weather permitting. The task improves water quality and the environment by removing pollutants that can be transferred to downstream water bodies from urban runoff through the storm sewer system. The Street Sweeping Program also improves the cleanliness and aesthetics of city streets and municipal parking lots.
Last year, the City collected 2,400 tonnes of sand and most of it was able to be reused this winter on city streets. By recycling the sand, the City avoided more than $250,000 in costs, while also not taking up valuable space at the city’s landfill. 
“We are always looking for new ways of providing safe driving conditions that are more environmentally and economically sustainable,” said Dave Friary, Director of Roads, Parks and Fleet. “This is a great example of staff taking initiative to come up with ideas to improve efficiencies.” 
Street sweeping is expected to complete by mid-June. For more information, visit www.barrie.ca/StreetSweeping

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