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Noteworthy in Sweeping

People in sweeping impacting their communities in a positive manner.

Noteworthy in Sweeping

Noteworthy in Sweeping

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People Making a Difference Somewhere in the World

This feature area at the WorldSweeper website, which was begun at our 10-year anniversary in June of 2015, is designed to showcase people who are involved in sweeping somewhere in the world who have made a positive impact in their local, regional or national arena. As many of you reading this would agree, the sweeping industry is one that's little known or thought of by the general populace.

In a number of countries, sweeping the streets is also an industry that's considered to be a lower-echelon type of business. Yet, sweeping is an industry that's in place around the world and, within it, individuals and businesses involved in our industry are making a difference to their surroundings. This feature area at WorldSweeper is designed to document and catalog some of the outstanding efforts that are credited to some of the individuals involved in sweeping.

Mark Boyer: A True Contributor to the U.S. Power Sweeping Industry

When it came to knowledge about buying and selling sweepers and other pavement-oriented rolling stock, for two decades Mark Boyer was perhaps the top expert in America. The longtime editor of both SweeperMarket and PaverMarket magazines, Boyer was the conduit for many tens of millions of dollars in equipment sales. Unfortunately, Boyer passed away in August of 2023, though he will long be remembered for the contributions he made to the US power sweeping industry.

Read the Mark Boyer story.

Nationwide Environmental Services: One of America's Most Outstanding Sweeping Company Success Stories

Joe Samuelian, an Armenian immigrant from Syria, arrived in the United States in 1963 with very little understanding of the English language. Despite the challenges he faced, he had an unstoppable work ethic and worked tirelessly to provide for his family. He worked three different jobs within the first few years of his American life. A few years later he purchased his first parking lot sweeper, which marked the beginning of a business that would allow him to fulfill the "American Dream." In March of 2023 both Joe and his daughter Ani, now company president, were honored by Bob J. Archuleta, their state Senator, for their family's success and philanthropy.

Read the NES success story.

French Street Sweeper Goes Viral For Sweeping With a Rose

Meet Michel Simonet, the street sweeper of Fribourg, Switzerland. The street cleaner is famous for attaching a fresh red rose to his cleaning wagon for many years. What is perhaps most amazing about his story is that Michel always wanted to write a book about what sweeping the streets – with a rose attached to his debris cart – but it took him 30 years to do so.

Read about it.

John Leal, Employee of the Year, City of El Campo, Texas

John Leal, a 33-year veteran at the City of El Campo, was designated as the City's 2023 Employee of the Year for his diligence and commitment to the public.

"John is a one man crew," Public Works Director Kevin Thompson told council. Sweeping not only keeps the streets spiffy, it is "part of our stormwater management, keeping debris from our roads from clogging drainage conduits and eventually into our streams," he added.

Read about John Leal.

Frank Davis, Safe, Dependable – and Now Retired – Street Sweeper Operator

After more than 38 years in the department Frank Davis, 58, clocked in his last day for the Department of Public Works (DPW) in January of 2022. For the past 20 he was the borough's street sweeper operator, a time frame in which he never had an accident.

Frank Davis' morning rounds will look a little different going forward. Instead of scrubbing the borough's roads aboard a street sweeper, the lifelong Madison, New Jersey, resident will be driving his grandchildren to preschool in his landscaping truck.

Read about Davis.

India Students Build 'Mechanized' Sweeper for School's Elderly Lady Sweeper

Students at Panchayat Union Middle School, Konerikuppa, noticed many problems in their school. The building was damaged, with paint peeling off, there were unnecessary bushes in the campus, and animals kept entering the premises. But after discussing amongst each other and taking a vote, they decided that the issue they most wanted to address was figuring out how to ease the burden of the elderly lady who swept the school's large playground.

In order to help her, students at the government school located in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu built a Sweeping Vehicle of coconut-leaves-on-wheels. They used the simple 4-step formula of Feel-Imagine-Do-Share that has been developed by Design for Change – a not-for-profit organization that challenges children to solve problems in their community – in order to achieve their goal.The project was subsequently selected amongst the 3,600 submissions as one of the Top 26 stories at the 'I CAN Awards' organized by Design for Change. In addition to this story being catalogued in WorldSweeper's 'Noteworthy in Sweeping' category, it is also linked in the India section of our International Sweeping section.

Read about it.

Sweeping Against the Odds: The Women Street Sweepers of Lagos

This article, posted on 2018 International Women's Day, is being provided to showcase the plight of many in the international sweeping industry. WorldSweeper is proud to celebrate these Nigerian women in their occupation of sweeping despite the many difficulties the job presents in Nigeria.

Article includes an embedded video that showcases the type of situations these brave sweeping industry workers face on a daily basis. Among them are elderly and young women, exposed to road hazards and rewarded with meager wages. Because of the extreme hardship these women face daily, this story has been catalogued in WorldSweeper's 'Noteworthy in Sweeping' category as well as in our International Sweeping section.

Read the story.

Shang Wuyi: Sweeping with Noteworthy Dedication

Despite having one of his legs amputated and being born deaf and mute, a hardworking Chinese man won the hearts of people and inspired others with his incredible passion for work – which he has done at 4am every day for 12 years – be it rain or shine, snow or sleet.

Now, with this feature article at and installation into our 'Noteworthy in Power Sweeping' hall of fame, there's no doubt those in the American and world sweeping industry will be amazed and impressed, as well. Read the story.

Richard Scott: Celebrating a Career Repairing Sweepers

Richard Scott was the Northampton, Massachusetts, DPW's 'go-to' mechanic. In 2017 he retired after 40 years of keeping the city's Elgin broom sweepers, as well as other vehicles in Northampton's fleet, in great running condition. Read the story.

Steve Young: Looking Back Over a Life of Sweeping

Steve Young was a fixture in the power sweeping industry for nearly 30 years. From his start as a contractor to selling Schwarze sweepers at the company's California office to founding Sweeper Parts Online, Young's story is one embedded within the power sweeping industry. Read the story.

Mandaue Street Sweeper Returns Lost Bag to Seafarer

HONESTY is a virtue that 59-year-old street sweeper Avelino Sumagang swears by even if he earns barely enough to support his family. "Kita nga nanarbaho, be honest ta. Kay makatabang man na sa atong pagpanarbaho" (We employees must exercise honesty in doing our jobs because this will benefit us), says Sumagang. See the story.

Kasey Tarnow Promotes Sweeping in San Clemente, California

Kasey Tarnow has a simple solution for anyone who wants to make a difference for the coastal environment in her hometown, San Clemente, California. Her Girl Scout Gold project is to convince people to move cars or other obstructions so the city's street sweeper can do its job. See the story.

Suu the Street Sweeper: Keeping Her Section of San Francisco Clean

The video of Suu the Street Sweeper is the most-watched video every posted by the San Francisco Chronicle. In one week's time, well over 10 million people watched the video featuring 67 year-old San Francisco street sweeper, Suu Ngo. See the story and/or video.

Sunil Yadav: Getting an Education in Order to Make a Difference

Beating all odds, 36-year-old Sunil Yadav, a street sweeper employed with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has swept his way to success by securing an MPhil degree from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai, India. Yadav, who is deployed at Nana Chowk in Central Mumbai for the cleaning job, now aims to pursue a PhD degree to understand the problems plaguing the sweeper class and wants to find solutions to it. Read the story.

James Raven: Noted Street Sweeper at 84

In 2009, somebody told James Raven about a street sweeping position in his Richmond, Texas, hometown. Now, 15 years later at age 84, Mr. Raven is known up and down the main street for his work ethic as well as his dedication to keeping the area looking as nice as can be.

Read about James Raven.

Mack Robinson, World Class Sprinter, Street Sweeper

Matthew "Mack" Robinson was a world class sprinter who was on the 1936 U.S. Olympic team, an event held in Berlin, Germany. One of his three siblings was the famed Jackie Robinson. Despite his accomplishments, which included bring home an Olympic silver medal, when he applied for work with the city of Pasadena he was given a pushcart and a broom and worked as a street sweeper on the night shift.On cold nights he wore his Olympic jacket much to the irritation of many local residents. Later in life, Mack became an advocate against street crime in jobs with various organizations and in volunteer work.

Read about Robinson.

Most Beautiful Street Sweeper in Thailand?

Whether she is perched in the back of a water truck, gingerly plucking weeds with her manicured nails or staring down a stray dog on the streets, Pattaramon Thocharoen is always camera-ready with a full face of makeup and several poses. Also known as "Bow," the 27-year-old has an image to keep up with over 300,000 TikTok followers, some of whom have dubbed her Thailand's "most beautiful street sweeper."

Read about "Bow."

Scotland's Martin Macdougall Providing for Kids During Coronavirus Pandemic

A street sweeper has used his own holiday savings to try and help keep children happy during the coronavirus lockdown. The street sweeper's generosity was designed to bring joy to children in Inverness, Scotland.

Read about it.

U.K.'s Pearly Kings and Queens Charity Has Street Sweeper Origin

Henry Croft, who was born in May of 1861, grew up in an orphanage after his musician father died when he was 10 years old. To support himself, he took a job as a municipal road sweeper in the City of London at the age of 16.

In the late 1870s he began to decorate his clothes with mother-of-pearl buttons and, ultimately, this led to him founding the working class tradition of 'Pearly Kings and Queens.'

Read about it.

Award-winning Street Sweeper Plays Critical Role for City

Roderick Bell rides a street sweeper through town as the sun rises over Macon. He is headed to Fort Hill Street in East Macon at around 20 miles per hour. Some people honk. Others just glare, but Bell knows why his job matters.

Bell, a Parks & Beautification Department Crew Leader, won a state street sweeper competition at the annual American Public Works Association Georgia Chapter Conference in Perry at the Public Works Equipment Show, according to a news release on the Macon-Bibb County website.

Read the story.

McKinley Page, Sweeper Connoisseur Par Excellence

Following his passion, McKinley Page has swept the streets of Newark, New Jersey – in his personal Elgin White Wing sweeper – simply because they needed sweeping. And, he found enjoyment in the doing of it. Unlike so many humans, Kenny appears to have led a life of authenticity.

He has followed his dreams – even though portions of it have been outside the box and then some. For example, how many of you 'sweeper people' reading this can say they lost their first girlfriend because their stronger love was for a machine – a street sweeper...

Read the story about McKinley Page. Also, in early 2017 an 18-minute video of McKinley Page was completed. You can check out the movie in Worldsweeper's History section.

Darlington, UK, Celebrates 'Pete the Sweep's' 80th Birthday

People from across Darlington, UK, got involved to throw a huge celebration in honor of street sweeping superstar Pete Woodmansey. 'Pete the Sweep,' as he is affectionately known throughout the area, has diligently cleaned the various communities across the town since retiring from his work as a council street sweeper in 2001. Read the story about Peter Woodmansey.

Mike Webber Left Mark on Australian Sweeping Industry

The late Mike Webber brought a new era of power sweeping into Australia in the early 2000s when he introduced the regenerative air sweeper onto that continent. Allying himself with the Schwarze Industries organization, which at the time was still owned by the Schwarze family, Webber formed Schwarze Australia for the venture. Not only did he utilize Schwarze's current regen design, Mike also was responsible for significant changes that improved the Schwarze air sweepers for the Australian marketplace. Mike passed away in April of 2016. Read the story about Mike Webber.

Kieron Gordon: Making a Difference by Keeping his Community Clean

An English teenage schoolboy, Kieron Gordon, is passionate about his hobby – working as volunteer street sweeper. The eighteen-year-old is a resident of the town of Widnes, which is in the U.K. and borders the Mersey River, has been cleaning the area surrounding his local neighbourhood for three years.

Kieron, who lives with his grandparents, said of his chosen task to improve his community: "I care about the environment. I take great pride in seeing the area clean and tidy. It is satisfying. I'd love to do it full time." Read the story about Kieron.

Renato Sorriso, The 'Samba Sweeper of Rio'

The 'Samba Sweeper of Rio,' Renato Sorriso has spent his entire career sweeping the streets and collecting the trash of Rio de Janeiro's Madureira District.

Sorriso started combining sweeping with doing the samba back in 1997 and hasn't quit. He was even included in the Olympics introduction of Rio as the upcoming site of the 2016 games during the closing ceremonies in London back in 2012.

Read about Renato Sorriso.

Jerry Smith, Lafayette's Street Sweeper Extraordinaire

For more than 25 years, Jerry Smith cleaned the downtown core area of Lafayette, Indiana. On a daily basis, he used a broom, dustpan and collection barrel – what he called 'pushing the bucket' – to remove debris. About 10 years before Jerry ended his sweeping work, it was calculated he had picked up more than 15,000 container loads of material off the sidewalks and curblines of Lafayette by hand.

Through the years, in addition to keeping the downtown core of Lafayette spic-and-span, Smith became an icon and ambassador of goodwill of the city who became widely known for assisting visitors with information about the area he served. The city Jerry Smith served for so many years even developed a fitting memorial to the man who came to represent the reason Lafayette's downtown area was so clean. Read about Jerry Smith.

Norwegian Town Honors Beloved Street Sweeper with a Statue

For more than 20 years, Kjetil Paulsen has been cleaning the streets of Sortland. Now the citizens of Sortland would like to honor him and his relentless dedication for the city, by erecting a statue in honor of his retirement. Read about Kjetil Paulsen.

Sexy Brazilian Street Sweeper Using New Fame to Change Stereotypes

Rita Mattos is a street sweeping employee in Brazil who has been getting a lot of online buzz for being "too sexy" for the job. And while she relishes in the attention, she has instead decided to use it as a platform to change the stereotypes of people in her job.

"People get scared when they see a pretty girl working as a street sweeper," the 24-year-old from Rio de Janeiro told Brazilian news outlet Extra. "They say that I could find a better job than sweeping and weeding. Why do street sweepers have to be ugly, necessarily? These exists a preconception. But, despite the fact that it's a heavy workload, I have a lot of fun. I'm proud of what I do." Read about Rita Mattos.

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