Street Sweeping Helps Protect Our Environment
Minneapolis completes a thorough cleaning of all 1,100 miles of city streets and parkways twice a year (more than 400 miles of alleys are also swept during the spring sweep). Our goal is to keep our City clean and our neighborhoods livable.
The City’s street sweeping effort also helps protect our lakes, creeks and the Mississippi River because debris and leaves on city streets can wash into storm drains and eventually pollutes our waterways.
The spring sweep removes sand from the streets (put down for snow and ice control over the winter) as well all the accumulated trash, and other debris. The fall sweep is primarily to remove debris as well as accumulated leaves from clogging or entering storm drains which can result in localized flooding, and may create a hazard for vehicles and pedestrians.
Leaves are natural - yet decomposing leaves on streets and sidewalks can wash into storm drains and eventually end up in Minneapolis’ lakes, streams and the Mississippi River. Leaves and nutrients over-fertilize lake water and encourage harmful aquatic plants and algae to thrive. The result is murky lake water that isn’t good for swimming and fishing and which harms wildlife.
Minneapolis also routinely sweeps its streets during the rest of the season, but generally without requiring that vehicles be moved. However, the spring and fall comprehensive, citywide sweeps are conducted with parking enforcement in order to provide for the two required curb-to-curb sweeps.
Last updated Sep. 27, 2011