1. Ferrovial
  2. Resources

Street Cleaning

What is street cleaning? 

Street cleaning is the set of treatments carried out on public roads to maintain their proper state of hygiene. 

What does street cleaning involve? 

Street cleaning encompasses many tasks, all that aim to remove dirt and debris from streets, sidewalks, walkways, squares, etc., and from the various features of urban planning. These activities are carried out regularly using the resources assigned to the different municipalities.

In addition to picking up trash and sweeping and cleaning sidewalks and arcades, additional street cleaning is required for markets, parties, and demonstrations in public spaces. Likewise, special operations are organized to remove graffiti, collect leaves, remove gum, clear debris after a snowfall, sanitize riverbanks, etc. 

The waste collected during street cleaning varies widely in quantity and nature, and it depends directly on residents’ behavior. It is usually household waste, such as remnants of light packaging, paper, glass, and plastic, but you can also find soil and particles from construction on public roads, soil transported by winds and rains, remains of fauna and flora, settled particles from the atmosphere, or particles from vehicle exhaust gases. 

What street cleaning systems are there? 

Street cleaning systems can be divided into two main categories:

  1. Basic: sweeping and washing.
  2. Special or auxiliary: suction, scrubbing, air jets, cleaning critical points with chemical products, etc.

To decide on the most appropriate cleaning system, different aspects must be considered, such as urban infrastructure; the personnel, technologies, and machinery available; the spaces’ common use, etc. On the other hand, the density of the population and the volume of traffic will be decisive factors in determining the frequency each area is cleaned, depending on whether they are central areas with a densely concentrated population or peripheral areas of an average or low concentration. 

What does it take to be a street cleaning operator? 

Any freelancer can decide to be a Street Cleaning Operator in a city council’s invitation to tender as long as they pass the tests and have adequate training in terms of:

  1. Waste and the main regulations regulating its management.
  2. Main systems, machinery, tools, and products for street cleaning.
  3. Safety and hygiene measures that protect the operator’s health.

Becoming a Street Cleaning Operator usually requires knowledge of these 15 topics:

Topic 1. The Spanish Constitution of 1978: structure and content

Topic 2. Fundamental rights and duties

Topic 3. The Legislative Chambers. Characteristics and legal framework

Topic 4. Organization of the City Council

Topic 5. Personnel serving Public Administrations: typology. Rights and responsibilities of public employees. Disciplinary system. Compensation system

Topic 6. General concepts about cleaning systems

Topic 7. Cleaning tools. Description and instructions for use

Topic 8. Sweeping systems. Organization, means, and classes

Topic 9. Cleaning products. Characteristics and applications

Topic 10. Knowledge of materials and tools used in the Street Cleaning Service

Topic 11. General ideas about waste removal

Topic 12. Safety and hygiene measures for worker protection

Topic 13. Accident prevention

Topic 14. Rights and obligations of the employer and workers in preventing accidents at work

Topic 15. Municipal ordinances on cleaning public roads and collecting waste and civic conviviality

What leaders in street cleaning are present in Spain?

Through its Ferrovial Services unit, Ferrovial continues to be a leader in street cleaning. It currently provides service for more than 600 municipalities, including more than a dozen municipalities in the Basque Country.

In addition to sweeping, waste collection, and basic cleaning services, Ferrovial is responsible for maintenance, repairs, and unblocking water evacuation networks and cleaning sewage, blackwater, and rainwater networks.

Fun facts about street cleaning

  • Toilets began to be a common fixture in homes starting in about the year 1500. Before, it was customary to throw excrement out of the window in cities.
  • On a list of the cleanest countries compiled by Forbes, Spain ranks 30th out of 149. The top five places are occupied by Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Costa Rica. Angola and Nigeria come in last.
  • Of Spain’s cities, Oviedo is top-ranked for its cleanliness, followed by Bilbao and Vigo.

Google Play App Store