Proper street maintenance and sanitation are year-round challenges, but the summer months can be especially troublesome for some municipalities. Optimizing street sweeping and sanitation tasks is a good idea any time, and a must during the hotter summer months.
Some tools, such as GPS tracking for waste management and street sweeping vehicles, can help you track your assets and make optimizing operations easier.
Why should you optimize your municipal sanitation fleet for summer? Here are a few good reasons:
Garbage left out in the hot summer sun, even when properly bagged and sealed in a trash can or garbage bin, will quickly begin to decompose under the heat of the sun, emitting unpleasant odors that no taxpayer wants to deal with.
Using GPS tracking to optimize route planning and activity tracking helps ensure that trash pickup is done quickly and thoroughly, preventing complaints about the stink of hot garbage in the streets.
2: Commuter Safety
Debris in the streets is a navigational hazard for your municipality’s commuters. Whether the debris is organic (wood, animal carcasses, etc.) or inorganic (shrapnel, vehicle parts, and the like), it can cause damage to commuter vehicles and interfere with the flow of traffic.
Because of this, it’s important to keep streets clear of such debris at all times. The summer heat adds the risk of stranded commuters suffering heat stroke and severe sunburns if they aren’t prepared.
Optimizing street sweeping routes and cleaning services with GPS tracking can help make sure that debris is cleared from the road more quickly, reducing the risk for damage to commuter vehicles.
3: Public Health
Another risk that can be more worrisome in the summer is the risk of disease spreading from rotting materials. As organic trash and animal carcasses decompose in the hot sun, bacteria can multiply and spread.
This creates a health risk for citizens in your municipality who come into contact with rotting materials in the street. The faster you can clean up these infectious materials, the less risk there is of people getting sick from them.
Optimizing routes for the cleanup of animal carcasses and other organic debris helps speed the process of removing these health hazards from your municipality’s streets.
4: Minimize Disruption to Traffic
As noted earlier, debris in the road can be an obstruction to traffic patterns, leading to delays in the morning and afternoon commutes of your municipality’s working citizens. In summer, though, there is an increased risk of drivers reacting to delays with aggression.
As noted in the book Psychology A2: The Complete Companion by Mike Cardwell and Cara Flanagan, “negative affect (mood) increases as the temperature becomes uncomfortably hot, and aggressive and escape motives also increase… if escape is not a possibility, aggressive behaviours are displayed.” In other words, as the temperature rises, people get more stressed out and aggressive, and if commuters can’t leave because they’re stuck in traffic, road rage incidents become more likely.
Keeping streets clear of obstructions so traffic can keep moving can help indirectly prevent some outbursts from happening. At the very least, you’re removing a major stress factor from the commute.
5: For the Sake of Your Drivers
You municipal workers don’t like being stuck in traffic under the hot sun any more than your commuters. By using GPS tracking to optimize operations, you can minimize the amount of time your drivers spend sitting still in the summer sun and maximize the time they spend in motion.
This can help to reduce the stress factor of the summer heat for street sweepers in addition to making them more efficient at clearing street debris. Additionally, with GPS vehicle tracking, if a vehicle gets stuck for any reason, you can send assistance straight to the vehicle’s last known GPS location, minimizing the time delay for help to arrive.
There are a lot of reasons to use GPS tracking for municipal maintenance vehicles, which makes GPS invaluable for any municipality.
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