Published Friday, October 12, 2012
By JOHN A. WINTERS
Not many people see Bryan Anderson on his thrice-weekly route through downtown Newnan.
While most people are just starting to wake up, Anderson’s been on the job for hours. And while you may not see him, you see his work.
He drives one of the city Public Works Department’s street sweepers, and every Monday, Wednesday and Friday he’s up and hitting the downtown streets around 4:30 a.m.
“Anything that can fall off the back of a pickup, I’ve picked up,” he joked. “Broken toys, tools, regular trash, just about anything.”
One time the sweeper hit a box full of nails, shooting them all over the street.
“I was out there quite a while trying to pull them out of my tires and making sure no one else would hit them,” he said. But his favorite time of the year is the fall, when leaves cover the streets.
“It’s like driving through a forest,” he recalled.
On Mondays and Wednesdays, he spends about two-and-a-half hours sweeping downtown. On Fridays, the day is extended as they take the sweeper down Bullsboro Drive to around Greison Trail. The other two days are spent cleaning the rest of the city streets.
On an average week, two sweepers the department has will pick up somewhere around five tons of trash, which is then taken to the Newnan Transfer Station.
“We are required to do all the streets twice a year as part of our storm water management plan,” said City Engineer Michael Klahr. “We do it for two reasons, the first is aesthetics and the second is we are required to.”
That second reason helps the city keep debris and other pollutants like motor oil and chemicals out of the city’s stormwater sewer and drainage systems.
Klahr said the city actually hits all the streets three times a year.
“Our regular route is to sweep all streets that have curb and gutters,” he said. “We work by zones and it takes about three to four months to get through the city.”
The city is hoping to get a new sweeper next year to replace an older model. The new one is budgeted at $180,000 and will use a different process that is supposed to be quieter.