The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) today announced that it is extending its annual street sweeping season until December 8. A fleet of 50 sweepers will remain in each ward to help clear away the fall leaves and debris from residential streets prior to the winter season. “The recent snow storm that passed through Chicago brought with it winds that knocked down large amounts of leaves,” said DSS Commissioner Charles L. Williams. “The extended sweeping operations will allow crews to continue cleaning residential streets until we switch over to our full winter operations."
The Chicago street sweeping season typically ends each year on the Friday prior to Thanksgiving. The extended sweeping operations will allow crews to continue cleaning alleys, streets and catch basins until December 8, when the Department transitions to its winter sweeping operations. During the winter, approximately 20 sweepers remain available citywide to assist with major cleanups along Chicago’s arterial routes. “It is important to clear leaves and debris from catch basin openings before winter settles in,” said Department of Water Management Commissioner Randy Conner. “The additional weeks of sweeping will help make sure that the flow of melting snow into the catch basins isn’t blocked to help prevent the build-up of ice on city streets.”
In 2017, milder conditions allowed DSS to continue street cleaning along curb lanes, center lanes and viaducts during the winter months. In January, DSS swept approximately 4,400 miles compared to 275 miles in January 2016. In February, DSS swept 6,000 miles compared to 1,500 miles in February 2016.