Albany gets swept away

It takes a lot of concentration for these guys to operate a street sweeper efficiently and look out for traffic at the same time / Ashley Knight

They're people you don't normally notice until you have to drive around them in traffic, but their job is very essential to the well-being of the community.

They are the City of Albany's Public Works Street Sweepers.

Public Works operates seven sweepers that cost around $130,000 eachâ"much more than your average push broom.

There are over 550 miles of streets in Albany and street sweepers with Public Works tackle each and every one of them--that's 60,000 miles a year. To Street Superintendent Stacey Rowe, it's a matter of pride.

"When visitors come in to town and they see the trash and all, it just makes Albany look bad and we do all we can to try and keep it clean," says Rowe.

And operating a sweeper is not as easy as you might think.

"You're in traffic, trying to watch that, watching parked cars and other obstacles. It's a full time job just trying to be safe, let alone get up the debris."

And you can imagine littler bugs really bug these guys, causing back-up problems with the pumps.

"Any extra debris that just doesn't naturally fall in the streets, I mean that's just an added problem," adds Rowe.

So next time you think about littering, think about the city and the work these guys do every day.