Tools boost Groundwerx ops

Groundwerx continues to upgrade its equipment and systems for maximum efficiency, adding two all-terrain litter vacuums (ATLV) and a new free downloadable app for smart phones.

“With more people downtown, more has to be cleaned,” said Chloe Verrey, operations manager.  “We’re improving operations so that Groundwerx staff has more time to do more intensive cleaning.”

ATLVs will be used year-round and most welcome during leaf-drop season.  The vehicles have three speeds – turtle, rabbit and double rabbit – that range from 5 to 16 miles per hour.  A Groundwerx cleaner pushing a cart takes about 18 minutes to get from Third and St. John streets to South First and Reed streets; six minutes is all it takes on a littler vacuum, Verrey said.

The motorized vacuum also has a secondary arm for spot-cleaning or simultaneous sidewalk and gutter
cleansing.  The sound produced is similar to the pressure-washers also used by Groundwerx.

The new Groundwerx Everywhere app, available for free from the Apple store and Google Play, connects to the system Groundwerx uses to respond to calls and cleaning orders from supervisors in real time.

“We eliminate the middle person who takes messages and then has to connect with the Clean Team,” Verrey said.

The app improves interaction with community stakeholders and response time, she added.  The app also allows Groundwerx to push information such as traffic jams and street closures to users.

Groundwerx introduced in May a mobile kiosk that is actually a custom-built cargo bike that resembles an ice cream cart, which is used by ambassadors to disseminate information at special events.  

In September, the Clean Team introduced a tricycle-mounted pressure washer that is much easier to maneuver in tight places and is effective for smaller spills.