Street Cleaning

Street Sweeper - Downtown San MateoWe are dedicated to keeping San Mateo beautiful and that includes cleaning our streets. 

Public Works maintains a robust street cleaning schedule that recently included improvements to the street cleaning program. 

While the work is traditionally known as "street sweeping," our trucks are actually vacuuming the street. We use Regenerative Air Sweepers that vacuum up particles rather than brushing them into a holding chamber. We use these vacuums because it is the most efficient way to get the invisible particulate matter from automobiles out of the street, and keep it out of the storm water drain system as we are required to do by state and federal law.


Keeping our streets clean benefits our citizens and business owners beyond the attractive aesthetics of a well-kept city. Street cleaning is also the collection and removal of small amounts of trash, leaves, and other visible debris that collect in gutters and is otherwise swept to the Bay. Street cleaning is also the removal of metal particles and other hazardous waste left by passing vehicles. 

How it Works

Street Sweeping - Broom Up and DownYou might see our street cleaning trucks with a broom down or a broom up. 

Broom down signifies that it is vacuuming the streets on a specific path based on what day of the week it is. 

When the broom is up, the truck is moving to its next destination. The truck could have already swept in the area when you see its broom up, or will be sweeping in the location on a different day. Ultimately, if a street sweeper’s broom is up, that does not indicate that that area will not be swept.

Learn more about residential street cleaning, or business area street cleaning. 

Help Keep Our City Clean

Every citizen can help keep our City clean by disposing of garbage in the proper receptacles. Separate garbage into the corresponding Recycling, Compost, and Waste (landfill) bins, and make sure the bin lids are securely closed to stop trash from escaping.