Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Chewing Gum - What can be done?

I’ve had a complaint from a local resident about the discarded chewing gum which speckles our streets. He compares us unfavourably with Denmark (where he has been living till recently), correctly saying that not only is it unsightly but also a health hazard. He was under the impression that the Borough Council is doing nothing about chewing gum – which is not the case. So I’ve got this update from Andy Rutherford at CMBC Green & Clean:

“Since the middle of February 2008, both the Morpeth Market Place and Merton Way shopping centre have been cleansed of chewing gum using the ‘gum buster’ machine. However we recognise that this machine is very slow and very labour intensive, so a rethink has been required to try and improve the performance and overall output. In addition to those issues the machine is becoming very unreliable with much time being spent in the workshops as many of the parts have become corroded over time.

“Green and Clean have now purchased a towable machine that removes graffiti and chewing gum as well as doubling up as a water bowser too. The machine enables a jet blast of bicarbonate of soda and very small aluminium particles to apply to hard surfaces ranging from sandstone, brick, metal or general masonry to effectively remove paint or gum substances. [Nic says: Hope the Market Place yorkstone flags can withstand the abrasion!]. Once the machine has been delivered there will be another program of gum removal in Morpeth Market Place and the main pavements in Bridge & Newgate Street
“Green and Clean are also going to pilot a product called ‘Gumm Shield’ which is a clear gel that can be painted onto pavements or sandstone and stops things such as chewing gum from sticking to them. It is hoped that this will provide a more permanent solution to the problem in future. However, we will see how effective this product is before we purchase any bulk quantities to apply to all high profile footpaths in the centre of Morpeth and Ponteland.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment on the york stone and abrasion in Morpeth. The current methods will simply not work are too aggressive.
I run Hydroexcel in Morpeth, a cleaning company who specialise in chewing gum and graffitti removal. We are currently working with sunderland and wansbeck council, Newcastle university, Orbit property management, McDonalds, JD Wetherspoons and various schools over the North. The method we use not only removes the chewing gum gum, it also cleans the whole area making it look new again. So no "clean specs" are seen. Concrete, stone and even tarmac surfaces can be covered.
In addition to being contract cleaners we also bespoke cleaning systems and sell cleaning equipment to the public and other companies.
A. Hall. Contracts manager.