Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Streetwise team will tackle chewing gum hot spots in the coming weeks with an initial focus on the Borough’s larger towns and villages.
The Authority recently received £25,000 from the Chewing Gum Task Force, administered by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, enabling the Streetwise team to extend their work to prevent the sticky issue of chewing gum litter.
The funding has enabled the purchase of three electric eco-friendly gum removal machines that will safely remove chewing gum whilst being kinder to the environment.
The team will use the new equipment to safely remove gum on the local streets in Bingham, Cotgrave, East Leake, Keyworth, Ruddington, Radcliffe on Trent and West Bridgford town centres from next week.
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environment and Safety Cllr Rob Inglis said: “We welcome this new £25,000 funding that has enabled us to put plans in place to further clean our streets and encourage behaviour change to prevent gum litter.
“Our Streetwise cleansing team are fully trained in using the new gum removal equipment and are ready to start further work to clear areas that are spoilt by chewing gum as part of our campaign with Chewing Gum Task Force and Keep Britain Tidy.
“Our three new eco-friendly gum removal machines are a fantastic asset for our cleansing team. The machines are fully electric which aligns with our Carbon Clever priorities to further protect the environment.
“We can all agree chewing gum creates an eyesore and it can stick to footwear and clothing, and we want to encourage people to bin their gum, there are no excuses.
“We are also implementing specially designed signage in hot spots across the Borough to encourage people to bin their gum. Littering of any sort is not acceptable and we want to see a change to keep our streets clean and even tidier.”
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Streetwise Manager Luke Colaluca added: “This is the first year Rushcliffe has applied for the funding and we are delighted to receive the full £25,000 available.
“We are looking forward to delivering this project as it’s one that we hope local residents and business can relate to.
“A huge thank you to Keep Britain Tidy and the Chewing Gum Task Force, as well as Eco Removal Solutions for providing the new equipment and training for our staff.”
The Council is one of 56 across the country that have successfully applied to the Chewing Gum Task Force, now in its second year, for funds to clean gum off pavements and prevent it from being littered again.
Established by Defra and run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, the Chewing Gum Task Force Grant Scheme is open to councils across the UK who wish to clean up gum in their local areas and invest in long-term behaviour change to prevent gum from being dropped in the first place.
The Task Force is funded by major gum manufacturers including Mars Wrigley and Perfetti Van Melle, with the investment spread over five years. This year the selected councils will receive funding totalling more than £1.2 million.
Monitoring and evaluation carried out by Behaviour Change has shown that in areas that benefitted last year a reduced rate of gum littering is still being observed six months after clean-up and the installation of prevention materials.