November 13th, 2023
Keep Britain Tidy Chewing Gum Task Force Protects Leeds Pavements with Pave-Saver
Chewing Gum Task Force Tackles Leeds City Centre
In the spring of 2023, Leeds City Council received £24,994.50 of funding from the Keep Britain Tidy Chewing Gum Task Force. The funding was granted in order to help the council introduce new measures to tackle the sticky problem of discarded chewing gum in the city centre.
The Chewing Gum Task Force brings together some of the UK’s major chewing gum producers in a partnership to help remove chewing gum litter from UK high streets and prevent future littering. The scheme, which is administered by independent charity Keep Britain Tidy, sees the chewing gum producers invest up to £10 million over the next five years to achieve two objectives. Firstly the scheme aims to clean up historic gum staining around the country. The second aim is to change behaviours, encouraging more people to discard their chewing gum in the bin, not on the streets.
Leeds city centre attracts over 112,000 residents, visitors and workers each day. This figure jumps to over 150,000 at the weekend. The city centre area has a thriving night-time economy which includes clubs, bars and fast food restaurants. This mix of business types and visitor types results in a range of chewing gum litter hotspots. These hotspots typically occur in areas where people tend to dwell for a period time, particularly around fast food outlets, benches and public transport hubs.
Leeds City Council wanted a solution that provided a clean and welcoming pavement. One that is easier to keep clean, which in turn would improve their Street Cleansing Team’s productivity. So when The Go-Gum Group were asked to consult, we advised the application of our innovative surface protection product, Pave-Saver.
Pave-Saver helps protect surfaces from discarded chewing gum staining and helps them remain clean by repelling water, airborne dirt, acid rain, smog, industrial pollutants, oil and grease, dust and organic growth (lichens & moss). Due to its exceptional penetration and stain repellent properties, Pave-Saver is ideally suited to the protection of paving surfaces that are subjected to heavy foot traffic.
We were contracted to undertake deep cleaning and surface protection to two city centre locations, covering a total of 4,385m2. After assessing local business trading hours, we despatched two cleaning operatives equipped with a Lanceman DiBO Chewing Gum Removal Machine and low-pressure spray unit. Flexibly working day and night shifts, our specialist team cordoned themselves off, working in smaller, more manageable areas, to minimise the disruption to pedestrians and nearby businesses.
Leeds City Council has also installed special signage aimed at changing behaviours by urging people to think twice about dropping gum whilst in the city centre.
Commenting on the Leeds project, Go-Gum Group Managing Director Rob Dixon said: “Being able to work flexible hours to best suit the local businesses and their patrons, helped keep the city centre accessible at all times. With minimal disruption, our team was able to complete the pavement deep clean and Pave-Saver application without any issues. Working as an extended part of the Keep Britain Tidy Chewing Gum Task Force has been a privilege and one we hope to repeat elsewhere in the country.”