Keeping the streets of Falmouth shipshape is a challenge at the best of times given its sprawling geography, its pre-eminence as a popular tourist destination and its outstanding natural environment but the problem of discarded chewing gum is a particular scourge that the town council is determined to do something about.
In response to concerns from local residents about levels of general detritus, the town council is trialling a new machine that heats up the discarded gum and dissolves it.
“Although the process of removal is intensive and takes quite a long time, it is our aim to gradually eradicate this problem by focusing on one area of the town at a time,” comments Town Manager, Richard Gates. “Chewing gum removal has not taken place for many years and in the past the machines for the job were not very effective. By the time technology had improved them, there was no longer the budget to invest in them at county level. Falmouth Town Council has now stepped in and negotiated a cost-effective deal to test, hire and then purchase this new, high tech machine. Although it is early days, we are impressed with the impact it is making so far.”
Jonathan Wilkinson from the town council’s Grounds team operates the machine and finds that it is making a real difference to the townscape. “It not only helps to make Falmouth an even more beautiful place, but also utilises chemical-free technology. We have already received positive comments from local businesses and ask residents to be patient as we work our way through the town to try and keep on top of this important matter of street hygiene.”
“This is yet another example of the town council listening to local people and making sure that budget is available for things that really matter to them,” added Town Mayor, Grenville Chappell. “By working in partnership with Cornwall Council and Cory to keep our streets as clean as possible, we are enhancing the resident and visitor experience. Obviously, we would prefer it if people discarded their gum in one of the many litter bins that we provide, but if we work together to show that the town takes this problem seriously then hopefully, we will all benefit in the longer term.”