William Eichler 18 April 2017

Councils call on chewing gum industry to pay for clear-up costs

Council chiefs are calling on chewing gum manufacturers to contribute to the £60m annual gum removal cost to councils.

Recent research by Keep Britain Tidy found 99% of main shopping streets and 64% of all roads and pavements are stained by chewing gum.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said money from gum manufacturers would enable stretched councils to fill in many potholes and help tackle the £14bn pothole repair bill.

The average piece of gum costs about 3p to buy, but up to 50 times that to clean up per square metre (£1.50). Most chewing gum is not biodegradable and once it is trodden into the pavement this requires specialised equipment to remove.

Gum manufacturers should also be switching to biodegradable and easier-to-remove chewing gum, the LGA said.

‘Chewing gum is a plague on our pavements. It’s ugly, it’s unsightly and it’s unacceptable,’ LGA environment spokesperson Cllr Judith Blake said.

‘At a time when councils face considerable ongoing funding pressures, this is a growing cost pressure they could do without.’

‘It is therefore reasonable to expect chewing gum manufacturers to help more, both by switching to biodegradable gum and by contributing to the cost of clearing it up,’ she continued.

‘While awareness campaigns the industry is involved in have some value, they are not enough by themselves. The industry needs to go a lot further, faster, in tackling this issue.

‘Councils have no legal obligation to clear up the gum. They do it for the benefit of their shoppers, town centre users, businesses and residents; to make the pavements more attractive and the environment better.

‘Councils want to work with the industry to find solutions to this ongoing problem.’

Can local government take much more? image

Can local government take much more?

Dr Andrew Walker, head of Research, LGIU reflects on the Autumn Statement and asks: what might it take for the Government to pay attention to local authorities?
Getting the most out of LGPS funds  image

Getting the most out of LGPS funds

Isio partner and Public Services leader Steve Simkins reflects on the Autumn Statement announcement of a surprise Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) target.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Highway Technician

Wiltshire Council
£29,269 - £31,364
Highway and Transport Services – Enhancing Lives, Building Communities Wiltshire
Recuriter: Wiltshire Council

EV Infrastructure Delivery Officer

Wiltshire Council
£32,076 - £33,945
Sustainable Transport – Decarbonising the Future Wiltshire
Recuriter: Wiltshire Council

Air Quality Officer

Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Council
£31,440 - £49,083 (subject to Pay Award pay scales)
Joining us, you get to work for not just one high performing London Borough, but two. Kingston Upon Thames (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Council

Domestic Assistant

Wakefield Council
£12,290.27 - £12,494.05, Grade 3, 20 hours, Permanent
We are recruiting a 20 hour Domestic Assistant to join us at Hazel Garth care home. Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Wakefield Council

Street Cleansing Driver / Operative (Pavement Sweeper)

Wakefield Council
£24,294 - £25,979, Grade 5, 37 hours, Permanent
The post holder will be part of a Street Scene Team to deliver a high quality citizen focused Street Scene service Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Wakefield Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.