Press Coverage

Council takes action to target 'sticky situation'

Harlow Council

Preventative measures to stop chewing gum messing up the town's streets are being tried out by Harlow Council.

On Friday (10 March) the Council installed the town's first ever gum target (a hard backed poster for people to stick their used gum on) at Coppice Hatch. The Council has been scrubbing chewing gum off paths in shopping hatches as part of its town-wide campaign Together We Can... Clean Up Our Town.

The Council is asking local residents to stop dropping, spitting and sticking gum where it shouldn't be. Chewing gum is now classed as litter and anyone seen dropping or spitting gum on the streets could be issued with a £50 fixed penalty notice. As part of the preventative programme the Council will also use the Crucial Crew event on 17 March to educate year 6 children on the problem and give out 1,100 special gum pouches.

Councillor Eleanor Macy, Chair of the Council's Environment & Community Committee, says: "We all know how irritating it is to get chewing gum stuck on your shoes or clothes. Trodden in gum stains pavements and makes them look grubby. Removing gum is also labour intensive as our routine street cleaning doesn't get rid of it so we have to use specialist jet washing equipment. People need to work with us on this as they are the ones who end up paying the clean up bill."

Councillor Kevin Brooks, Joint Leader of the Council, adds: "Nationally gum along with cigarette butts and food related litter all contribute to making our streets dirty. Gum is becoming a sticky problem for Councils because it's making their work harder and more expensive to keep streets looking clean. Preventing the problem is all part of Harlow Council's crusade to clean up the town's streets, which is a top priority for local people."

Photo shows Councillors Brooks and Macy with Paul Anderson (Community Safety Manager) in Coppice Hatch with the new gum target.

Chewing Gum Target

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