28th Oct, 2016

Unique scheme to tackle Evesham's sticky streets

Aaron Wise 12th Jun, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A UNIQUE £20,000 scheme to tackle discarded chewing gum and cigarette butts is being rolled out in the heart of Evesham

Special chewing gum recycling bins were installed around the town centre during the launch in Market Square last Friday (June 5) of a clean up campaign by Wychavon District Council.

The scheme, the first of its kind in Worcestershire, will also work on ridding Evesham of cigarette ends and discarded plastics along with the gum, which is predicted to take up to six months as each piece needs to be individually steamed from the pavement using specialist equipment.

State of the art machinery will blast away 70,000 pieces of gum stuck to the town’s streets while Vale residents have been encouraged to play their part in keeping Evesham tidy by putting chewing gum into one of the recycling bins.

The new bubblegum scented pink recycling bins, produced by Gumdrop Ltd, have been installed along Bridge Street and High Street and once full will be sent off and the used gum will be turned into other plastic products such as wellington boots, mobile phone covers, packaging and stationery.

Coun Emma Stokes said: “We want Evesham to look its best so it remains an attractive place for people to shop in and visit.

“We’re doing all we can, but we need the help of the public as well. Our message is simple, don’t drop it, bin it.

“The campaign has been brought to our attention by the public, we have always listened to people in Evesham and when they pointed this out to us we looked and we thought we will do something about it.

“What we can’t expect people to do is pick up the pieces of gum or cigarette ends, that’s just beyond comprehension, so really we want people to stop littering in the first place and not expect other people to clean up after them. It’s being responsible for your own actions.”

Mini key ring chewing gum recycling bins were also handed out during the launch which will not only make it easier for people to dispose of their gum but could win them money as FCC Environment Ltd, Wychavon’s street cleaning contractors, is sponsoring the give away of 500 of the portable bins as well as a £150 prize.

To enter the competition people need to place their full key ring bins in the special drop box at Evesham Community Contact Centre where a winner will be drawn at random on August, 31.

Residents are being urged to show their support for the campaign by sharing anti-littering messages on social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook, with the hashtags #chewitbinit and #binyourbutt.