Bid to beat a sticky problem

GUM WARS: Gum Clear's managing director Martin Whitbread, left, demonstrates the street cleansing machine's capabilities to Douglas councillor David Ashford and council leader David Christian

GUM WARS: Gum Clear's managing director Martin Whitbread, left, demonstrates the street cleansing machine's capabilities to Douglas councillor David Ashford and council leader David Christian

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DOUGLAS Council has spent £120,000 on a machine to remove chewing gum from the streets and pavements of the capital.

The machine removes chewing gum in a revolutionary way.

The Gum Clear ‘recapture, recycle’ unit delivers high-pressure, high-temperature water to pavements removing chewing gum and stains, together with other litter, then recycles the dirty water and leaves surfaces dry.

No chemicals are used and no damage to pavement grouting is caused.

Council leader David Christian said the regeneration of Douglas town centre was the council’s ‘number one priority’.

‘We have already invested some £2m in revitalising the North Quay and have made further financial provision to regenerate the main areas of the town centre,’ he said.

‘However regeneration will stand for nothing if it is compromised by dirty pavements blighted by chewing gum, other litter and graffiti.’

He added: ‘While all eyes will be on Douglas this September during the Commonwealth Youth Games it is important that the town portrays a clean and tidy image year round.

‘Hopefully the machine’s high visibility may also help promote greater environmental awareness among the general public and drive home the message that the council cannot succeed alone; it is up to everyone to act responsibly to help keep the streets of Douglas and the Isle of Man clean.’

Gum Clear was recognised in the Chartered Institution for Wastes Management environmental excellence awards last year.

The equipment recaptures some 97 per cent of the hot water used, saving water and the energy required to heat it. The recapture and recycle process allows water to be heated to 100C.

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