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The Gum Removal Chapter

Gumwand are here to tell us how they're moving forward in the fight for cleaner high streets, as more and more towns invest in the gum removal wonder.

Discarded chewing gum trodden into the street is universally hated in towns and cities, yet all but the most expensive and chemical-hungry cleaning methods fail to remove the tacky substance because of how stubbornly it sticks to pavements. Each piece can stay put for many years, which is why the problem of litter accumulation is so prevalent if not tackled regularly.

Thanks to an innovative new chewing gum removal machine, cleaning high streets of unsightly blotches on the pavements has become easy and inexpensive. Gumwand removes flattened gum in a matter of seconds, at a cost of less than 1p per piece of gum. Plus, it doesn’t require trailing cables or noisy generators, like so many of the traditional jet washing methods. Instead, it uses sustainable detergents that break down the hard gum and can simply be brushed away.

A British-owned invention, Gumwand is an environmentally-friendly wand which combines steam and ‘green’ detergents safely, to remove chewing gum at a fraction of the cost. With over a decade in the chewing gum removals business, Gumwand’s inventors first dreamed up this revolutionary new product in 2011, and have invested over £0.5million in its development.

Leading the way to cleaner streets, the Borough of Poole has recently bought a Gumwand machine from

a local distributor, and hopes to pave the way to a cleaner high street. Shaun Robson, Head of Environmental and Consumer Protection Services at the Borough of Poole, said: “We are dedicated to changing the attitudes of people who drop gum, and are working hard to promote and encourage its correct disposal.

“As a way of encouraging people to stop dropping gum litter, we’ve bought a Gumwand to eradicate the litter that is already on the street. We’ve had the machine for around two months now, and have been very impressed with the difference it has already made. Our staff are able to remove unsightly chewing gum from Poole’s streets quickly and easily.”

Gumwand operator in Poole, Steve Howl, explained: “Before we had the Gumwand, we would cordon off a big area and jet wash the whole lot. It’s time consuming, expensive, disruptive to shoppers and you need a source of water.”

Jet washing is typically damaging to the surface, leaving wear and tear that is not necessary by dislodging dirt and debris, and creating flakes and concrete spalls. Gumwand uses ‘green’ detergents and steam to break down the gum leaving a powder, which can simply be brushed away, which has significant additional benefits to maintaining street infrastructure.

The Borough of Poole is not the only town looking to clean up its act either; following a £142.3million contract with Veolia Environment, Britain’s largest borough Brent is now using two Gumwand machines to tackle its gum litter problem. Two London shopping centres are amongst a growing number adopting the gum-removal machine, as is Wembley stadium, a site which often suffers from the nervous gum habits of fans and managers alike.

Jared Brading, Managing Director of Gumwand, commented: “We’ve had an enormous response from high streets across the country wanting to call themselves the first gum-free town, and we are keen to help.”

The Revive & Thrive Challenge supports the cleaning of high streets, and Gumwand has donated a machine and training to the winning town or city. The challenge looks to unite communities through a better high street, with prizes from a variety of private companies, from gum removal to window dressers and design consultants and workshops. It hopes to make high streets more enjoyable for both residents and businesses.


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