$ 500,000 blasts gum prob­lem

Central Leader - - News - By Rhi­an­non Hor­rell

Auck­land ratepay­ers are fork­ing out al­most half a mil­lion dol­lars a year to fund chew­ing gum re­moval from city foot­paths.

Auck­land City Coun­cil arts, cul­ture and recre­ation com­mit­tee chair­man Greg Moyle says the coun­cil pro­vides a ser­vice to all ma­jor com­mer­cial cen­tres through­out the city as part of a foot­path clean­ing and main­te­nance pro- gramme. The work uses hot wa­ter and steam to re­move the gum.

“The coun­cil is cur­rently re­mov­ing chew­ing gum from the foot­paths sur­round­ing One­hunga Mall to ad­dress con­cerns of the One­hunga Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion.”

He says the work should be fin­ished this month and it is car­ried out at night.

Mr Moyle says it is the first round of a reg­u­lar pro­gramme that has been put in place to main­tain high stan­dards within the pedes­trian area.

One­hunga Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion town man­ager Amanda Kinzett says the foot­paths have been an is­sue for a long time.

“We have missed out on a lot of streetscap­ing. Gum makes the place look dirty and tacky.”

She is start­ing a cam­paign to clean up One­hunga’s streets and would like to stop peo­ple leav­ing their chew­ing gum be­hind. Ms Kinzett would like to take the cam­paign into lo­cal schools.

Con­trac­tor Gino Dicecca of Eco Main­te­nance says the work is fairly straight­for­ward.

“The process is chem­i­cal free. We use a wa­terblaster at low pres­sure and high tem­per­a­ture.”

He says there can be pit­ting in the con­crete sur­face.

“This is the first time we have re­moved gum from as­phalt. Some of the gum has been there 12 to 14 years – it is well and truly there. It is dif­fi­cult to get out.”

He says once the work has set­tled down, they will blacken the paths again – “It will neaten it up.”

The foot­path clean­ing and main­te­nance pro­gramme in­cludes me­chan­i­cal sweep­ing and scrub­bing, lit­ter col­lec­tions, graf­fiti re­moval, tree and gar­den main­te­nance and chew­ing gum re­moval.

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