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The financial impact of professional street cleaning

06 November 2020

There are a variety of waste elements that must be removed from footpaths and streets to protect the public from different forms of health hazards. Tom Colgan explores the challenges and the impact on cities throughout the country.

HAVE YOU ever visited a city full of buildings with graffiti and unattractive piles of rubbish covering the streets? You probably felt some sort of repulse, regardless of how attractive the rest of the city was. 

Street cleaning is one of the most vital municipal duties required, yet it is one of the least discussed services out there. A city without a professional street cleaning service affects the financial stability of local businesses and poses a threat to the health of all local citizens, putting them at risk of contracting both dirt-borne and bloodborne diseases. Dirty pavements also create a slippery surface for pedestrians, particularly the more vulnerable members of our society.

The power behind street cleaning
The global pandemic has highlighted the importance of all public areas adhering to strict cleaning standards. However, each street faces its own unique set of challenges that must be considered to protect the health and safety of the public, including any workers or technicians within the vicinity. The type of stone or brick being cleaned will determine the type of cleaning method, products and technologies required to complete the job.

For over 10 years, ICE has provided the nation with an effective street cleaning service available to all. The visual appearance of your community has an enormous financial impact on both house prices and your local high streets. As well as promoting community pride, clean streets entice tourists to not only visit the area, but also return. This will have a positive knock-on effect whereby house prices will rise and high streets will flourish as the community becomes a desirable place to live. Clean, hygienic areas serve incredibly well as deterrents to prevent anti-social behaviours, such as littering or spraying graffiti. 

There are a variety of waste elements that must be removed from footpaths and streets to protect the public from different forms of health hazards. One of the most significant contributors to creating an unsightly and hazardous area is chewing gum. 

Chewing gum is difficult to eradicate from all types of surfaces including pavements, buildings and sculptures. Did you know that the harmful microorganisms found on a piece of chewing gum remain active for multiple days after it has been discarded? 

Bloodborne pathogens in chewing gum
Chewing gum has become an absolute plague on Britain’s streets.  According to the BBC, it can cost your council up to an incredible £60 million a year to professionally remove all forms of chewing gum from brick and stone surfaces.  Keeping our streets, footpaths and roads clean is a crucial part of maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for both residents and visitors.  

Chewing gum is full of micro, and bloodborne, pathogens which can lead to severe health issues. According to News Medical, a single piece of chewing gum can contain up to 10 million thriving bacteria per gram. Most of us have fallen victim to stepping in chewing gum at some point in our lives, or even worse, accidentally touching it under a desk. If only you could see all the bacteria you then walked into your house, or touched on other surfaces, you’d realise just how easily these bacteria particles spread. This is why it is essential that all forms of gum are correctly disposed of, to ensure that both our high streets and our health are never compromised. 

Gum is a non-biodegradable product which festers into the pores of any material it falls on, making it virtually impossible to remove without specialist equipment. Once a city begins to look uncared for, it usually isn’t long before antisocial behaviour arises. Luckily, our ICE technicians are on hand with the latest industry-leading technology; a non-abrasive, environmentally friendly specialist piece of equipment that restores all surfaces to their original gleaming state. 

Anti-social behaviour associated with graffiti
Street cleaning services play a significant role in eradicating all forms of graffiti throughout towns and cities. It is widely known that when graffiti begins to appear on the sides of business buildings, within car parks and on bus stops, the negative attraction encourages other behaviour to arise and is used to attract additional potential perpetrators. The build-up of graffiti in public spaces, such as buildings, car parks and bus stops, attracts negative attention and encourages other anti-social behaviours.  Graffiti is an illegal activity that - if not dealt with promptly - can turn a warm community into an area to avoid.  

The repercussions of graffiti can have a monumental negative impact on the surrounding local businesses, high streets and property value. Not only does it create a hostile atmosphere within the community, the chemicals found in graffiti paint spray can be toxic to both human health and the environment.   The paint emits fumes into the air which contribute towards global warming.   In terms of health, these toxins may linger in the air for long periods of time and can be also absorbed through the skin. Sufferers of asthma or respiratory conditions should be especially careful not to inhale.

Rethinking our relationships with clients during lockdown
Customers have always been, and will always be, at the centre of our business. With this in mind, we’ve made sure our technicians are available to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  With the current climate being so uncertain, we aim to create a bespoke plan for each client to ensure that we can complete the necessary service in the most effective way, causing minimal disturbance during your peak business hours.

Each of our ICE technicians have been thoroughly trained to perform our services to the best of their ability.  The health and safety of our technicians and the public is our number one priority, which is why we will always arrive on-site in the correct PPE and follow the necessary health and safety regulations.

Protecting the public
When a street cleaning service is in progress, there are a variety of health and safety factors to consider regarding the safety of the public. Ultimately, the type of substance being cleaned will determine the safety precautions put in place.

Case Study 1 – War memorial 

Our team were recently called out to perform a deep cleaning service on a war memorial in Eton. With Remembrance Day soon approaching, our customers requested the services of our highly skilled technicians to safely transform the monument using the latest industry technology.

With the help of the state of the art Torik stone cleaning system, ICE technicians managed to bring the war memorial back to life. The gentle, non-abrasive system works by producing a controllable stream of low pressure, superheated water and steam which quickly removes substances such as dirt, mould, algae and fungi. 

The solution also kills any spores, eliminating the source of biological growth and preventing it from growing back - all without the use of harsh chemicals. 

Over the years, our IPAF qualified team of technicians have been trusted with cleaning some of the most important buildings in the country. Transforming such buildings not only improves the overall appearance of the area, but also creates a sense of community pride. 

Case Study 2 – Disinfecting high footfall areas
Public spaces such as commercial car parks, outdoor shopping centres and business buildings are all high footfall areas.  These allow for an array of general dirt, grime, bird droppings, graffiti and gum to fester and build up over time, creating an unappealing, unhygienic space that the public will begin to avoid. 

With COVID-19 affecting businesses worldwide, ensuring customers feel safe and secure when travelling is essential to keep your business booming. Creating a clean, well-lit, thoroughly sanitised public area will increase trade by communicating to potential customers and business clients that you care about their well-being and safety. 

Final thoughts
Nobody wants their city to suffer financially because of dirty streets. Ensure your city is kept clean by using ICE street cleaning services. We are a nationwide company, meaning regardless of your location, we can get to you within 60 minutes. Whether you are after a periodic clean or a one-off clean, we are here for you.

Tom Colgan is marketing manager at ICE Cleaning Solutions

For more information visit www.ice-cleaning.com