Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cleansing Team is joining forces with volunteers from the Keynsham Wombles to clear discarded chewing gum and litter from a walkway in the town centre.
The council will use a jet wash to remove chewing gum from the path between the Ashton Way Car Park and the High Street. Volunteers from Keynsham Wombles will be helping by directing the public and sweeping up as the work progresses.
The work’s being carried on Sunday 10 February to coincide with the installation of a new GumDrop Bin at the entrance to the walkway. The bin is being provided by the Wombles on a year’s trial basis with funding support from Keynsham Town Council.
Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for Development and Neighbourhoods, said: “This is a fantastic example of the council working with the community to address local concerns. Conventional chewing gum is not biodegradable and thoughtlessly discarded gum is unsightly and unacceptable. I congratulate the Wombles on their brilliant work helping to keeping Keynsham free of litter and am pleased we’ve been able to help them in their efforts. I hope the GumDrop bin they are installing encourages people to dispose of their gum responsibly.”
The bright pink GumDrop bin can hold up to 500 pieces of gum. Once full the used gum is recycled into items such as coffee mugs, lunch boxes, wellington boots and new GumDrop bins.
Erica Davies, Founder of the Keynsham Wombles, said “Chewing gum litter is a significant problem because it is so difficult to remove. Not only is it a nuisance if we accidentally step in it, but it contributes to microplastic pollution as it slowly breaks into smaller pieces. We are grateful to both Keynsham Town Council for providing some money towards the cost of the bin, and to B&NES for cleaning the existing gum in the area which will enable us to properly assess whether the cost of the bin is justifiable for future years. I hope the bright pink bin will not only get lots of use, but will generate debate about the problems and solutions to litter in our community.”
The Keynsham Wombles were formed in 2010 having been inspired to keep the town free of litter by the 1970’s furry children’s television characters ‘The Wombles’. The group now boasts more than 200 volunteers who either litter pick an area they have adopted on their own or come together at a community litter pick.