Tackling the sticky issue of street gum | Sevenoaks District Council

Tackling the sticky issue of street gum

Published: Tuesday, 29th August 2023

Sevenoaks District Council has secured a further £25,000 to remove chewing gum stuck to the pavements of Swanley and Westerham.

The Council were just one of 56 councils that successfully applied for funding from the Chewing Gum Task Force, administered by Keep Britain Tidy and funded by the major gum manufacturers.

The funding is being used to remove the gum using a new ‘Ecogum’ machine, an electronic, rechargeable unit that allows gum to be eliminated from any surface in a few seconds. It only uses hot water, a biodegradable sugar-based solution and a bit of elbow grease.

The funding is also being used to put up new signs to encourage the public to put their gum in the bin or face the possibility of a fine and a deep clean of both areas.

Last year, the Council secured £20,000 from the same fund to clean the streets of Sevenoaks and Edenbridge and to put in place new preventative signs.

Cllr Margot McArthur, our Cabinet Member for Cleaner and Greener, says: “While we encourage residents to put their gum in the bin, sadly, there’s always a minority of people who are prepared to litter.

“But we’re determined to do our bit to tackle the problem. So we’re delighted to have received additional funding to help us with the ongoing challenge of chewing gum removal.

“National research found in the areas that benefited from last year’s clean ups and preventative signage, the rate of gum littering was lower than before. With cleaner streets, I’m confident more residents will help out by putting their used gum in the bin where it belongs.”