Litter louts have helped to pay for a new machine to remove chewing gum from the streets of Stafford.
Fines given to people throwing rubbish on the ground in the town centre have been used to help purchase the ‘gum buster’ for Stafford Borough Council.
People were handed fixed penalty notices of £75 for littering – although the amount is reduced for early payment. More than 300 people over the last couple of years have been fined which has contributed to the around £21,000 cost of the new machine – along with money from a government grant.
Councillor Jonathan Price, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “How ironic that those who have treated our borough as a giant dustbin have actually contributed towards helping us keep the area clean.
“Residents who take a pride in the area are rightly annoyed at people who discard chewing gum on the pavements. It leaves a stain on our streets and can be difficult to remove.
“I’m really pleased we have been able to purchase this specialist piece of equipment through these fines and the government grant – but I’d much prefer everyone to put their chewing gum, cigarette butts, crisp packets or whatever other rubbish they have, in a bin!”
Around £42,000 is spent on removing chewing gum from the streets as part of the £1 million spent from the council budget each year keeping the borough clean.
The buster uses a steam cleaning method to deal with the gum and will reduce the number of hours it has previously taken to tackle the issue.
To report litter or fly tipping concerns contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01785 619000.