Northampton

Councils across Northamptonshire to share grime fighter

Grimebuster
Image caption The machine to fight gum and grime will be shared by several councils

A hot water spray street cleaner that can lift chewing gum from pavements is to be shared by councils across Northamptonshire.

The £84,000 device with a water heater capable of spraying at 98C was tested in Northampton town centre.

The borough council had been criticised by an environment watchdog for the amount of grime and gum on its streets.

Several councils suffering the same problem came together to invest in the new device on condition it was shared.

High pressure jets blast grime and gum out of surfaces and a skater plate cleans the pavement lifting chewing gum.

Northampton Borough Council said in-ground chewing gum was a huge problem on pavements in towns across the county.

Workers often had to scrape up the gum by hand before washing the pavement down.

The new machine takes much of the effort out of the task.

Trini Crake, portfolio holder for environment, said: "The Grimebuster is making a real difference.

"It is cleaning up the gum and grime and improving the environment for everyone."

Dropping chewing gum, or any other litter, is punishable by a fixed penalty notice of £80, the council said.

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