Last year Islington introduced a new system for street-cleaning, with 86 sweepers each assigned to their own “beat” – a number of streets they deep-clean at least five times a week, Monday to Friday. This also meant a reduction of 12 polluting diesel vehicles, cutting the street-cleaning service CO2 emissions by over 60 per cent.
Street sweeper schedules were completely overhauled so sweepers visit their streets after residents’ recycling and bins have been collected, clearing up any waste that has been dropped or spilled. Sweepers have mobile devices so they can more easily report fly-tips and other issues, so they can be tidied up promptly.
Since the new service began, average monthly reports about dog-fouling have fallen by 66 per cent, and fly-posting reports by 35 per cent. There has also been a 21 per cent reduction in complaints about missed street sweeping.
Now Keep Britain Tidy has awarded Islington a national award for its new service. In addition, recent Keep Britain Tidy survey results show Islington’s streets are at their cleanest for at least 10 years.
This week Islington launches its annual spring clean campaign – which this year is part of the Keep Britain Tidy Great British Spring Clean campaign - with extra deep-cleansing for busy areas, and litter picks with volunteers, on top of regular street-cleaning.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council's executive member for environment and transport, said: “We all want our streets to be clean, and our system of dedicated neighbourhood street sweepers, each with their own beat, is making a real difference.
“The Keep Britain Tidy award for Outstanding Service Delivery is a fantastic achievement for our street sweepers, who work so hard work in all weathers. Many people have got to know their beat sweeper and have taken the time to contact us and give praise and good feedback.
“We know there is always more that can be done to clean up our borough, and that’s why we’re launching this year’s spring clean campaign to give extra attention to the borough’s busiest spots, and spruce up our streets.”
Allison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Islington Council have done a fantastic job of reimagining their street-cleaning service to put customers and staff at the heart of decision making.
“Their new service focuses on the community it serves and greatly encourages face-to-face resident contact with staff, and reduces vehicle emissions that we all know will lead to improved air quality. The icing on the cake of this redesign is the increased cleanliness of each area – a real win-win for everyone.”
The new service uses more barrows and fewer vehicles, cutting down on emissions. Main roads continue to be deep-cleaned every day.