We do it with bottles, cans, glass, paper, batteries and more – now Colchester Borough Council is launching the Gumdrop scheme, making it easy to recycle our chewing gum!
In its commitment to ensuring a clean and tidy Town Centre, Colchester Borough Council is concentrating its efforts on gum litter. From 14 January, 34 bright pink gumdrops, which look like strawberry-flavoured bubble-gum bubbles, will pop up across the Town Centre in locations identified as gum litter ‘hotspots’.
To make it even easier to recycle gum, residents can also pick up a free ‘Gumdrop on the go’ keyring from five key locations in the town: Visitor Centre at Hollytrees Museum, Firstsite, Colchester Town Hall, Leisure World and Colchester Town Centre Library. Gum users simply deposit their chewed gum into their keyrings and, once full, return it to a keyring collection point where they can drop it off and collect a new one.
When full, the town centre gumdrop bins and keyrings are collected by Gumdrop® Ltd and taken for processing to be recycled into new bin inserts, key rings and other recycled items called Gumtec.
Councillor Martin Goss, Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation, said: “We receive so many complaints about the eyesore of gum stains all over our pavements and we spend a lot of time and money on tackling the issue – even investing in new gum removing equipment.
“That’s why we are so excited to bring Gumdrop to our town. No-one likes stepping on sticky gum waste or seeing the stains it leaves behind. So, we’ll be spreading the word about gum litter and encouraging all gum users to make the most of the bright pink bins and free key-rings to help make the disgusting habit of spitting gum onto pavements a thing of the past.”
Colchester Borough Council has set aside £10,000 to deliver the gum drop project over a two-year period. As part of this, Gumdrop Ltd will co-ordinate and maintain the delivery and collection of the gumdrop containers, signage and boxes.
Gumdrop Ltd is the first company in the world to recycle and process chewing gum into a range of new compounds that can be used in the rubber and plastics industry. According to its statistics, it costs local authorities approximately £150 million pounds a year to remove chewing gum litter from the streets.
Under the slogan ‘Gum Litter Blows – So Bin It’ the project will be promoted as part of the Better Colchester campaign – a £2 million programme to make Colchester an even better place to live, work in and visit.
Follow Colchester Council’s ‘Better Colchester’ Instagram page to see the Gum Litter Blows video: www.colchester.gov.uk/bettercolchester