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Frontline crews deep clean streets during pandemic

Published Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Over 50 streets, squares and snickelways across York’s city centre have been deep cleaned by frontline crews.

City of York Council is taking the opportunity to do a deep clean whilst the city centre is quieter than normal - so as and when the city is allowed to welcome back visitors, please help by keeping our streets clean and putting litter in the bins.

This also takes into account recently changed government guidance that allows residents to spend more time exercising during the day.

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change said:

Our front line crews have been doing a fantastic job to cleaning our city centre of weeds, cigarette butts under benches and all those nooks and crannies. 

“They’ve been working round the clock to make our city centre cleaner and safer during the pandemic. Please help them by putting your litter in the bin and making sure we keep our city clean.”

Frontline crews are working 7 days a week to carry out mechanical sweeping (using a small ride on sweeper and various pedestrian controlled machines), litter bin emptying, weeding and manual litter picking.

Staff were previously redeployed to assist the waste services team but have now re-joined the public realm service.

The deep clean includes:

  • the removal of detritus like dust and silt, weeds and cigarette butts from building lines, under benches, nooks and crannies
  • the removal of cable ties and expired notices and stickers
  • cleaning the interior and exterior of litter bins

The council is also identifying/removing graffiti on council owned buildings, which will also be removed. All council car parks are also being deep cleaned.

The council has worked hard to ensure crucial frontline services can continue despite the pandemic.

All crews carrying out the works will be operating under strict social distancing guidance due to the current Coronavirus restrictions.

The council has worked with trade unions to develop new ways of working and has ensured works can happen in a safe way for front line operatives and the public, whilst the city centre is quieter than normal.

The national guidance asks residents to help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means they must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly
  • do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms