10 May
Council staff member with Glutton in action

The three teams of two people were created from existing resources to focus on providing additional cleaning for high footfall areas. 

To enable the team to tackle issues in hard-to-reach areas, approximately £50,000 has been invested in three specialist urban vacuums called Gluttons. 

These machines enable the team to pick up cigarette ends and other small debris that is often too small for other litter picks to clear, leaving busy areas looking tidier than ever. Staff are also able to scrape weeds/detritus by hand and then use the Gluttons to lift it up enabling more challenging areas, such as around steps, street furniture and tree roots, to be cleared up more effectively. 

The early impact of the team and their distinctive Glutton machines has already attracted comments from members of the public, who have noticed a difference in the areas where normal street sweepers are unable to reach.

The teams have already been hard at work clearing town centre areas in Armadale, Broxburn and Uphall, Bathgate, Linlithgow and Whitburn, as well as village centres in Blackburn, Blackridge, East Calder, Fauldhouse, Kirknewton, Longridge, Mid Calder, Seafield, Stoneyburn, Torphichen, West Calder and Winchburgh.

Executive councillor for the environment and sustainability Tom Conn said: "It's fantastic to see our new Cleaner Communities team are having an early impact on our town and village centres.

"We are investing nearly £3 million by the council across street cleansing and environmental enforcement during the next financial year, as part of a renewed focus on improving the environment in our busiest areas.

"It's great to see the positive results of our staff using Glutton machines is already being noticed by some local residents, with the areas where the machines have been used noticeably cleaner and tidier. 

"A small investment in the right equipment like this can make a real difference, and enable our staff to have the greatest impact with the limited resources available."