Soho streetcleaners face hurdle after largest sporting parade
By poppy_smith | Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 19:06
Central London's street cleaners faced one last hurdle as the most challenging summer ever drew to close with the largest sporting parade in the UK's history.
With one million lining the streets, teams from Westminster City Council – who have already met the challenge of three marathons, two cycle road races, the Queen's Golden Jubilee and millions of visitors in the capital this summer – brought up the rear of the parade, cleaning as they went.
The objective, as ever, was to return the streets of London to complete normality, as though a parade had never happened. A crack team of 10 sweepers and five vehicles were deployed twice – once behind the 21-bus parade and again after the crowds had made their way home.
It is estimated that as much as 30 tonnes – or 6,000 bags – were collected during the day.
Cllr Ed Argar, Westminster Council's Cabinet Member for City Management said:
"Congratulations to our Olympians and Paralympians – over the past few weeks we have seen heroic sporting efforts and inspiring work from thousands of volunteers.
"As our clean-up crews followed the parade through Westminster on Monday, I hope some applause was reserved for those that have worked tirelessly over the past month and have done an amazing job to meet the challenge of keeping central London clean and tidy during what has been an incredible summer."
Over the course of the Olympics Westminster deployed 212 extra staff, 20 state-of-the-art vehicles, 18 extra fuel-saving bin lorries and used a £1.25m investment from the Greater London Authority to establish 'Scavenger Squads' to get emergency clean-ups at tube stations or Olympic sites done quickly and efficiently.