Northumberland County Council has invested in two state-of-the-art street-cleansing machines as part of the initiative to keep the region tidy.
Due to their lightweight design, the new machines are able to work on public footpaths without damaging the surface and manoeuvre around street furniture such as bins, benches and flower beds.
The older machines are only able to operate on highways meaning back streets, narrow streets and back lanes could only be reached by manual barrows.
The new vehicles have improved speed and efficiency of street cleaning leading to the council streetcare team being able to get around more streets and hot-spot areas.
The purchase of the street-cleansing vehicles coincides with the council’s announcement of a working partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, which saw them leave half of Station Road in Ashington for 48 hours to highlight the amount of work the street cleaning teams do.
A caged van was brought onto the street on the morning of Sunday, November 24, to show the amount of rubbish the council had collected in the area over the space of the weekend.
From April last year there has been 31 tonnes of rubbish removed from the length of Woodhorn Road and Station Road alone. These areas are litter picked twice daily, in the morning and the afternoon, seven days a week.
Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment, said: “This is an investment into a cleaner, greener Northumberland, but we will not get there without everyone pulling in the same direction.
“Residents need to take responsibility for their own rubbish. Rubbish is not the responsibility of the council; it’s the responsibility of everybody.”
The new equipment cost more than £140,000 and will operate mainly in the Ashington and Cramlington areas, although they are able to travel to any part of the county when required.