THE Palma city council yesterday presented a new machine which, it claimed will get rid of chewing gum on pavements. It is being used in the busy Via Sindicato as a pilot scheme, according to Catalina Terrassa, the president of EMAYA, which is responsible for keeping the streets clean.
She said that it will be used along the 2'535 square metres of Calle Sindicato for four days, between 1.30 and 5.30pm, in order not to disturb shopping hours.
Terrassa said that the time was chosen on the advice of the traders. Originally, she had proposed 7.30pm, but shopkeepers said that this was one of their busiest times.
The machine is operated by two workers, who will fence of areas of 15 square metres at a time, starting at the Porta de Sant Antoni and ending at the Plaza Mayor. The protective fencing is needed because the machine produces steam at 200 degrees Celsius, and safety precautions have to be taken, Terrassa said.
She added that the machine does not use any type of chemical products, and does not harm any of the surfaces treated.
It also produces very little noise. Contracting the machine for the pilot period has cost 1'100 euros.
She said that when chewing gum is thrown in the street and comes into contact with oxygen, it hardens and stick to the ground for at least five years and makes it extremely difficult to keep the streets clean.
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