AS of the end of last year, Palma's municipal cleaning company, Emaya, has been making use of a new machine especially designed to remove chewing gum stuck to the pavement.

Calculations are that the machines, using steam cleaning techniques directly over the stains, are capable of removing 150 gum deposits an hour, some 1'000 every shift. By the end of 2009, it will have rid the streets of 235'000. Other specialist machines used by Emaya include equipment for removing graffiti from public buildings. All are part of Emaya's cleaning plan which has been up and running since 2007.