Bonn Dieter Zurmahr cleans the footpath in front of Mediamarkt at the Budapester Straße, without making a sound. The paving tiles are covered in chewing gum.
Bonn is currently testing a new method to remove chewing gum from the pavements. „Ecogum“ is the name of the new wonder weapon against the sticky stuff.
What looks like a high-pressure water cleaner („Kärcher“) is called „Ecogum“ and it removes chewing gum from footpaths. Residents and shop owners in the city centre wanted a cleaner surface on their pavements. The normal street cleaning machine could not take care of the dilemma, only special machines can.
Zurmahr is one of three works testing different appliances. Bonnorange lets their staff try out which machine works best, is most economic and most effective.
Not all devices are as silent as „Ecogun“. Wotan Fago works with a „white lion“ machine, which removed the chewing gum very well and only left some grease stains behind. It functions with dry ice pellets freezing the chewing gum to bits, literally. About 200 meters of pavement can be covered by one employee per working day.
Larger areas can be done if the Jadon machine gets used. The Dutch invention looks like normal street cleaning machines but works with high pressure and extremely hot water of 140 degrees Celsius. About 1,000 to 1,500 meters of foot path can be cleaned per day and the concrete looks almost as good as new after the treatment. But is not very silent, yet no louder than a common street cleaning machine.
Another supplier will have his equipment tested in August.
At the end of 2019, the city’s politicians will decide which method will be used in the future. The cleaning can thus begin properly in 2020. Costs were not discussed yet.
Beside Bonn’s city centre, the pedestrian zones in Hardtberg, Beuel and Godesberg will be cleaned.
(Original text: Susanne Wächter, Translation: Mareike Graepel)