Desperately excited, grossly indignant or quietly indifferent- everyone had their opinion on the recent Royal Wedding. The luxurious celebration was watched by two billion people, whilst tens of thousands flocked to the mile and a half procession route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, to try and catch a glimpse of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
With the world watching the streets of London, it is important to spare a thought for the people who made them look impeccable. The clean-up of London’s streets, both prior to and after the event, was organized and executed with military precision. Here’s how it was done…
The initial clean-up began weeks before London was flooded with visitors from across the globe. The subways leading to and from Westminster tube station were scrubbed vigorously with detergent and wire brushes. This was done by criminals, convicted of minor offences, who chose to volunteer for the duty rather than receiving a prison sentence. This project was organised by Westminster Council through the Community Payback scheme.
The rest of the preparations and post-wedding clean-up were organized by Westminster Council’s waste management & cleaning contractor. They tackled the clean-up with the efficiency you can expect from a contractor; utilizing their resources and staff to get the job done, whilst causing minimal disruption to the public.
A ‘deep cleansing’ of the route was undertaken on the night before the Royal Wedding. This involved using a 15 strong team of cleaners to remove every piece of litter from the procession route. They were assisted by a small Johnston C40 sweeper to do an initial clean, which was then followed by a large Johnston 600 sweeper. After this, they gave the route one final polish with high pressure jets to make sure it was spotless. A statue cleaning team from Westminster City Council worked to rejuvenate the Royal Tank Regiment, Women at War and the Gurkha Soldier statues, which were to be passed by the procession.
On the day of the Royal Wedding, the contract cleaning staff began their work at 2.am; they prepared the procession route by giving it one final sweep. They then laid sand down in places where the horses were likely to slip, and ensured that two gritting machines were placed at strategic intervals on the route. During the royal procession, the contractor’s street cleaners waited until the procession passed by and then immediately entered the area to remove any litter and sand that was left in the wake of the procession, returning it back to it’s spotless state.
Around busy transport stations, they placed an additional 40 sweepers, to keep these densely attended areas neat and tidy. Other cleaners walked amongst the crowd throughout the day, picking up litter left by the public. After the celebrations were over, it didn’t take long for the cleaning team to return the streets of London back to normal.
Regardless of the views on the cost of the Royal Wedding to the public, Westminster Council’s cleaning contractor did an excellent job of preparing for it, and making the city look like it had never happened afterwards. Their exact planning, extra available staff, countless machines and unlimited equipment made the clean-up an unmitigated success.
If you would like to know more about how a contract cleaner can make cleaning up after your event more hassle free, Newlife Cleaning Systems can help you. To make an enquiry telephone 0800 018 9099 or visit www.newlifecleaning.com for more information.