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Auckland City streets ahead in clean and green

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL MEDIA RELEASE

9 March 2006

Auckland City streets ahead in clean and green

Auckland City is looking at ways to improve the quality of the street-cleaning services it provides in commercial centres, including the CBD, as well as planning a more clean and green approach for the future.

The proposal was part of a report heard by the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee last week, which addressed the quality and environmental sustainability of the methods currently used.

The green light was given for an investigation into new street cleaning methods, their associated costs and funding options, with a view to commencing a phased introduction of alternative services from the 2007/2008 financial year.

Kevin Marriott, manager of streetscape services, will undertake the investigation. His interim findings will go to the Combined Committees meeting in June for consideration in this year's budget round. However, a more detailed report will be available for the September meeting of Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee meeting when the options have been fully costed. This will then be considered for the 2007/2008 Annual Plan and budget.

The committee chairperson, Councillor Penny Sefuiva, says "We dedicate a lot of resources to keeping the city clean and our cleaning standards should reflect that. Improved cleaning technologies can fulfil the expectation for higher environmental standards, but the costs of these investments mean there will need to be a phasing in of the new services.

"At present three service providers deliver carriageway sweeping contracts and three full facility streetscapes contracts. The cleaning elements of these contracts currently total $6 million per annum. Past councils allowed budget cuts during times of rapid population growth, extended trading hours and greater use of outdoor space. This has led to an erosion of services and standards.

However, it is not just about the council keeping the city clean - residents and visitors can also help. Education campaigns can encourage behavioural change but at the end of the day all of us need to take responsibility for our own litter."

More people eat outside than ever before and maintenance levels should reflect this. Councillor Sefuiva will clarify issues around use of water/steam for footpath cleaning through the appropriate Auckland Regional Council committee.

"Our aim is to create a world-class destination and part of that is taking pride in ourselves and the way the city is presented to our visitors. The introduction of proven new methods that meet or exceed industry best practice will not only keep the streets clean but also show our commitment to a clean green New Zealand.

All Community Boards will receive a copy of the report and committee resolution for their information.

ENDS

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