Royal wedding: Westminster cleaners to collect 140 tonnes of rubbish

18:03 29 April 2011

A massive clean-up operation swung into action after royal wedding crowds moved on

A massive clean-up operation swung into action after royal wedding crowds moved on

A swift clean-up operation swung into action around the roads of Westminster moments after the bride and groom rode through the crowded streets in their horse-drawn carriage.

Get involved

London24 wants to record how the capital celebrates the royal wedding, and we need your help.

Whether you’re planning to be in central London close to the action or staying at home to enjoy a street party, we want to hear from you.

We’re looking for people to share stories, pictures and videos throughout the big day on April 29. Get in touch to tell us what you’re doing at royalwedding@london24.com

As the focus of the public’s cheers turned to Buckingham Palace, groups of street cleaners came out in force to clear the debris left strewn behind along the royal wedding route.

Teams consisting of 15 sweepers, plus mechanical sweeping machines, flushing machines and dustcarts, from Westminster City Council’s waste management contractor Veolia Environmental Services set to work clearing the roads in approximately an hour.

A council spokesman said: “As soon as they were allowed on to the streets by the Metropolitan Police at 12.45pm, they began cleaning the area around Westminster Abbey, Parliament Square and Whitehall, finishing at around 1.50pm.

“The teams were cleaning anything and everything from flags and posters to bits of bunting, plus the general rubbish people leave on the streets, including sandwiches and drinks cans.”

Council bosses estimated that around 140 tonnes of rubbish will be collected over the course of the celebrations by 130 cleaning staff.

The council spokesman added: “We are well-used to big events such as New Year’s Eve, the Pope’s visit and the Notting Hill Carnival. The team is well-trained, it’s part and parcel of what the council does.”

Earlier, cleaning teams had worked through the night to prepare the roads for the world’s gaze, deep cleansing along Whitehall and clearing gullies along the procession route to prevent puddles from gathering.

The statue cleaning schedule was altered to ensure they were gleaming for the wedding day.

Convicted offenders were also said to be involved in deep cleaning of the subways of Hyde Park Corner ahead of the visiting crowds.

Ed Argar, cabinet member for city management, said: “With so many extra people in central London to help celebrate the wedding, we put in an extra effort to make sure the area was sparkling for this momentous event and was cleaned up as quickly as possible afterwards.”

The rubbish was expected to go to South East London Combined Heat and Power (SELCHP), an incineration plant in Bermondsey, south London, where it will be incinerated and turned into electricity.

Related articles

Latest Stories

The woman was attacked in a house in Hatherley Road, Walthamstow (Picture: Google Streetview)

A woman was stabbed in the neck and a six-year-old child injured after they were attacked at a house in Walthamstow in broad daylight.

Read more
07:49
Boris Johnson is angry his plans for a new airport in the Thames estuary have been rejected (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has reacted angrily to the decision by the Airports Commission to reject plans for ‘Boris Island’, accusing its author Sir Howard Davies of setting the debate on aviation expansion back by half a century.

Read more
We are not amused: The Queen gets snapped by a young well-wisher in Belfast (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - Pool/Getty Images)

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is not a fan of smartphones, it has emerged.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

Can you guess which bridge crossing the Thames in London which? (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Do you know your Blackfriars from your Southwark, Cannon Street from Waterloo, or do all of London’s bridges look alike to you?

Read more
Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more