Compact Whale jets in to tackle graffiti and gum

A major concern for local authorities keen to maintain a high standard of cleanliness around their urban centres is the blight of graffiti and chewing gum. Among the manufacturers providing street cleansing equipment to tackle these problems is Whale, whose Sales Director, Keith Van-Hagen says, "In line with Local Authority Best Value Practice local authorities have to meet strict performance indicators for the removal of detritus such as litter and dog foul from our streets. At the moment there are no similar criteria applicable to graffiti or chewing gum but this situation will change soon. DEFRA's intention to clean up towns and cities includes the introduction of new legislation and Voluntary Codes of Practice over both the infliction and the removal of graffiti. Many cleaning operators are gearing up now, in readiness for the mandate."

Whale maintains that the most cost effective and environmentally acceptable method of cleaning pavements, pedestrian areas, subways etc, is with the application of hot water under pressure. Consequently, an increasing number of operators are investing in CompactWhale Hotwash machines, the company reports.

The CompactWhale T3H is one of the most popular models. It is a versatile machine and will remove most graffiti, posters, gum, bird droppings, grease and grime, commonly found in city and town centres.

The machine gives the operator several cleaning options. Mr Van-Hagen explains, “If cold water at high pressure will not do the job he can add heat. With twin oil fired boilers and an integral 200 litre water tank and an additional 500 litre tank on van mounted machines the unit is capable of delivering hot water up to 98ºC at pressures up to 4400psi (300 bar) at the maximum flow and up to 155°C if the flow is reduced. In most situations a temperature in the order of 80 to 100°C at low pressure is sufficient to remove graffiti, but if not, using the same machine, the graffiti can be blasted with Falch Pearls, a range of abrasive blasting agents which are extremely effective, non-chemical, totally harmless to the environment and do not leave a residue that has to be cleaned away later.”

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has two CompactWhale T3H machines, van mounted in Vauxhall Movanos. They are mainly used to remove graffiti.

As there is a high incidence of graffiti in the borough the council has a team of operatives dedicated to the task of removing it. The aim is to remove all racist graffiti within 24 hours of notification, and all other graffiti from parks within 36 hours, from council property and estates within three days and from private property within three and a half days. Mr Van-Hagen says, “The CompactWhale T3H machines do the job efficiently and cost effectively and are in almost constant use.”

Sheldon Industrial Cleaners recently purchased the same machine, trailer mounted, to help keep the streets of Birmingham clean. So too has Oxford City Council. Oxford is famous for its covered market where, along with a wide range of other products, fresh meat, fish and vegetables are sold. The market floor area has to be cleaned regularly to meet Health and Safety regulations and to avoid the risk of unpleasant smells.

CompactWhale high pressure hot (up to 500 bar) and cold water cleaning machines are available as diesel driven trailer mounted or skid mounted units, from 100 bar to 2,500 bar, and are used nationwide by over 60 councils and 25 independent contractors. They are chemical-free, multi-purpose specialist cleaning units purpose designed and manufactured by Falch, the market leader in Germany.

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