As 50,000 celebrated LGBT culture in one of the biggest Pride celebrations in Europe on Saturday 8 July, over 140 extra staff and vehicles cleared bottles, banners and flags so that the streets were left clean and sparkly.
Veolia, in partnership with Westminster City Council, cleared a total of 50 tonnes of waste in a non-stop operation until 3am on Sunday morning, as the party continued into Soho. An estimated 10,000 bags were collected by the team, the equivalent weight of four double decker parade buses!
To do this as quickly and effectively as possible, Veolia lined up extra resources:
• 30 extra vehicles including mechanical brooms and hot flushing vehicles
• A 25% increase in staff, totaling 550 people in total sweeping and collecting waste in the borough
• Extra elbow grease using 75 brooms
An overnight clean-up before the event was also undertaken to ensure London looked its best for visitors and parade participants of which there were 300 groups marching and more floats than ever before this year.
All waste collected was sent to the Veolia run energy recovery facility in south east London, SELCHP, to heat and power local London homes as a more sustainable solution to dispose of waste and supply much needed energy. The amount of waste collected is enough to power 620,000 London televisions for an hour while they watch the Pride Festival highlights.
Helder Branco, Senior Contract Manager for Veolia Westminster said: ‘We’ve been working in partnership with Westminster Council since 1995 to keep the Capital’s streets clean and we are proud to support the community in a number of special events throughout the year, such as the Pride Festival. It’s great that we are able to use the waste collected as a resource, to add further value to London in providing power to local homes.’
Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Sport and Community, David Harvey added: 'Westminster hosts a full calendar of spectacular events every year which simply wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of our waste disposal teams. They are our unsung heroes who do an extraordinary job of tidying up after events like Pride, often through the night, to make sure our streets are back to normal as soon as possible.'