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A Right Royal Cleanup!

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As London hosted the party of the year Veolia, in partnership with Westminster City Council, worked tirelessly to ensure the city’s streets were fit for the UK’s first coronation in 70 years.

An estimated two million people gathered to see the King’s Coronation, followed by that of the Queen on Saturday, with 100 Veolia operatives and 30 vehicles – many zero-emission electric or hybrid, working before and after the occasion.

Highlights of the operation

  • Over 39 tonnes of additional recycling and refuse collected from the event area. This is in addition to the approx. 650 tonnes collected on an average weekend – Veolia managed this including multiple road closures and much more restricted collection times.
  • 50 tonnes of sand was laid down to protect the horses in the procession from slippery drain covers, and enable the carriage wheels to turn the corners more easily. This was swept back up within a two hour window to enable the streets to be safely re-opened
  • Over 100 operatives across 8 teams worked from 3am to cover the event area and procession route
  • 30 vehicles, more than half were electric or hybrid including: cage vehicles, small mechanical sweepers, flushers, sweepers, small electric cages, EAV bike removal vehicles and gritters
  • Each member of staff on foot (60 people) walked about 25 miles, collectively that’s a total of 300,000 steps taken, covering about 1,500 miles. Equivalent to walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats and almost all the way back again

Veolia’s operation in partnership with Westminster City Council was wide-ranging and rapid. With an extensive history of handling large scale events this was not new territory, but for the frontline teams it was unique to be able to support The King, The Queen and The City during this special day. All of the recycling collected was taken to the Southwark recycling facility, and general refuse  was taken to SELCHP and used for energy recovery, transforming it into a resource to heat and power local homes.

It’s a simple job and the early start at 2am was tough, but the camaraderie and reception from the crowds made it all worthwhile.

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Jason Small, Recycling Operative, says: “It’s great to be able to help out at historic events like this and just be able to say I was part of it in a small way, I really looked forward to it. It’s a simple job and the early start at 2am was tough, but the camaraderie and reception from the crowds made it all worthwhile.”

Helder Branco, Veolia Westminster General Manager, says: “I am immensely proud of my team’s unwavering passion and commitment to making sure we delivered an outstanding service during this momentous occasion.

We have worked hard to make this event as sustainable as possible, separating out recycling from litter collected, and with more than half of the vehicles used within the area electric or hybrid. The scale and speed at which we make the streets clean and safe to be re-opened is sometimes difficult to imagine, but that is our expertise.

The applause from the crowds was very rewarding for my team, and I would like to thank the public for their support.”

With Westminster looking fit for a King, I’d like to wish Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla many congratulations.

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, adds: “I want to say a huge thank you to all our partners, especially Veolia, as well as all the council teams for the mammoth effort over the last few weeks in getting the city ready for the big day.

All their behind-the-scenes work is so important, and the procession wouldn’t be able to happen without them. We are well versed in dealing with national events, and our street cleaning teams have done an exceptional job once again.

With Westminster looking fit for a King, I’d like to wish Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla many congratulations.”

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Staff Reporter

FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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