MID and East Antrim Borough Council has taken delivery of a new, state of the art, street cleaning machine for use in Ballymena town centre, courtesy of the Ballymena Business Improvement District (Ballymena BID).
The Vanguard machine is the first of its type to be used in Northern Ireland and offers a host of additional benefits designed to improve street cleaning in Ballymena.
The new machine is battery powered, with an electric motor, and uses a powerful vacuum hose to lift litter.
It is quiet to operate and benefits from zero emissions.
In addition, it has a small power washer that can clean up and disinfect any pavement spotting or fouling.
The Vanguard offers the equivalent efficiency of five conventional operatives using the traditional broom and cart method of street cleaning.
Speaking at the launch, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Maureen Morrow, said: “Right across Mid and East Antrim people are working hard to make our borough an attractive place to live, work and invest and this new equipment will enhance that work.
“I am delighted to see this new street cleansing vehicles now in operation.
“First impressions are very important and that’s why we want our town centres to be presentable and clean so it encourages people to return time and time again.”
BID Manager, Kathleen McBride, added: “The purchase was agreed following extensive research into efficient street cleaning systems and followed a trial period with an older model of the Vanguard, loaned to the BID by the suppliers.”
BID Chairman Stephen Reynolds said: “Local businesses rely on a clean and hygienic town centre and street environment to attract custom and new businesses to our town.
“Traders, locals and visitors alike expect to see our streets well-presented and litter free.
“A recent report by Keep N.I. Beautiful scored Mid and East Antrim Borough Council at 72% which is 4% above the N.I. Council average of 68%.
“The BID’s partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has again shown that by working together we can constantly improve Ballymena town centre.
“A good first impression makes a lasting impression and it’s important that we all do our utmost to keep Ballymena tidy.”