The Tomcat ride-on street scrubber is currently being tested on CBD footpaths in Murgon, Wondai, Nanango and Kingaroy to assess the machine’s versatility against different footpath treatments

July 27, 2022

South Burnett Regional Council has begun trialling a ride-on Tomcat street scrubber and an EcoVac commercial vacuum in an effort to improve the cleanliness of the region’s CBD footpaths.

Trials of the machines have been run in Murgon, Wondai and Nanango over the past few weeks, and a trial on Kingaroy’s new CBD footpaths began on Monday.

The Council was persuaded to test the new equipment after watching a one hour demonstration in Murgon earlier this year.

Mayor Brett Otto told a meeting soon afterwards that he’d watched outdoor staff attempt to clean footpaths using buckets and mops and realised the work was taking them a very long time.

He said he strongly believed in giving staff the best tools to do a job.

Cr Kirstie Schumacher agreed, arguing that if Council invested in modern street cleaning equipment the cost could be quickly recouped by savings in staff time.

Officers said if Council wanted to proceed with the idea, staff would need to build a business case the same as they do for all Council plant and equipment purchases.

This persuaded Councillors to conduct the more detailed trial now underway.

Both pieces of equipment being tested are designed to reduce environmental impacts by using battery power and – in the case of the scrubber – consuming less water to do the job.

The street scrubber has several different pressures for different cleans, and the water spray, brooms and squeegee can be set differently for different footpath types including plain concrete, coloured concrete, sprayed concrete with a sealer, pavers and tiles.

Some of the footpaths that are being trialled have never received a clean before and have built up a lot of dirt, grease and oils.

The new cleaning equipment is currently being used by outdoor staff from 5:00am to 2:00pm in an effort to minimise disruption to shoppers.

Areas that will be scrubbed are marked with signs, and storekeepers have been asked not to put signs or equipment on the footpaths until after the machines have done their work.

Cr Kathy Duff said she was impressed with the EcoVac street cleaner when she saw it demonstrated in Murgon earlier this year … the machine vacuums up litter before the street scrubber washes the footpath

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