ODS - keeping the city centre clean as shoppers return

ODS - keeping the city centre clean as shoppers return

With the reopening of shops and the return of shoppers to Oxford City Centre, ODS’ Streetscene team swung into action to make sure the city is as clean as it can possibly be.

The Oxford Standard

ODS, Oxford City Council’s wholly owned company, which is responsible for keeping the city’s open spaces clean, has launched a new cleaning regime to ensure the city centre is not only tidy, but also safer for all of its visitors. The new regime has been dubbed the “Oxford Standard”. It means more deep cleaning, hot washing, steam cleaning and sanitising of the main areas of the city centre.

The cleaning starts at 5.30am every day and continues through until 7pm.

With fewer visitors to the city during lockdown ODS took the opportunity to review street cleaning and the way it cleans the streets. Hand sanitiser dispensers are positioned at strategic points in the city centre for public use. Fewer advertising boards placed outside of shops, and fewer dockless bikes on the streets, has allowed ODS to use mechanical cleaners to clean areas that previously had to be done by hand.

ODS’ two high pressure hot-wash machines not only now clean the streets down, they have also been adapted to steam clean or power wash street furniture safely. This includes washing under benches and between bike racks – work previously done by broom and cold water.

ODS have changed litter picking routes and litter bag drop off points to make vehicle collection easier. And there is now a dedicated member of staff based at Gloucester Green to keep the whole area clean and tidy.

The cleaning regime sees Streetscene staff on patrol every day. As well as regular street cleaning, the team are sanitising the bins, benches and bus shelters in the city centre twice a day. All staff wear personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves.

And a well as the streets, ODS has worked with the City Council to support the safe re-opening of the Covered Market. Hand sanitisers are available at each entrance and traders have been encouraged to offer customers access to hand sanitisers within their premises.

An enhanced cleaning regime, including cleaning of the public toilets in Market Street, trader toilets, and a deep clean of the whole market at the end of each day, has been introduced.

Keep it one way

Cleaning crews are carrying out the work while keeping to the new one-way pavements, which have been introduced to the busiest streets in Oxford city centre and Cowley Road to help people maintain social distancing.

Public toilets are open

Currently two of the city centre public toilets are fully open. Market Street toilets have become busy and ODS has increased its cleaning regime, from a minimum of three times a day, to hourly cleans, which also includes sanitising the door handles and areas people may touch.

Gloucester Green toilets are usually the busiest in the city centre. With the buses being reduced and the market not having been in operation until this week, ODS used the opportunity to undertake a deep clean that included the waiting area. Like Market Street cleaning has increased to every hour, including sanitising door handles and other area.

There is a staff presence at peak times at both Market Street and Gloucester Green and signage has been installed to help maintain social distancing and queuing. A large stock of cleaning and sanitising materials is kept to maintain cleanliness.

Magdalen Street toilets are currently closed as, being underground, it is not possible to maintain social distancing on entering and exiting. Oxpens Road toilets are closed as, due to their position, there has been little demand to use them. They are ready to be opened as use of the adjacent car park increases. Speedwell Street toilets are closed following some recent damage and minimal demand. They will reopen as and when required.

Those in London Rd, which serve Headington shops, have been open since the middle of May. Cowley Rd toilets and Diamond Place toilets that serve the Summertown shopping parade have been reopened. All will be subject to a cleaning regime that is over and above that of the pre-coronavirus scheme.

Cllr Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Customer Focused Services said: “We are welcoming shoppers back to Oxford city centre. They may find the shopping experience a bit different but they can be sure of one thing; the Council and its partners at ODS will be making sure that the city centre is as clean and sanitised as it possibly can so that visitors can enjoy and feel safe, as they return to shop in Oxford.”

Head of Environmental Services at ODS, Bruce Thompson, said: “The ODS Streetscene team is incredibly proud to be a part of enabling the city of Oxford to get back to business and become, once again, the thriving place that we all love.

“Those visiting the city centre can all play their part by either using the litter bins provided or take litter home with them and show consideration for others and the environment during their visit.”

Introducing these new ways of working makes sure the city is clean and ready to welcome visitors, who can rest assured that ODS will be doing their utmost to make it safe for them.

To see videos of ODS Streetscene operatives in action click here.

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