Cowley Road pulsated to the sound of music, dancers and street performers yesterday as thousands descended on the area to celebrate the annual Carnival.
Between 11am and 5pm the crowds enjoyed art, food, entertainment and, of course, the impressive costumes and floats that formed the procession.
But many people congregating in one small area carries with it a cost - litter and waste. That's why as soon as the festivities were over Oxford Direct Services' Streetscene cleaning team sprang into action. Armed with large mechanical sweepers, the 10-strong team swept down Cowley Road clearing all litter in their path. The team had already worked throughout the day to stop the litter building up, and once the Carnival was over they took about an hour to get the road completely cleaned and fit to return to normal use again. Joining them were the four members of the Commercial Waste Team, who, with their two vehicles, collected the containers full of waste.
The team was also in action again early this morning, 2 July, to give the area a final once-over and make sure there was no litter left.
And prior to the start of the Carnival the team had already been out and about making sure the area was safe for Carnival goers by clearing away any needles or other drug equipment left in known hotspots.
Paul Newell, one of the Streetscene sweeper drivers taking part on the day said: “I really enjoy working on the Carnival. It is very challenging with the number of people attending and the volume of waste that is generated but there is always a great atmosphere and people seem very grateful for the work we do.”
Cllr Nigel Chapman, Oxford City Council Board Member for Customer Focused Services, said: "We work closely with the Carnival organisers to make sure everything runs smoothly and we are able to clean up and get things back to normal as soon as possible. The Streetcene team, as always, has done a fantastic job. I want to thank them for the effort they've put in to make sure, not only that everyone who came out enjoyed the day, but that disruption because of litter was kept to a minimum."
Nick Williams, the Carnival's event manager, said: “I would like to thank you and rest of the team for another heroic effort. When everyone has eventually left after Carnival , it becomes painfully obvious what is left behind. Your team literally pick that up and in many ways, you are the unsung heroes".
At last year's Carnival, the Streetscene and Commercial Waste teams collected over three tonnes of waste. Working together with the Commercial Waste team meant that it all went to the Virador's Energy Recovery Facility at Ardley where it was incinerated and used to make electricity. The same will happen this year, ensuring once again that none of the Carnival waste ends up in landfill.