Grit clean up starts in West Lothian

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thousands of tonnes of grit are getting the heave-ho with a council-wide clean up.

Street cleansing teams from West Lothian Council started clearing grit last week and are using nine large HGV mechanical sweepers, 12 mechanical footpath sweepers and four hand crews to cover road and footpaths all across the county. Once removed the grit is taken to a recycling facility for screening and stored for future use.

Robert De Bold, executive councillor for the environment, said: “This year, the council had 20,000 tonnes of salt in stock when the cold weather struck, double the stock from the previous year, and even more had to be brought in. An unprecedented amount of salt was used to treat the roads and footpaths during November and December, and so far we have used 22,072 tonnes.

“Traditionally Scotland can get cold and frosty weather well into February so we decided it was sensible to keep grit down on footways and roads until now.”

He added: “Given the huge amount of grit used this winter, the task of clearing the grit up is a major operation for staff. We would urge residents to be patient whilst the clean up takes place; we aim to get all areas cleaned up as quickly as possible.”

Every winter the council treats 1,000 km of roads and around 1,200km of footways to combat the effects of bad weather.