Tree cleaners collected 3.5 tonnes of ‘mind-blowing’ laughing gas canisters after the Notting Hill Carnival, delaying the clean-up process.
The large number of nitrous oxide canisters have to be separated from other waste for safety reasons, which turns out to be a time-consuming task.
Crews expect to have recovered four full skips – with more than 1,000 canisters containing the gas bearing the street name ‘hippy crack’ – by Friday.
SUEZ UK said its teams have been working around the clock to clear the area and have faced “unprecedented challenges this year due to police barricades and a high volume of nitrous oxide canisters that need to be separated by hand for security reasons”.
Gary O’Hagan, manager of the Notting Hill clean-up operation for the waste management company, said the amount of canisters was “mind-boggling” and causing “a real problem” for crews.
“Drums should be separated from general waste by hand as they can explode if compacted, posing a serious health and safety risk.
“This has considerably slowed down the operation and we will have to rethink the method of collection next year. By Friday, it is likely that we will have filled four containers with over a thousand or more canisters.
The Standard understands that almost five tonnes should be collected by Friday.
Kensington and Chelsea Councilor Emma Will said: ‘Carnival is a wonderful reflection of our diverse and multicultural community, but we also want to get the streets back to normal as soon as possible, with minimal disruption.
“The 200 crew members have been significantly slowed by the sheer volume of containers, but are nonetheless working very hard to complete the cleanup as quickly as possible.”
SUEZ UK has received complaints from local residents about how long it has taken to clean the streets, with one person saying on Twitter that it has been “terrible”.
Over 200 trash collectors and street cleaners worked to clean up the area and recycle 30% of all trash.
300 tons of waste were removed from the streets
/ Kensington and Chelsea Council
About 300 tons of waste were collected.
Kensington and Chelsea Council said the huge haul of food containers, drink cans and laughing gas nitrous oxide cartridges weighed the same as 25 double-decker London buses.
Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is an increasingly popular drug. Doctors in Britain have issued a warning about an increase in the number of patients being admitted to hospital after this, following a number of police warnings.
Specialist neurologists and toxicologists have found there has been a 257% increase in serious poisonings from gas abuse, with young people being admitted to the emergency room roughly every two weeks, according to the Independent.
In a 2019-20 Crime Survey for England and Wales, almost 9% of 16 to 24 year olds said they had taken nitrous oxide in the last year, an increase of 6, 1% from 2012-13, the Guardian reported. .
. tons cartridges gas hilarious picked up during cleaning carnival Notting Hill