The cost is the highest in Scotland with the council clearing up mess after nights out, major events and dealing with discarded needles, blood spillages, dead animals and fly-tipping.
The council spent £30,400 per 1000 population on ridding roads of grime according to recent statistics – while the Scottish average is only £15,200.
That would equate to about £18.2 million in 2019 to 2020 – considering the population of the city is more than 600,000.
What is the council saying?
A council spokesman said: “Spending on street cleansing in Glasgow is directly linked to the demands for service created by Scotland’s largest city and the wider metropolitan area.
“The street cleansing service runs 24 hours a day and 365 days a year and deals with the largest number of high footfall areas of any local authority in the country.
“The restrictions adopted to prevent the spread of covid have significantly affected how our street cleansing teams have been able to operate.
“But routinely the service provides support for the city’s night time economy, sports and cultural events, large numbers of commuters and visitors, conferences, a significant student population and over 90 parks and gardens.”
Despite the huge cost just over half of adults (54 per cent) are satisfied with street cleanliness in the city according to the most recent data.
Glasgow City Council has a street cleanliness score of 85 per cent compared to a national average of 92 percent.
The council spokesman added: “Glasgow also runs a rapid response team to respond to deal with public health issues such as discarded needles, blood spillages, dead animals and fly-tipping as well as operating a boat that patrols the River Clyde to deal with litter and other debris.
“The benchmarking process does provide an indicator of Glasgow’s standing in Scotland, but any comparisons should be treated with caution due to the significant social challenges often experienced in Glasgow and differences in the way services are organised by the respective local authorities.”
Plans for the future
A council paper said: “The net cost of street cleaning remains the highest in Scotland. However, the cost has reduced in recent years from £38,251 in 2017/18 to £30,427 in 2019/20.”
There are plans to relaunch a Clean Glasgow programme and litter prevention action plan to address the problem.
It said: “This includes a range of actions which will be implemented over the next five years and aim to tackle and prevent littering and general environmental dereliction through education, enhancement, engagement and enforcement.”
Bosses also spend more on collecting rubbish than average.
The ‘net cost per waste collection’ per household’ was £103 in the city compared to nearly £69 across the whole of Scotland in 2019 to 2020. The majority of people (70 per cent) said they are satisfied with refuse collection – similar to the Scottish average of 74 per cent.
The statistics are to be presented to the Operational Performance and Delivery Scrutiny Committee today (Wednesday).
The paper presents the council’s climate progress in reaching a ‘sustainable low carbon city’ so far. The council is on target to deliver 73 per cent of priorities while 20 per cent face slippage. Seven per cent of actions are more severely off target.