Liverpool City Council has begun a new cleansing operation in Liverpool City Centre.
The authority is trialing a three month pilot with cleansing teams operating an extra three hours during the day.
The new shift patterns, which started this week, mean crews are now on the streets from 7.30am until 8pm compared to 9.30am to 6.45pm.
After the three month trial, results will be assessed as part of a new city wide programme on cleansing and recycling.
Much of the city centre operation uses Mount Pleasant Car Park as a base and the council is now looking at how it can further improve the service by refurbishing a new area at the car park or an alternative location to house the cleansing equipment and vehicles.
A part of the exterior of the car park, which has suffered from abuse by some rough sleepers, has now been fenced off and the council is in talks with the trade unions to explore how this new area can be used to help cut lost time in vehicles travelling out of the city centre to deposit waste.
A total of six cleansing vehicles currently have to travel back and forth to Newton Road depot to unload rubbish, wasting half an hour each trip.
Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “Liverpool city centre has never been busier with more businesses, tourists, shoppers and residents than ever before, and our cleansing service needs to reflect that.
”This new improved regime aims to provide a more comprehensive service with longer operational hours. It is a trial but it underlines the council’s commitment, even in the face of unprecedented cuts, to try out new ways of tackling the big challenges we face in keeping our city clean and green.
“Mount Pleasant car park is a hugely important strategic base for our city centre cleansing service and we have been looking at how we can either replace or improve its role.
“The fact that we have expanded the footprint of covered space, which had previously been abused by some rough sleepers, means that working with the Unions there is potential to make some significant further improvements to the service – most notably cutting the time our vehicles lose travelling to and from Newton Road depot.”