| In Practice | Maintaining Green Areas
Tractors with mower heads useful for large lawns with few trees.
periods. For example, if road users are endangered by the rotten
branch of a tree on the side of the street. In this case, regulatory
authorities grant a special permit for its immediate removal.
Before beginning the work, the necessary security measures for
employees, street traffic and of course, pedestrians, must be made.
Warning signs and traffic barriers must be set up, if necessary
with traffic lights that can reroute pedestrians and sometimes even
In June, lawns must be mowed for the second time. “Unlike
property, public green areas are mowed only an average
of four times per season to save costs,” says Alexander Wagner.
In July, the usually dry weather doesn’t permit mowing. This is
why the “green team” uses the time slot to clean out dead wood
from water reservoirs, streams and other bodies of water so that
no congestion can develop in flowing water, and the water retains
Bird protection important
Summer is also the time for city festivals, open-air concerts,
markets and many other events. Before and after these
events, open areas and paths must be spic and span. The third
mowing is carried out in September. Now, hedges and shrubs can
be cut back.
“Depending on the tree or type of bush, pruning can be delayed
until late winter. From March to late summer, cutting is legally
prohibited so that birds are not disturbed during the brood period,”
underscores the operating manager. In late summer, the company
is frequently instructed to clean pedestrian and biking paths.
For this, a multicar with sweeper roller is used. In October, the
of work in green areas increases again. “Now, the lawns
are mowed for the last time. Depending on the overall weather
situation, we must also begin planning for the disposal of fallen
leaves,” says Alexander Wagner. Usually, areas should be free of
leaves after two operations.
The most important guideline, however, is safety. “Wet leaves on
pavement increases the danger of falling for pedestrians. This is
why we organize our operations flexibly, but still with minimal
effort,” according to Wagner. He would love to compost the leaves,
grass and shrubbery cuttings himself. Due to the legal regulations
for commercial firms, however, the effort would not pay off. The
only solution is disposal at the landfill. Unfortunately, this is very
costly, and makes up a great share of the price calculation, regrets
the building service provider.
Preparation for winter operations
Early autumn is the best time to clean equipment and machines,
test their functionality and repair them if necessary. From mid-October,
preparations for winter service begin. “We convert our
multifunctional equipment for snow-clearing service and place
containers filled with rock salt on our customers’ property,”
Alexander Wagner. In water protection areas,
only grit can be used.
The orders must be updated every year, together with customers,
as regards the frequency of operations and the legal situation. In
addition, Wagner sets up on-call schedules. After the first nights
of frost, control trips are made to spread grit on paths, parking lots
and other surfaces to make them less slippery.
Formerly, monthly lump sums were charged for the winter
“Unfortunately, only a very few customers still accept
especially because the snowfall has become very
unpredictable in recent years,” concedes Alexander Wagner. This
is why a minimum number of annual operations is now agreed
on with each customer. If additional clearing and grit-spreading
is necessary beyond the agreed number, special fee-based orders
must be placed.
Services for wet elements
In addition to green areas, GSC Gebäude Service Center services
garden ponds and swimming pools. “We use microorganisms
control algae on a biological basis and ensure a good environment
for fish in the ponds,” explains Peter Vogt. In spring, his team cleans
swimming pools with a chemical-mechanical – but chlorine
– process that makes costly water changes unnecessary.
the end of the season, swimming pools are kept ice-free with
mechanical methods, which also prevents frost damage to the
pool walls and floor.
Among the reference objects in the area of water services, the
“Weltbrunnen” fountain in the center of Eisenhüttenstadt is
known. “After going into operation this year, it turned out
that the fountain had a leak. We completely renovated it; as of this
year we have begun using a new product for disinfection and to
prevent algae formation, because the previously used chemical is
no longer legal,” reports Peter Vogt. N
Reinhard Wylegalla | firstname.lastname@example.org
64 GLOBAL CLEANING | ISSUE 2017