High-pressure hoses, specialist street-sweeping machines and dedicated graffiti patrols greeted workers as they returned to the city after the summer break.
Before the sun rises and the peak hour commute begins, work has already started for some of the city’s more important employees: the cleaners and the green-ers.
As the city buzzed through summer with festive crowds followed by the excitement of the Australian Open, all eyes were fixed on the return-to-work cohort and ensuring the streets feel as clean, safe and welcoming as possible.
The Melbourne Clean Team have pivoted its efforts, concentrating on cleaning the five major transport hubs – Flinders Street, Flagstaff, Parliament, Melbourne Central and Southern Cross stations – before 8am, to greet those travelling into the city for work.
The crews fan out in a line across the footpath, like a spaced-out search party, and scour every inch of the ground and lower walls for rubbish and grime.
They are also doubling-down on known hotspots, like Elizabeth Street South, which will get extra pressure washing and increased Clean Team graffiti and litter patrols.
It’s been a busy start to 2024 already for the team, which was first introduced as a pilot program in March 2023 and swiftly made permanent.
In January, the team collected about 450 tonnes of litter and dumped rubbish from the city. (For perspective, a standard bus weighs 20 tonnes.) They also scrubbed the city clean of more than 5000 square metres of graffiti – that’s the same size as the three floors of retailer H&M in Bourke Street Mall.
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A clean city is everyone’s responsibility. Report rubbish, tagging and cleaning issues.
Beyond cleanliness, the City of Melbourne is creating and maintaining lush pockets of nature throughout the urban environment.
There are 62 hectares of parks within the central grid – and they are at their peak right now, as shady, green oasis offering a wonderful range of opportunities to make the most of your lunchbreaks in the city.
The city’s own gardening guru Sam Davis, horticulture asset supervisor at Serco, shared his insider knowledge, recommending a stroll through Parliament Gardens to see visual feasts of salvia bonfire red and dianthus dash violet, with pockets of pink begonia.
At Government House Drive, 12,000 marigolds, salvias and celosia make up a bold display, while Hotham Walk in popular Fitzroy Gardens is popping with 30,000-plus blooms.