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Southwark staff worked longer to clear mountains of rubbish generated by Queen’s queueing mourners

Many parks and street cleaners in Southwark worked an extra 24 hours during the Queen’s four days of lying-in-state, such was the pressure to clear up rubbish. 

Thousands of mourners descended on Southwark Park – the back of the queue stretching all the way from Westminster Hall, some five miles away.

Many starting there had to wait up to 14 hours to reach their destination. 

Extra street cleansing and waste collections were in operation from Wednesday until the early hours of Sunday morning, with an estimated seven tonnes of additional litter gathered and removed.

The borough’s final clean-up operation began as soon as the final wave of people joined the queue. Council officials said they had completed a full inspection of the queue’s route through the borough and cleared any litter. 

Southwark council said that, after a brief pause for the funeral, staff would continue to work with Government officials and the events company involved “to make sure that Southwark Park in particular is fully open and returned to its former splendour”. 

Catherine Rose, cabinet member for parks, streets and clean air at the council, said: “Southwark has been proud, on behalf of its residents and local government as a whole, to play its role during this historic time in our nation’s history. 

“We’ve carried out extra street cleansing and waste collections to keep the queue clean and tidy, and ensure all mourners had a safe and pleasant experience.” 

In Westminster, street cleansing vehicles have been dressed in black ribbons and council workers have worn black bows as teams have swung into action to clean up litter and remove sand that had been spread on roads. 

Pictured top: Mourners join the queue at Southwark Park (Picture: James Manning/PA Wire/PA Images)

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