The city of Charleston is the first major city in the United States to deploy a “Glutton” electric street vacuum to assist the city’s Environmental Services Division cleanup efforts along King Street and in the Market.
“The Glutton can do a more thorough cleaning than a broom and dustpan, enhancing and speeding up our cleanup efforts where people tend to travel more,” said Superintendent of Environmental Services Matt Alltop. “It can get inside tree wells, into grates and along sidewalk curbs.”
The Glutton was purchased from Joe Johnson Equipment for $27,000. The city looks to purchase a second Glutton by the end of the year.
The Glutton was designed in 1996 in Belgium by founder Christian Lange. It can be used outdoors and indoors, and fits through doorways. The Glutton is currently being used in airports throughout Europe and in more than 70 countries around the world.
Battery-powered and quieter than some home vacuums, the Glutton runs for 8 to 10 hours on a single charge and does not emit exhaust fumes. It periodically emits a deodorizer scent to neutralize trash pickup smells. Trash is collected in a 240-liter, wheeled trashcan, with liner bags the same size as those used in the city’s “Bigbelly” trashcans.
Glutton operators will be seen patrolling King Street from Spring Street to Broad Street and the Market from King Street to East Bay Street from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Eventually, the city looks to have Gluttons operating seven days a week.