Seattle is known for many things, such as its great music scene and excellent coffee. The city is also known for having an extremely large “gum wall”, in which residents and tourists alike have stuck their chewing gum on for the past 20 years.
The result is a major collection of sticky used chewing gum at the Pike Place Market.
However, this gum wall might soon be a thing of the past, as the city plans to remove all of the gum from the wall. The announcement was made by Seattle Development Authority spokesperson Emily Crawford.
The job is so large that the Cascadian Building Maintenance has been hired as a contractor. Removing the gum will require the usage of an industrial steam machine that functions much like that of a pressure washer.
Once the gum falls to the ground, a crew will collect the gum in five-gallon buckets.
Representative of the Cascadian Building Maintenance Kelly Foster says that this is the weirdest job the maintenance company has ever been a part of.
Removing the gum is expected to cost $4,000. Estimates show that there are currently more than one million pieces of gum on the wall. Officials plan to weigh the gum after it is removed.
While many consider the gum wall to be a historic part of Seattle, Crawford says that the gum must be removed in order to protect the market district’s historic buildings.
Crawford said, “It was never part of charter or the history of the Market to have the walls covered with gum. Gum is made of chemicals, sugar, additives. Things that aren’t good for us. I can’t imagine it’s good for brick.”
The cleaning of the wall will start on November 10th. It is expected that it will take three to four days to clean the entire wall.
Officials have stated that they fully expect the fine residents and visitors of Seattle to resume putting their used chewing gum back on the wall shortly after it is cleaned. Crawford accepts that, but she says that a fresh start is needed.
Meanwhile, the Pike Place Market is having a contest on Facebook so that people can vote on their favorite gum wall photos before the historic wall becomes a thing of the past.