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Bologna

Bologna will spray vinegar on its streets

Bologna will spray vinegar on its streets

A more organic approach to weeding

On Monday, 29 March, the municipal website of Bologna reported on the start of a spring cleaning of sorts that will affect its streets. The activity in question is the weeding of unwanted grasses that grow on the sidewalks and between stones on cobbled streets, for example in the historical part of the city.

The novelty here is that the authorities have opted for something of a ‘grandma’s remedy’ in terms of tackling the sturdy plants. They will use vinegar as an organic and environmentally sustainable product for that operation.

That is harmless to people

In fact, maintaining the streets free from grass is a continuous operation during the warmer months, thus it will continue until October. In that time, maintenance crews are expected to take care of some 900 kilometres of sidewalks and 30,000 square metres of paving on squares, such as Piazza Santo Stefano, Piazza San Domenico, Piazza San Francesco, via IV Novembre and the areas close to the medieval city gate.

The operation consists of removing the invasive and stubborn plants that grow in crevices, nooks and crannies and gives spaces an unkempt look.

The first stage of the weeding process involves the use of brush cutters and blowers. Then the organic material will be collected. With the final stage comes the vinegar, which will be sprayed. The municipality explains that this will be an organic product compound containing vinegar with a high concentration of acetic acid.

It is said that this is harmless to people but an effective way of dissolving plant tissue. Likely, the goal of the operation is to also attack the plant roots that remain unaffected by the weeding and whacking stage. Apparently, it can also protect the porphyry rock material used around medieval doors in the historic quarter.

There is no report on what the streets smell like after the treatment but hopefully, that issue resolves quickly.

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