(CBS) - Gummed-up city sidewalks are a predicament for pedestrians, but a company in the UK has invented a way to help clean up the streets and recycle used gum that's been tossed aside.
Gum can create a gooey minefield when it's chewed up and carelessly spit out.
Gum police and power washers can't keep up with the sticky substance tossed on sidewalks and stuck under desks.
Now, a company called "Gumdrop" is going green with a pink idea. It recycles used wads of gum using specially-designed bins.
"It's a place for people to put their chewing gum in, and once it fills up, it comes back to us," said Anna Bullus, Gumdrop founder.
The pink bins are then taken to a recycling plant, mixed in with other used plastics, pumped out and eventually, molded into more gumdrop bins. The company is also turning the recycled gum into other products, like shoes, boots and coffee cups.
The bins can be found at 600 locations across the UK where plenty of pedestrians walk, like shopping areas, train stations and schools.
Cleaning crews at the University of Winchester in England say they've noticed the difference.
"Since we put the bins out, certainly reduced the gum in those high traffic areas and hopefully, under the table in lecture rooms as well," said Liz Harris, University of Winchester environment officer.
The company said it costs about $79 million a year for the British government to clean gum off the streets. This might be just the solution to a sticky situation.
The company makes its money by charging city councils and businesses for the recycling service. It also provides pink keyring balls so people can store their used gum and when full, mail it back to the company free-of-charge.