HAVE YOU ever wondered how the area's award-winning beaches stay so clean? The Daily Echo caught up with the council to find out.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole's blue flag beaches are among the best in the world and have been named as the best in the country.

Across the bank holiday weekend the council staff collected 100 tonnes of rubbish from the beaches over the four days between Friday, May 28, to Monday, May 31.

BCP Council's cleansing team arrive on the beach at 3am every day of the year, including Christmas Day, to ensure the sand, bins, zig zags and pathways are clean and safe.

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The cleansing group is made up of tractor drivers, waste management teams and litter pickers who work tirelessly to clean the seven-mile stretch of beach come rain or shine.

Sophie Ricketts, head of seasonal response for BCP, said: "We have a really commited team who work in all weathers, do fantastic work and really take pride in their jobs.

"There's one litter picker who I often see around Pier Approach and he is so thorough he's an absolute credit to BCP."

This massive operation involves 25 people per day on average and costs approximately half-a-million pounds, according to Cllr Mark Anderson.

Portfolio holder for environment, cleansing and waste, Cllr Anderson is the political lead on the clean-up operation across BCP.

He said: "We're one of the top five beaches in Europe and the best in the UK and the blue flags, seaside awards and clean beaches all contributes to that.

Bournemouth Echo:

Beach tractor with surf rake which cleans the sand every morning. 

"Given the best thing in the world, I would love it if we didn't need to have the team because everyone followed our 'leave only footprints' campaign and took their rubbish home - but they don't."

Three tractors operate across our beaches with one at Sandbanks, Bournemouth and Boscombe - these specially designed vehicles have a surf rake which sifts through the rubbish, allowing only clean sand to pass through as it laps the beach.

Even large items such as disposable barbecues can be collected by the tractor, although litter pickers are also on hand throughout the day to remove large scale rubbish that people have left behind.

There are 400 triple-sized bins across the coastline which are collected up to four times a day during peak season.

Bournemouth Echo:

The cleansing team clear the beaches, zigzags and paths every morning rain or shine.

All of the rubbish gets taken to a mechanical biological treatment centre in the conurbation where they separate the metal out with magnets.

The rest of the material then either goes through a biological treatment where it is turned into compost for land restoration or used as a residual fuel.