Customers who pay a service charge will receive some or all of the environmental services Midland Heart offers. These include:
- Cleaning of communal areas
- Window cleaning
- Grounds maintenance
We've worked with our customers to develop the specification and service standards whilst recruiting a core team of contractors to deliver Environmental Services, including Grounds Maintenance, Communal Cleaning and Window Cleaning services. Read more about what each of these areas involves and meet the contractors who are keeping your local area clean and green.
- Meet your contractors
What level of service can you expect?
We encourage all of our contractors to work within a simple framework which includes some basic guidelines to ensure quality is always a top priority.
- Will be cut during the growing season (March to November) and weather permitting.
- There will be 13 visits to your home during this period (average every 3 weeks). If the grass does not need to be cut or cannot be cut due to the weather, the contractor will complete other grounds maintenance tasks during their visit.
- The contractor will also remove the grass cuttings on the first and last grass cuts.
- During the other cuts the contractors will not remove grass from areas and instead adopt a ‘Cut and Drop’ method utilising a mulching system which minimises cuttings left on the surface and means we are able to offer cost savings to customers.
- A grass collection service every cut, would double current costs due to an increase in labour, vehicles, machinery and fuel. The mulching process cuts the grass into fine pieces so it is naturally spread and absorbed into the grass. This method is also more eco-friendly and adds vital nutrients to produce a healthier lawn.
- After every visit the contractors will leave your communal areas clean and tidy and ensure there are no hazards such as: shrubbery encroaching on the footpaths, low hanging branches causing obstruction.
Shrub borders and hedges
All shrub borders and hedges are cared for and pruned, mainly in the winter months (November – February), to retain the shape of the plants and allow for flowering periods. We are always careful to ensure that growth of these borders and hedges is monitored so they don’t affect sight lines for traffic, blocking of light to windows and vents, or public footpaths.
This also includes maintenance and/or removal of climbing plants
Weeds are treated using herbicide. Where appropriate they will be scraped manually out depending on growth.
Litter is collected and disposed during each visit. Visits can be increased where there is a specific litter issue occurring, and we will always take time to investigate where these issues increase.
Leaf fall collection
This service begins around November to collect the first fall of autumn leaves and continues over the winter period until all the leaves are cleared. This can last right up until the end of February.
What’s not included?
We can’t include tree works, control of invasive weeds (e.g. Japanese Knotweed), removal of bulk waste, animal or human waste within this service.
What level of service can you expect?
Communal cleaning takes place in a hybrid cycle, which means that every site is visited in two week cycles (unless otherwise specified), but if issues affect the area between these times a contractor will return. The main areas that communal cleaning covers are:
- Cleaning of floor areas – vacuuming carpets (where electric points are available), sweeping and mopping of non-carpeted floors.
- Cleaning of hand rails and skirting boards, removal of marks and stains from walls where possible.
- Washing down and wiping of painted/tiles surfaces,
- Replacement of internal bulbs
- Cleaning of internal windows, sills and frames, in reach of the cleaners.
- Cleaning internal bin rooms
- Cleaning of Communal kitchens, laundry’s and bathroom, where applicable.
Carpets – will receive an annual clean
What level of service can you expect?
The window cleaning framework requires windows above ground level to be cleaned using an environmentally friendly Pure Water Pole system. This type of system allows windows to be cleaned without the operator leaving the ground which is much safer for both the operator and our customers.
The pure water cleans the windows without the use of detergents, using the water flow and a flexible brush to loosen dirt and leave the window even cleaner than using traditional detergents.
Sills and frames will also be cleaned at each visit.
Windows dry naturally without leaving any smears.
PLEASE NOTE: if you try and dry your windows after they have been cleaned using this system, you will cause the window to smear.
Checking contractor performance
Our Environmental Services are checked regularly for quality and value. We do this through three main channels:
Quality Site Inspections
These inspections are carried out by Place Officers and Rangers. They focus on checking quality and how each contractor has followed the agreed guidelines. A simple Pass or Fail scoring system is used.
- Pass – awarded to contractors who fit within the guidelines.
- Fail - awarded to sites which are either:
- Mostly within the guidelines but could be improved further.
- Do not meet the required standard.
Customer Inspections (Customer Ambassadors)
We have recruited a group of volunteer Customer Ambassadors who carry out their own independent inspections of their own communal area and other random sites. These inspections are crucial in establishing a balanced viewpoint of our services and wouldn’t be possible without the help of our dedicated customer volunteers.
If you are interested in being a customer ambassador please complete this form
Each month we ask an independent research company to carry out surveys with a range of customers on their overall satisfaction with Environmental Services in their area. The results of these surveys then form part of the overall scoring for our contractors.
Frequently asked questions
The grass is not collected anymore. Why is this?
Cost savings to you. Providing a grass collection service would double costs due to an increase in labour, vehicles, machinery, fuel and disposal.
- Saves time (no more bagging).
- Saves money (less water and fertiliser are needed for lawns).
- Saves landfill space which is good for the environment.
- Encourages a healthier lawn (clippings contain valuable nutrients).
- Saves energy (mowing time, hauling to the landfill)
How often will you be cutting the grass?
You will receive 13 cuts during the growing season (March to November) which works out that your grass should be cut every 2 – 3 weeks
Why don’t you cut all the shrubs at the same time?
Many shrubs go through a flowering period, and bulk pruning can stop this flowering from happening. To keep shrubs looking their best, pruning is carried out once they have finished their flowering period, which is also much better for the environment and local wildlife.
Only one side of the shrub outside of my door has been pruned, why is this?
We carry out what we call a ‘containment prune’ in areas where there is a likelihood of the shrub blocking access to properties, particularly if there is a need for disabled access. The rest of the shrub is then left alone as long as it is healthy and at an acceptable size.
The video below explains how to deal with pests in your home.
A video offering advice about dealing with pests and infestations in your home such as: rats and vermin, bugs and wasps.
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