Valuing our bin collectors

Key workers and Covid: 

“We’ve carried on working, but we’ve also got loved ones that we want to go home to, and we wash our clothes the moment we get home just to stay safe. We’d like the Government to highlight our work and pay us more – nothing crazy, but imagine if bin collectors just stopped?”

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East Devon’s bin collectors have been working incredibly hard:

The council’s recycling and waste service will continue as normal but, due to high Christmas catch-up tonnages and staff isolating due to the virus, services are being affected.

Find out how East Devon services are being affected by lockdown – Lyme Online

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With more from Devon Live:

Recycling services in East Devon are being affected by staff isolating due to Covid-19, and record levels of recycling following Christmas.

… East Devon District Council has 13 frontline staff isolating, up from 10 the previous day, out of a workforce of around 120 employees. It means some collection dates have not been fulfilled, but the council has reassured it is catching up on missed rounds as soon as possible. It is hoped the situation will improve…

Regarding the safety of its staff and trying to minimise any potential spread of the virus, the spokesperson said: “We operate our crews in ‘bubbles’ and to be cautious we isolate the whole bubble when someone tests positive. All those in the bubble that have self-isolated are then required to take a test and can only return to work if they receive a negative result.”

Recycling services in East Devon affected by coronavirus and Christmas – Devon Live

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It also hasn’t been easy for the contractors, who are facing a lot more rubbish to pick up as we stay and work from home:

Call for govt help to cover East Devon recycling contractor’s extra costs

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And it hasn’t been easy for the council – who had to spend more this summer:

A depleted workforce is struggling to empty overflowing bins and pick up litter, it has been warned.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) cabinet is being asked to reinstate the StreetScene team’s agency budget for the summer when it meets on Thursday (June 18).

The seasonal sum for street cleaning was set to be saved as the authority faces a £5.3million deficit due to the coronavirus crisis.

East Devon ‘public health issue’ fears as council is urged to free clean-up cash & reopen more toilets

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This weekend’s i-newspaper looked at how hard it really is for these front-line workers:

Respect us and pay us more, say lockdown binmen facing more risks and increased workload

The frontline workers hope they will be more valued after the pandemic

… It’s not just the increased workload that bin collectors have been dealing with, but the practical difficulties of staying safe, such as working out how to socially distance while needing more staff in the lorries. Then there is the reality of skeleton crews, caused by colleagues getting Covid or needing to self-isolate when a partner or child becomes unwell at home…

“We’ve carried on working, but we’ve also got loved ones that we want to go home to, and we wash our clothes the moment we get home just to stay safe. We’d like the Government to highlight our work and pay us more – nothing crazy, but imagine if bin collectors just stopped?”

… Robert’s crew have displayed the thank-you notes and children’s drawings in the offices where they clock in and out each day. “It’s been really hard,” he says. “But I do think the pandemic has raised the profile of those who do some of the toughest and least desirable jobs.”

Respect us and pay us more, say lockdown binmen facing more risks and increased workload

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image: Any old saddles? Bin men arrive in a… © Chris :: Geograph Britain and Ireland

   
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