Refuse collectors mixed up about proper procedures

When you put out your rubbish for collection, you are always careful to separate the recyclable material – paper, glass, and so on – into the different bins.

You would assume that the refuse collectors would be equally as meticulous in ensuring the various streams stay separated on their way to the depot. We are sure that most people who work in waste management are entirely professional when they carry out the job they are paid to do.

But in Kent, some refuse collectors were captured on camera placing sorted recycling into the same dustcart. Embarrassingly for Canterbury City Council, this incident followed the launch of a new recycling system costing £1 million, in which local residents have been encouraged to separate their waste streams.

An announcement was made on the council’s Facebook page, informing local residents in no uncertain terms that this was unacceptable behaviour:

“We are shocked and horrified at the footage and would like to thank the resident for drawing our attention to this. A lot of hard work has gone into preparing the new scheme and residents have been diligently separating their rubbish as we asked. To then see this happening is completely unacceptable and we are very sorry.”

The council and its waste contractor are looking into the matter, and will take appropriate action to ensure that the people who collect waste apply the same high level of care in keeping the streams separated as local residents do when they put their recycling out.

Happily, the contractor thinks this may be an isolated incident. Certainly, the frequency of such stories of this nature in the news would indicate that, throughout the UK, refuse collectors usually do their job properly. They should be congratulated on their excellent work, which is often strenuous – and entirely necessary to ensure that society functions.

We certainly know that, at Recycling Lives, things are done properly because our policies and procedures are designed to make this happen. Everything we do is underpinned by our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, which includes ensuring we act in the best interests of sustainability and the environment.

All our staff – from the Chief Executive, Steve Jackson OBE, downwards – share the Recycling Lives social business’s Corporate Social Responsibility agenda. This extends to operating a social welfare charity that helps homeless people to find work and accommodation, and turn their lives around after experiencing hard times.

It is a source of great pride to us that we recycle as much material as we possibly can, diverting it from landfill, and it has such far-reaching effects on people in need. If you want to share in our success and boost your own Corporate Social Responsibility, simply hire us for your waste management needs!