Rare praise for refuse and recycling heroes

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Bin men often get a bad press, usually from tales where they’ve allegedly left trails of rubbish down the street or missed out houses for several weeks in a row. Most of the time it’s probably not their fault – some householders and businesses are masters of the art of either overfilling their bins, or hiding them in places that even Sherlock Holmes can’t detect.

The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, none more so than that of our refuse collectors, who have the yearly challenge of dealing with the vast amount of rubbish people put out at this time of year. They often have to work long hours, sacrificing time with their loved ones just to keep our towns and cities clean during the festivities. And even come the New Year, they’re still playing catch-up for weeks as rounds cope with the additional Bank Holidays.

While many of us don’t notice just how much hard work they put in, it comes as a nice surprise to read news stories where refuse collectors get a bit of praise and recognition.

In Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, refuse collectors worked relentlessly over the holiday period, aiming not to miss any usual collection days, including Christmas Day. The Mayor of Ballymoney praised the council workers, saying that “we are indebted to our workers”, and that not many councils are able to offer this service to the people.

Similarly in Suffolk, refuse workers are being praised for keeping up with the sheer volume of waste and recycling coming in over the season. Previous years have seen recycling centres overflowing and having to be closed, but the council in Suffolk were determined to not let that be the case this time. Staff emptied all containers prior to the busiest times, so they could take as much as they could without running the risk of overflowing again. They maintained kerbside collections, meaning that it was easier to recycle items such as wrapping paper without people having to go to a recycling centre. All these schemes have proved successful, thanks to the dedicated hard work of refuse workers maintaining a busy schedule and keeping on top of it all.

Bin workers are amongst the hardest workers in the country, and we salute them.

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