The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

How Are Waste Operative Key Workers Keeping Safe?

How Are Waste Operative Key Workers Keeping Safe?
05 May 2020 | Updated 13 May 2020
 

Each week we clap for the NHS, key workers, carers and all of those providing essential services during lockdown – including waste operatives collecting domestic and business waste.

Waste services have already been affected by the outbreak, with councils closing down recycling centres and reducing their waste services.

So let's take a look at the current measures to keep these keyworkers safe, as well as any practical steps we can take to help this essential workforce.

“There are around twenty-seven million households in the United Kingdom and, collectively, they produce the equivalent of a tonne of rubbish each, every year. Collecting, sorting, and processing the waste from this many households is a huge daily challenge and requires a workforce of more than 107,000 people, who have been identified by government as key workers, providing support during this crisis.”

–Environmental Services Association (ESA) Statement

 

#bravoforbinmen

 

Social media support for domestic waste operatives has been prevalent, with people showing their appreciation for the hard work that goes into maintaining bin collections. 

Basingstoke council tweeted the following advice for their residents, to "help to keep our amazing bin crew happy and safe”

 

  1. Stay 2m away
  2. Don’t walk your bins to the crew
  3. Wash your hands before and after handling your bin
  4. Double bag tissues etc
  5. Leave them messages and pictures 

 

Environmental Services Association Statement 

 

On 25 March 2020, a statement from the Environmental Services Association (ESA) reassured the public that everything possible was being done to maintain waste collections, and urged us all to help keep operatives safe by following government guidelines.

In the statement, households are asked to take several steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

“Following government advice, to protect workers and combat the spread of infection, anyone who feels ill at home (whether diagnosed with COVID-19 or not) should place all their waste in the general rubbish bin, and should double-bag it, making sure the bags are securely tied. They should then wait at least 72 hours before placing it out for collection. For now, this material should not be put in your recycling.”

 

Eligibility for testing

 

As of 27 April 2020 Coronavirus testing has been extended to all essential workers in England who have symptoms, including critical workers in the resources and waste sector.

This means that essential workers, and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus will now be able to get tested, and will have the reassurance of knowing whether their symptoms are caused by coronavirus and can decide whether they are well enough to return to work.

 

Reduced need for physical signatures

 

The Environment Agency has also taken steps to protect operatives during waste transfer processes, introducing the RPS C8.

By law, for each load of non-hazardous waste you move off your premises, you need a waste transfer note or a document with the same information, such as an invoice. A copy then must be kept for two years, and shown to an enforcement officer from your local council or the Environment Agency if asked.

The RPS C8 temporarily removes the need for physical signatures on paper waste transfer and consignment notes, helping to keep both parties safe from transmission of infection during transactions.

Executive Director of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), Jacob Hayler, said: “This position statement is a common-sense approach that will be welcomed by the sector, although, it has perhaps taken a little longer to arrive than was desirable, bearing in mind that strict social-distancing regulations have been in place for a month now.”

Picture: Waste wheelie bins

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 05 May 2020

Share



Related Articles

Security Officer Appreciation Week – #ThankYourSecurityOfficer

A security services provider is hosting a series of thank-you visits to their colleagues to mark Security Officer Appreciation Week. Corps Security, a security...

 Read Full Article
Mitie Gives Extra Day’s Holiday To 25,000 Frontline Employees

As a gesture of thanks for the work of their frontline colleagues during COVID-19, Mitie is awarding its staff an extra day of holiday. The company is also...

 Read Full Article
IWFM Publishes Waste Management Guide for Facilities Managers

IWFM has published a best practice guide to recycling, waste and resource management. As businesses face pressure to ensure that their waste practices stand up to...

 Read Full Article
Cleaners Must Be Paid Fair Wage After Role in Fighting COVID-19

Dominic Ponniah, CEO at Cleanology, sets out how Britain’s cleaners must be fairly paid, especially in light of the crucial role they have played during the...

 Read Full Article
Over 1,500 Key Workers Took up Europcar Rentals During Lockdown

Critical workers such as NHS, fire and police staff, teachers, carers and volunteer responders rented vehicles during the height of Britain’s lockdown. Europcar...

 Read Full Article
The Key Workers That Keep Your Wi-Fi On

With the recent surge in home working, it would be fair to say that our home internet networks have been experiencing a heavier than usual usage.  Telecoms and...

 Read Full Article
Managing Waste Disposal and Used PPE For Businesses During COVID-19

As many non-healthcare businesses are using PPE to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission, it is essential that such items are disposed of correctly. Often PPE...

 Read Full Article
Medirest Employees Working In NHS Trusts Receive Pay Increase

Medirest Employees Working In NHS Trusts Receive Pay Increase Medirest, the healthcare division of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has today announced that it will be...

 Read Full Article
World FM Day 2020 - A Day Of Thanks

Today marks World FM Day, celebrating the significant contribution that facilities management makes to the global economy. During these challenging times, it seems...

 Read Full Article
Winter Maintenance Planning In Lockdown - Is it An Essential Service?

It might be the furthest thing from our minds currently, but as the weather turns cooler some sectors are considering the implications of the second wave of COVID-19 and...

 Read Full Article