A message from one of our hard-working bin crew, Andy Ash

2 April 2020

Hi, my name is Andy and I’m one of your bin crew.
Andy Ash
Along with supermarket delivery drivers, retail staff and postmen and women, me and my colleagues are out there, every day, doing our jobs in very difficult circumstances, keeping the essential services going that we all rely on.

Every week our collection crews are picking up waste and recycling from every home in South Lakeland, including many where people are already ill due to Coronavirus or are self-isolating. Every day we are coming into contact with possible infection through your waste and recycling. 

I’d like to ask everyone to please make sure their waste is properly secured in bags when you put it in your grey bin, so me and my colleagues stay safe and can continue to provide these services.

We have also recently suspended green garden waste collections.

We know that the weather has been better, we know lots of you are stuck at home and we know that many of you are using the time to get out into the garden. We know the timing of this isn’t great.

But we’ve had to suspend green bin collections to make sure we can continue to pick up the really essential rounds, and that means protecting grey bin collections.

Like most essential businesses that are still going and providing services, the council has a number of people currently unable to work due to Covid-19 related illness or self-isolation.

Put simply, that means we have fewer bin men available at the moment than usual.

We have also had to change the way we make your collections in order to keep me and my colleagues safe.

We use the same type of wagons to collect green waste as we do for grey waste. Usually, on any given day, half of the fleet will be out collecting the contents of your grey bins while the other half is somewhere else collecting green bins.

But usually a grey bin round involves three or sometimes four bin men in each crew, depending on the size of the round, all travelling in the same wagon, all sat in the same cab.

Now, under the current Coronavirus conditions, to make sure me and my colleagues can continue to collect your bins while working at a safe ‘social distance’, we can only have two of us travelling in the cab of each wagon.

That means we are ‘doubling up’ the wagons on grey bin rounds so we can get round everyone and keep this collection going - which means taking wagons off green rounds and redeploying them to grey rounds. Hence the green waste suspension – we need those wagons to complete the grey bin rounds.

We’re all having to adapt, we’re all having to work differently and we’re having to find ways to try to keep collections going in difficult circumstances.

We regret not being able to pick up your garden waste and grass cuttings at the moment, but please consider the reasons why. We are trying to protect the grey bin collections as our number one priority - and me and all my colleagues are working hard every day to do that.

Thank you for reading. Stay safe.