24 March 2020 by James Langley

News in brief (24/03/20)

With news on: EuRic calls for recognition of waste industry’s essential role; staff sworn and spat at at Swindon HWRC; Hillingdon buys 31 bins to increase recycling; and, Amey hosts recycling workshop for kids in Surrey.

EuRic calls for recognition of waste industry’s essential role

The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation has called on the EU, the UK, Norway and Switzerland to acknowledge the essential role played by the waste management and recycling industry.

Issued in light of the coronavirus crisis’s impact on the waste management industry, the organisation’s statement also calls for recognition of the industry’s strategic importance to the European economy.

EuRIC is a confederation representing the interests of Europe’s recycling industries

EuRIC’s statement reads: “Waste management and recycling are essential for society and the economy. In the current crisis situation, we ask competent authorities to ensure that workers involved in the collection, transport and treatment of waste, be them from household or commercial and industrial activities, are provided with sufficient personal protective equipment, in line with national and European safety measures as well as to benefit from any schemes to adequately carry out their activities.”

Along with recognition of the industry as a strategic sector, the organisation has asked for targeted measures which derogate to rules in normal circumstances, such as those regarding logistics and trade, storage and state aid eligibility.

It has asked that the waste management sector should be eligible for state aids and be included in any legally compliant list drawn for such purposes.

Staff sworn and spat at at Swindon HWRC

Staff working at Swindon’s household waste recycling centre (HWRC) on the Cheney Manor industrial estate were sworn and spat at by those using the site over the last weekend.

Swindon borough council had hoped to keep crowds at the site to a minimum during the coronavirus pandemic.

Crowded car parks over the weekend at the Swindon HWRC

However, the HWRC was particularly busy and saw an increase in bad behaviour on Saturday and Sunday, according to the council.

In a post on Facebook the council said: “We’re sad to report that some of our staff working at the household waste recycling centre were spat and sworn at over the weekend.

“This behaviour isn’t acceptable at any time, not least in the current circumstances.”

Following tougher measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night, the Swindon HWRC is closed until further notice.

Hillingdon buys 31 bins to increase recycling

Hillingdon council has invested £31,000 in 31 bins in a bid to increase the amount of waste recycled in the borough.

The bins, which allow residents to dispose of general waste in one section and recyclable items in another, are to replace old and worn ones and give residents easier access to recycling facilities while they are on the move.

Councillor Philip Corthorne tries out one of the new bins

Councillor Philip Corthorne, Hillingdon council’s cabinet member for housing and the environment, said: “We recently declared a climate change emergency and pledged to achieve 100% clean energy across our services by 2030.

“As part of that commitment, we are looking at ways to increase recycling, and these new bins will help us work towards that goal.

“We all have a part to play in keeping our environment clean and green, and we encourage residents to use our recycling facilities, whether at home, on the move or at our civic amenity sites.”

For the 2018/19 financial year, the London borough of Hillingdon had a recycling rate of 36.7%. This is lower than the national average of 45.1%.

Amey hosts recycling workshop for kids in Surrey

Waste management company Amey hosted an interactive recycling workshop at Epsom Racecourse in Surrey on 2 March aiming to educate children aged 10 and 11 about safety and environmental issues.

Held as part of a two-week event for 1,500 children across 29 Surrey schools, the workshop gave pupils a selection of bean bags, each of which represented a different type of waste.

Nicola Blake, account director for Amey’s waste collections services team in Surrey (second left) is joined by the Deputy Mayor (fifth left) and Mayoress of Epsom and Ewell (third left)

The children were then asked either to ‘bin it’ or ‘recycle it’ by throwing the bean bag into the correct container.

Pupils left the event, organised by national provider of child safety events Child Safety Media, as ‘junior citizens’, having undertaken workshops run by several companies on a number of different issues.

Nicola Blake, account director for Amey’s waste collections services team in Surrey, said: “Young people represent the future of Surrey, so it’s crucial that we engage them on issues that boost social value and make Surrey a better place to live, work and travel.”


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