Bin crews in south Warwickshire praised for their hard work during pandemic
The council has thanked Biffa’s staff for their hard work during the pandemic, which saw them work up to 10 hours more than usual each week to collect everyone’s waste
Bin crews who helped collect residents’ waste in Stratford district during the pandemic have been praised for their hard work.
Stratford District Council has worked with Biffa to collect bins and recycling from the district’s households since 1994.
But when the pandemic began to take hold in March 2020, Biffa’s bin crews were put under the toughest pressure since it started working with the council.
Despite this, Biffa says it did not miss a bin collection.
The council has thanked Biffa’s staff for their hard work during the pandemic, which saw them work up to 10 hours more than usual each week to collect everyone’s waste.
Jenny Hughes, operations manager at Biffa in Stratford, said: “It’s fair to say the pandemic was an enormous challenge for us as a company, but I am so proud of the staff for keeping the contract running and keeping everyone safe.
“With many people having to stay at home, people ended up throwing away more waste as a result, which meant longer shifts for our workers.
“Before the pandemic, our staff would typically work a 45-hour week. But during the height of the pandemic, a typical week would see our staff work 50 to 55 hours a week, such was the amount of waste they had to collect during their rounds.
“We always made sure to check in on the crews after their shifts to ensure they were safe, and kept their spirits up with ‘survival packs’ filled with goodies for them to enjoy.
“They worked so hard, and what’s been really nice is all the people who have sent messages of thanks to our offices. Keeping the staff motivated wasn’t always easy, but it was kind gestures like this that got them through.”
Cllr Ian Shenton, portfolio holder for climate change at Stratford District Council said: “When the pandemic began to take hold, many of our residents were unsure as to whether their bins would actually be collected properly, and it was a key concern for a lot of people.
“We therefore started talks with Biffa very early into the crisis to try and head off any potential issues with backlogs.
“I’m pleased to say Biffa and their bin crews did a fantastic job on behalf of the council when residents really needed us to step up.
“Biffa would talk to us every day to keep us informed of any possible disruption or problems.
"For example, if any of their staff had to self-isolate, they would nearly always be able to draft in another worker from their street cleaning division to make sure the service remained unaffected.
“Thanks to Biffa and the council working very effectively as a team, no bin days were missed as a result of the pandemic, which is a fantastic achievement.
“We have to pay tribute to the hard work of their bin crews and backroom staff, as well as our own staff as well. It’s brilliant to hear many residents sent their own messages of thanks to Biffa’s staff – we think the pandemic helped people realise what good work companies like Biffa do on a daily basis.”