Householders in Atherstone and district cover ‘wall of gratitude’ and tell hero refuse workers: You’ve bin fantastic in Covid-19

  Posted: 17.04.20 at 16:53 by Nick Hudson

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ATHERSTONE and district has switched from clapping to banging the “bin of appreciation” for the latest frontline heroes to take a bow for their commitment to community during the coronavirus crisis.

The ‘thanks’ from households in the town and surrounding villages is self-evident from this “wall of gratitude” covering the Atherstone-based local authority’s Waste Services’ offices.

Typical of the appreciation to the department was an “all the best” message via the customer service team to every council worker for “all they are doing during these hard times”.

A depleted refuse workforce is keeping main and recycling collections going as “best they can” after North Warwickshire Borough Council had to suspend the green bin service until early May, blaming the decision on “many key staff” being unable to work through having to self-isolate and changes to working practices.

The picture from well-wishers around North Warwickshire has brought a swift response back from the refuse operatives.

Lifted: Helped with staff morale

A borough council spokeswoman told Nub News: “Every note, picture, message and gift is saved here so call the crews can see them..”

She added: “Thank you on behalf of them all.”

While the garden waste scheme is temporarily halted, householders in Atherstone are being encouraged to join a surge in home composting fuelled by the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Royal Horticultural Society has seen increased numbers of people seeking gardening advice as the country shut down and families were confined to their homes as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Atherstone and district, like the rest of the UK, face at least another three weeks at home after stand-in PM Dominc Raab announced an extension of restrictions yesterday.

Collections: Red and black only

The local authority has compiled a list “helpful things” for the public to assist its waste service teams during the ongoing pandemic.

Here they are:
• Don’t stop recycling. With the global economy disrupted, it’s more important than ever to recycle your paper, card, plastic, cans and glass to ensure that valuable resources are recycled and made into new products for people to buy;
• Avoid having a big ‘clear-out’ while at home as this will create more rubbish and recycling for our workers to collect. Please hold on to large items, such as furniture and mattresses, until the outbreak has subsided, and services return to normal;
• All charity shops are now closed so please do not leave donations on their doorsteps. But remember charity shops will be very grateful for donations once the crisis is over;
• Minimise the amount of rubbish, recycling and food waste you produce. Every bit we can reduce will make a real difference to maintaining a good collection service for everyone;
• Please park your car responsibly. Many more people are at home, and parked cars are restricting access to bins for our collection crews, making their job more difficult and increasing the likelihood that bins cannot be emptied; and
• Do not burn your waste at home. This creates air pollution that could harm people nearby who may already have breathing difficulties. There is also the danger that fires could get out of control. Fire services around the country are reporting an increase in callouts due to garden fires.

When putting out your bins, there are a few things the council says the public can do to ensure you’re doing this as safely as possible:
• If you’re self-isolating and feeling unwell, double-bag your personal waste (such as tissues) and put aside for at least 72 hours (3 days) before putting them out for collection;
• Do not put tissues into your recycling as they cannot be recycled;
• Put out your bins by 6:30am on your collection day;
• Disinfect your bin handles before and after you touch them and before and after they are emptied;
• Wash your hands thoroughly after handling and disinfecting bins;
• Put wipes, cloths, gloves, etc. used for cleaning your bins into a bag and then your black bin as these can’t be recycled; and
• Keep your distance when our workers are collecting your waste and recycling – but please give them a wave to show your appreciation.

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